Have you Been Declared a Habitual Violator in Georgia?
In order to be declared a habitual violator, you must have been convicted of three major offenses within a five-year period. One example of a serious offense is DUI. Driving while being declared a habitual violator is a felony. If you have been deemed a Habitual Violator in Georgia, or what is commonly called HV, you are not allowed to drive for up to 5 years. After 2 years you may qualify for a special HV permit. There are potentially different penalties if the violation is of the Habitual Violator Permit or HV overall. Both penalties will be covered below.
The Office of Lawson and Berry has over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience in Georgia. We are familiar with the Georgia Habitual Violator cases and know how to defend against them and obtain creative outcomes. We are dedicated to helping you receive a favorable result in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Common Penalties for Habitual Violators in Georgia
After committing three major offenses in five years, your license will be suspended for 5 years. However, you may have the ability to get a limited permit after two years if you completed a treatment program among other conditions. Other penalties associated with habitual violators include:
- Fine between $1,000 and $5,000.
- Ignition interlock device
- Up to 5 years in prison
- At least 30 days of community service
- Attend DUI course
- Five years probation minus time served
- Mandatory completed of a clinical evaluation
- Completion of a treatment program if recommended by the evaluator (this can't be waived by a judge)
There are 4 different levels of the HV criminal offense in Georgia
- The first and less serious Habitual Violator offense is violating the HV limited permit. In this situation, you are legally driving on the HV permit but driving outside the limitations of the permit. If you drive outside of the places you are allowed, then you will be guilty of Misdemeanor Habitual Violator. You could lose your permit for the remainder of your 5 year suspension. On a limited Habitual Violator permit you are allowed to drive in the following circumstances:
- Going to your place of employment or performing the normal duties of your occupation
- Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs (the doctor or pharmacy)
- Attending a college or school at which you are regularly enrolled as a student
- Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner
- Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug treatment program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in revocation of his driver's license or by the commissioner.
- The second level of HV offense is being caught driving after being declared a Habitual Violator without a limited permit. Even if you are not DUI but are simply caught driving in this situation, you have committed a felony punishable with 1 to 5 years in prison. A felony in Georgia is a serious and life-changing charge. It is very common that persons charged with an HV Felony in Georgia will be sentenced to prison. Prison is not the county jail. Prison means the State Penitentiary. In addition, you will lose your right to vote and your right to own a firearm. As a result you must take a charge of HV very seriously.
- The third and most serious level of Habitual Violator being caught DUI (or committing another serious offense) while being HV. In that situation you are facing being made into a convicted felon, as well as facing additional consequences for the DUI and other charges. The DUI itself may be a 4th DUI in Georgia, which in and of itself can be a felony DUI. All of these potential punishments can be made to run consecutive. That means you can face more than 5 years in prison. Time is of the essence. You need the help of the best DUI lawyers in Georgia. In addition, you will be well advised to check yourself into a treatment program to show the court you are not a danger to society.
- The fourth and least serious HV charge in Georgia is being found driving after your 5 year license suspension has expired but you have not reinstated your Georgia Driver's license. Effectively, you could have gone and got your license back but failed to do it. This is Misdemeanor Habitual Violator in Georgia. You will be facing consequences for committing a misdemeanor in Georgia, including up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1000.
Being declared a habitual violator in Georgia is not something to be taken lightly. It will have drastic consequences on your everyday life. Call our office to receive a free case evaluation and to see how we can help with your case. Many people assume nothing can be done about their case when there is nothing further from the truth! Our 50 years of criminal defense experience is unparalleled and we will do everything possible to reach a favorable outcome in your case.