Have You Been Charged with Your Second DUI in Georgia?
The penalties for a second DUI are significantly harsher than for a first DUI. If this is your second DUI and you have already been convicted of DUI within the last 10 years, Georgia law calls for increased fines, jail time, and penalties. The importance of hiring an experienced Georgia DUI Attorney cannot be overstated. Our experience can mean the difference between a reduction to reckless driving and a 2nd DUI conviction within 10 years. If your first DUI was a walk in the park and you think you can handle this one, rest assured you will be shocked when you learn how your life is about to change. Your situation can go from bad to worse very quickly if you fail to hire a knowledgeable 2nd DUI lawyer in Georgia.
30 Day Warning!
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia, you only have 30 days to appeal the suspension of your driver's license. A failure to file for an ALS hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your driver's license. Furthermore, if you refused the state's chemical test, your license will automatically be suspended for one year without an option for a limited permit.
Penalties for Your Georgia Second DUI
In Georgia, a 2nd DUI conviction is generally still treated as a misdemeanor. However, Georgia law dictates that the accused must serve a minimum of 3 days in jail, but prosecutors and judges often assign more time upon conviction. Each city and county is different but 10-90 days of jail time for a second DUI is common. As stated earlier, the punishments increase significantly for a conviction for a second DUI in Georgia. Second DUI punishments in Georgia can include:
- Fines between $600-$1,000
- 90 days to 12 months in jail (Minimum of 3 days are required to be served)
- 12 months of probation
- 240 hours (30 days) of community service
- Driver's license suspension for at least one year
- Ignition interlock device must be installed on the vehicle
- License plate surrender
- DUI Court programs
- Mandatory drug or alcohol treatment program
- Publication of photo in the local newspaper
In 2013, the DUI laws changed and the maximum penalty for a second DUI conviction in Georgia within 10 years is 12 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine plus court charges. The minimum penalty is 72 hours in jail with credit for time served after arrested and a $600 fine.
If this is your second DUI conviction within 5 years in Georgia, then you must pay a $25 fee to publish a notice of your conviction and a photograph in your county newspaper. You must also surrender your license plates to all vehicles registered in your name.
If convicted of DUI, that mark will stay on your record for the rest of your life. While community service and jail time will eventually end, your DUI conviction could impact you for the rest of your life. A DUI conviction on your record can make it difficult to obtain employment, apply for scholarships, or receive credit.
License Suspension for 2nd DUI in Georgia
In addition to increased community service hours and jail time, a 2nd DUI in Georgia within 5 years will come with a license suspension up to 18 months. There is no limited permit available for the first couple of months. This is referred to as a “hard suspension.” After 120 days, you may become eligible for a limited driving permit if you meet certain conditions. The limited permit applies to drivers of all ages.
To apply for the limited permit after the 120 days, you must present a certificate of eligibility from a drug court program or proof of enrollment in substance abuse treatment. A clinical evaluation must be completed before enrolling in the treatment program. The judge issues the certification of eligibility from a drug court program, and they can decide whether or not to issue the certificate.
If you are granted a limited permit, you will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device for eight months. While a first DUI gives you the option to install an ignition interlock device, a 2nd DUI requires an ignition interlock device to be installed before your license is reinstated. After the first 8 months, the limited permit can be renewed for six-month periods without the ignition interlock device. Installation and maintenance for the interlock device can be expensive ranging from $50-$150 per month. If the device would cause undue financial hardship, the judge has the discretion to exempt you from installing the device on your vehicle.
A limited driving permit will allow you to drive to work, school, court, probation, substance abuse counseling, DUI school, and community service. You can also drive an immediate family member who does not have their license to work, school, medical care, and to pharmacies to pick up or drop off prescriptions.
After the total 18 month suspension period has passed, you will be eligible for early reinstatement of your driver's license. The maximum license suspension period is 3 years if you are not ineligible for reinstatement. The requirements for reinstatement include:
- Proof that an ignition interlock device was maintained for a period of 8 months
- Or an order from a court exempting you from this requirement
- Proof of completion of a substance abuse treatment program if required by a clinical evaluation
- A $210.00 reinstatement fee ($200.00 if submitted by mail)
You Do Not Have to Face These Punishments
It is very important that you understand you do not have to face these harsh consequences. As experienced Georgia DUI Attorneys, we will work hard to protect you from unnecessary consequences of DUI charges. Georgia DUI laws give the prosecutors and judges tremendous discretion in sentencing. Our lawyers use our extensive knowledge of the law, the specifics of your case, and a good working relationship with the prosecutor to reach an agreeable deal. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, we are just as confident in taking your case to trial to achieve the best result. We want you to understand that there is hope for your case! There are various Georgia DUI Defenses we can use to support your case.
The punishments for a second DUI in Georgia are very severe in hopes of deterring people from getting in trouble again. There is no doubt that these consequences will impact you, your family, your job, and your future. Our 2nd DUI Attorneys have represented thousands of repeat DUI offenders and know how to be successful in your case.
A 2nd DUI in Georgia is a serious matter. To achieve your desired outcome, you must hire an experienced and knowledgeable DUI lawyer. Our attorneys have been practicing DUI law in Georgia for over 20 years and will advise you on what to expect after your arrest. We will walk you through every step of the process and inform you of your options. Let us take the pressure off you and get started on your best defense. Call now.