Georgia Second Offense DUI Lawyer
Defending Clients Against Their 2nd DUI in GA
A DUI second offense conviction can have catastrophic effects on your personal and work life. If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia and you have already been convicted of DUI at least once in the past five years, you are facing particularly harsh criminal penalties and driver’s license consequences if you are convicted again. Rather than try to resolve this issue alone, you need an experienced and aggressive DUI defense lawyer at your side.
I am George McCranie IV, a Coffee County DUI second offense attorney serving clients throughout southeast Georgia. If you retain me to handle your DUI defense, I will take every opportunity to help you avoid or reduce the serious second DUI consequences. Keep reading to learn more about our approach to defending second DUI charges in Georgia.
Helping Clients Fight Harsh Second DUI Consequences
Under Georgia law, you are guilty of a DUI if your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or more. If you’re under the age of 21, the BAC threshold drops to 0.04%. While you should take every DUI charge seriously, it’s vital that repeat offenders consult with a DUI defense lawyer.
A DUI second offense conviction increases the criminal penalties. A second conviction also increases the driver’s license consequences imposed by the Department of Driver Services (DDS). The DUI second offense consequences include the following:
Typically, a 2nd DUI in GA is a misdemeanor — although there are significant exceptions to this rule. If you’re facing your fourth DUI within ten years or caused property damage or a personal injury, your repeat DUI may become a felony.
Even if you’re facing a misdemeanor, compared to a first DUI, the penalties for a DUI second offense are significantly higher. If convicted of a second offense DUI, the state requires that you spend at least 72 hours — possibly longer, depending on the facts of your case — in jail. In fact, you might face up to a year of jail time and probation. The court will also sentence you to a mandatory minimum of 240 hours of community service.
In addition to jail time, most DUI second offense convictions also involve court costs, fines, penalties, and your mandatory participation in a 20-hour DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
After a second DUI conviction, the court suspends your driver’s license for three years. You will have to wait 12 months to apply for a work permit and 18 months to apply for early reinstatement. Additionally, the court requires that you install an ignition interlock device in order to get a work permit. This will be monitored for a minimum of six months.
The driver’s license consequences of a DUI can affect your entire family. If convicted, the court will confiscate all of your license plates and tags. You may be able to get a special hardship plate for one family car. However, your plate must prominently display “DUI”.
Finally, you’ll also have to participate in a Risk Reduction Program, pay significant fines and reinstatement fees, and complete other requirements before you can regain your driver’s license. One misstep can delay the reinstatement of your driver’s license. And if you’re caught operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, you could face additional penalties and charges.
We Can Help You Understand Georgia’s Look-Back Periods for a DUI Second Offense
Under Georgia law, you can face the elevated penalties associated with a DUI second offense if both drunk driving convictions occur during a “look-back period.” This time period runs from your first arrest ate until your most recent DUI arrest. There are two different look-back periods in Georgia, one for criminal prosecutions and the other for driver’s license penalties.
For criminal cases, there is a ten-year look-back period. For driver’s license-related penalties, the look-back period is five years.
Since this is difficult to understand, let’s use an example. Suppose your first DUI arrest was in 2010. You were convicted, served your sentence, and are then arrested again for another DUI in 2018. Since eight years passed since your last Georgia DUI, you’ll face the increased criminal penalties if you receive a second DUI conviction, but the driver’s license look-back period will have expired.
If you have questions about how Georgia’s two look-back periods apply to your 2nd DUI in GA, contact our office today. We’ll ask questions about your situation and help you understand your legal rights and the potential charges you could face.
However, even if the look-back periods expire, you may still face challenges during both your criminal and administrative cases. Prosecutors, judges, juries, and other decision-makers look very unfavorably on repeat DUI offenders. Even if you’re not technically facing a 2nd DUI in GA, it’s in your best interest to consult with an experienced DUI defense lawyer.
The Sooner You Speak to an Attorney, the Better
George McCranie understands how important your credibility and reputation are to your defense. We’ll help you understand how your criminal record might impact your case. We will also help you build the strongest defense possible under the circumstances. Prosecutors and judges are given wide discretion over DUI cases, and an experienced lawyer can sometimes negotiate a favorable plea deal that eliminates or reduces many of the penalties associated with a DUI offense.
However, do not delay in calling our office. The sooner we start working on your defense, the better.
What If I’m Facing a Drugged Driving Charge?
Just like repeat DUI charges, repeat drugged driving charges involve additional penalties in Georgia. If you’re convicted of a second impaired driving crime that involved drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, the state will suspend your license for a year with very limited exceptions.
While you may be able to get a limited permit for driving to work (if you participate in one of Georgia’s alternative sentencing programs), most of your other driving will be suspended for 12 months.
You may also face a variety of state and federal criminal charges arising out of your drug use and possession. If you’re facing a drugged driving charge, call our office immediately. It’s important that you start building your defenses — with help from a trial-tested defense lawyer — as soon as possible.
Contact a DUI Second Offense Attorney Today
If charged with a 2nd DUI in GA, you need an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer on your side. In order to discuss your charges, please contact my office at 912-384-2889 or by e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation.