First and second DUI offenses in Georgia are typically misdemeanors, but you will still face incarceration, license suspension, fines, and other severe penalties. Sometimes, sentencing includes a court-ordered DUI program. If you were arrested for driving under the influence, it is imperative to work with a skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced DUI defense attorney.
With the insight of a former DUI prosecutor on your side, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands. At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson , we have more than 25 years of legal experience protecting the freedom of our clients. Act now to protect yours! To start your defense, request a free case evaluation with our Atlanta DUI defense lawyers now.
You only have 30 days to act!
Starting from the day of your arrest, you only have thirty days to file your 30 day letter. In short, a 30 day letter is an official request for an ALS Hearing. At the hearing, you can fight for your right to drive. If you fail to request a hearing within 30 days of your arrest, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) will automatically suspend your driver's license.
What is the difference between your first and second DUI?
Your second DUI may be a misdemeanor, but you can still face stricter penalties than your first offense. According to Georgia law, your second DUI comes with a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three days in jail. If you are convicted, you could easily face more jail time; three days is only the minimum penalty. 10 to 90 days of incarceration is not unusual for second DUI convictions in Georgia.
In Georgia, your 2nd DUI conviction can involve driver's licenses suspension (up to 18 months). Additionally, the judge may require you to install an ignition interlock device into your car. This penalty is imposed after your jail sentence is complete and the DDS reinstates your right to drive. In addition to these penalties, you could face 240 hours of mandatory community service, court fees, and other costs.
Common Penalties for Second DUIs in Atlanta, GA
- One to three years of probation, depending on the circumstances of your case
- Community service (240 hours)
- Between 90 days and 12 months in jail (no less than three days)
- Fines (between $600 and $1,000)
- One year of license suspension (you may obtain a limited permit after 120 days if you are in an approved treatment program, but this is subject to approval)
- Ignition interlock device
- Drug counseling (17 weeks)
- License plate surrender
- Court-ordered DUI program
- Red stripe on license
Georgia's New DUI Law for Second Offenses
Beginning in 2013, Georgia implemented new laws that affect the penalties associated with your second DUI. While these changes are generally an improvement for DUI defendants, these benefits come with stipulations and limitations. Additionally, any benefits attached to the new law are subject to the determination of the judge handling your case.
Understanding 2013 Changes to Georgia DUI Law
The biggest change to Georgia DUI laws in 2013 involved limited permits. In the past, individuals convicted of DUI twice within five years were not eligible for to apply for a limited-use permit within the first year of your license suspension. Now, you can apply for a limited permit after 120 days of "hard" suspension. Only drivers who meet specific qualifications are allowed to apply for a limited-used permit after 120 days.
- Your second DUI within 10 years is punishable by no more than 12 months in prison and a $1,000 fine. The mandatory minimum sentence is 72 hours in jail and a $600 fine.
- If you have a prior conviction within the last five years, you must surrender your license plates and pay $25.00 to have notice of your conviction published in the local newspapers.
- If you had a prior DUI within five to ten years, your driver's license will be suspended for at least 18 months. After 120 days, you can apply for a limited permit.
- In order to apply for a limited permit after 120 days of license suspension, you must present a certificate of eligibility from a court-approved substance abuse program.
How to Apply for a Limited Permit
This type of permit only allows you to drive to work, school, alcohol treatment programs, and scheduled visits to monitor the ignition interlock device. To apply for an ignition interlock device limited permit, you must present the following paperwork:
- Certification of Eligibility for the Permit
- Completion Certification from a DUI School
- Proof of Installation (for the Ignition Interlock)
After 18 months, you can apply to reinstate your driving privileges. In order to reinstate your license, you must provide the following:
- A reinstatement fee ($210 or $200 if submitted via mail)
- Court ordered exemption from providing proof of completion for substance abuse program
- Proof that your vehicle had an ignition interlock device for eight months
Contact the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson Today
With more than 25 years of legal experience, The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson is here to provide the aggressive legal defense that you need and deserve. Unlike some firms, we only handle DUI defense. This means that our legal team has spent years honing the rights skill to defend your case in court. To start your case with a free consultation, contact our office today.