A fourth DUI in a 10 year period in Georgia is a felony offense and being charged with a felony in Georgia is a life-changing event. A fourth or subsequent offense conviction means that you have been convicted four or more DUI charges since July 1, 2008. The penalties for a fourth or subsequent offense DUI conviction are harsh.
The minimum jail sentence for a fourth or subsequent offense conviction is one year and the maximum jail sentence is five years. Of course people rarely get the minimum fine in a 4th DUI case in Georgia. Based on the circumstances surrounding your case and the previous convictions, the judge may probate all but three months of your jail sentence. You will also be ordered to spend your jail time in a state penitianary, not in your local county jail.
The minimum fine for a fourth conviction is $1,000 and the maximum fine can go as high as $5,000. A fourth time offender will be required to perform a minimum of 60 days (480-500 hours) of community service. You will also be sentenced to five years of probation, less time already served in jail.
Your driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of five years and you will not be eligible for a limited permit license. Your photo will also appear in the local newspaper along with your name and the violation specifics at a cost to you of $25. You will also be required to surrender the license plates to any vehicle registered in your name. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock device in each of your vehicles before your license is reinstated and this device must remain in place for a minimum period of six months. You will have to complete a mandatory clinical evaluation and the court ordered DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program before your license will be reinstated at the end of your revocation period.
Further, you will be declared a habitual violator. Any person declared a habitual violator must forfeit their vehicle to the state, but you can petition the judge to transfer the title to another family member if the forfeiture would cause your family financial hardship. Being a Georgia Habitual Violator means your will not be allowed to drive a car for at least two years and as much as five years. If you violate the law and are found driving, you will be charged with a Felony.
The consequences of a DUI felony conviction last long after your sentence has been served. As a convicted felon, you may be ineligible to work in schools or government agencies. In addition, your right to vote and own firearms can be taken away from you. Even something as simple as renting an apartment can be more difficult if you have to answer “yes” when asked if you have ever been convicted of a felony.