What Happens on Your Fourth DUI Conviction?
February 11, 2015
In Tennessee, DUI laws are very strict in hopes of dissuading people from getting behind the wheel after drinking. A first time conviction may result in any combination of court-ordered programs, hefty fines, license revocation, and more. When all is said and done- this first offense can cost you up to $7,500 and more, in addition to countless hours spent in a program and/or completing court-ordered community service. But what happens after a fourth DUI offense? While such a situation may seem unlikely, it does happen more than you may think. In addition to being considered a Class E Felony, a fourth conviction has many caveats that make it more than just inconvenient.
First of all, the fines associated with a DUI crime are severe. On your first offense, you won’t be fined any more than $1,500 (which is still a pretty penny). However, on your fourth conviction, fines alone can be as high as $15,000; ten times that of a first offense. Additionally, the fines do not take into account the costs of towing, bail, attorney retainer, high risk insurance, court fees, and mandated class costs, all of which will have to come out of your pocket. Usually, a heavily restricted license will be made available to a driver six months into a year-long revocation, after a first conviction, that is. A fourth-time offender, however, does not have that option and faces a minimum EIGHT YEAR revocation.
During the first year of that eight-year period, the offender will be behind bars, as it is the minimum sentence awarded for a fourth consecutive conviction. If the judge decides to reinstate your license after this 8-year period, the judge may order you to install an Interlock Ignition Device at your own expense, which can cost over $1,000. On top of all of this, you will still be held responsible for any restitution owed to those who were injured or had property damaged due to your actions.
As you can tell, a fourth conviction of this crime is incredibly debilitating and should be avoided at all costs. If you’ve been charged with a fourth DUI, you may want to seek out legal representation to aid you in this process. The team at Baker Associates has handled cases like this before, and is ready to sit down with you to hear the details of your case. Call (615) 422-6790 for a consultation.