According to Georgia state law, a 2nd DUI offense will have increase penalties if both of your convictions take place over a “look-back period.” Georgia uses two types of look-back periods. One applies to criminal convictions, while the other applies to license restrictions. The period begins when you are initially arrested and extends to your newest arrest.
Criminal convictions have a look-back period of ten years. License restrictions have a five-year look-back period.
Many people find this concept hard to grasp. Here’s an example that may clear up some confusion. Say that you’re arrested for your first DUI in 2010. After the arrest, you were convicted and sentenced. Your sentence has been served. In 2018, you’re arrested for a DUI a second time. Because it’s been eight years since your initial DUI charge, you are within the 10-year lookback period for DUI convictions. This means you’ll face additional criminal penalties. However, you will not be within the look-back period for driver’s license restrictions. This means you won’t be facing those extra penalties.
Do you have questions about how the two types of look-back periods in Georgia will apply to your DUI charge? Reach out to Howard & Arca right away. Our DUI lawyers in Atlanta can talk through your case with you. We’ll explain the charges you’re facing and will make sure you’re aware of your rights under the law.
- 1 What if I get a 2nd DUI After the Lookback Period Expires?
- 2 What Charges am I Facing with a Second DUI in Georgia?
- 3 What Happens to Your Driver’s License After a 2nd DUI?
- 4 Is a Second DUI in Georgia a Misdemeanor or Felony Offense?
- 5 Can my Community Service Hours be Lowered, or “Bought Out”?
- 6 How Much are Fines for a Second DUI in Atlanta?
- 7 What Are The Criminal Penalties for a Second DUI in Georgia?
- 8 Can I get a Restricted License after my Second DUI?
- 9 Is the Time Between my First and Second DUI Important?
- 10 How can I Avoid Jail Time for a Second DUI?
- 11 What are the Chances of Winning a Repeat DUI Case?
What if I get a 2nd DUI After the Lookback Period Expires?
Even if both look-back periods are expired, there may be additional challenges that you’ll have to deal with. Repeated offenses are frowned upon by judges, prosecutors, juries, and anyone else that might be deciding your fate. That’s why you’ll want to talk to one of the expert DUI attorneys at Howard & Arca. You may be facing more severe DUI penalties even if the look-back periods have expired.
In Atlanta, GA, the punishment for a second DUI offense is more severe than the punishment for a first-time offense. You should be aware that these punishments aren’t based on a person’s lifespan. O.C.G.A. 40-6-391(c)(2) uses a 10-year look-back period that begins with a person’s first arrest. If you were arrested and convicted of a DUI in January of 2003 and were arrested again in December of 2012, the second arrest would take place within that 10-year period. Because of this, you would face the penalties for a second DUI charge.
It’s important to remember that your plea does not impact this. Whether you pleaded guilty or entered a nolo contendere please, you’ll still be facing the same punishment for future convictions.
What Charges am I Facing with a Second DUI in Georgia?
If you are convicted of a DUI for the second time within a 10-year period, these are the criminal punishments you’ll be facing:
- The minimum fine will increase to $600. However, the maximum fine, $1,000, will remain the same.
- Jail time will increase from 90 days to 12 months. As is the case for a first-time conviction, a judge will have the option of suspending a sentence or sentencing someone to probation rather than imprisonment. However, offenders will be required to spend at least 72 hours in the country jail.
- 30 eight-hour days of community service. This means 240 hours of community service in total. It’s important to remember that this is the minimum.
- Offenders will have to complete educational programs a second time.
- Individuals must complete drug & alcohol evaluation and comply with recommendations for treatment.
- There will be a minimum probation period of 12 months. However, time spent in jail will be subtracted from that period. Early termination is not an option.
What Happens to Your Driver’s License After a 2nd DUI?
Any driver’s license restrictions that occur because of a DUI conviction are considered to be an “administrative consequence.” This means these consequences are not considered to be a type of punishment. It’s not something that will be imposed upon you in a court of law. When it comes to “administrative consequences,” a five-year period from arrest to arrest is considered.
If you’ve been convicted of a DUI for the second time in five years, you won’t receive an Affidavit of First Conviction. Instead, O.C.G.A. 40-50-63 states that you will face a three-year license suspension. You will have to wait for 18 months before you’re eligible for full license reinstatement. With that said, your lawyer will be able to request that a limited driving permit that requires you to drive with an ignition interlock device at the time of your conviction. Whether or not this is approved is at the discretion of the judge.
If the judge approves this request, your license will still be suspended for 120 days. Once this time has passed, you can bring a signed certificate from the judge to the Department of Driver Services. In order to obtain your permit, you will need to demonstrate that you meet O.C.G.A. requirements for clinical treatment or Drug Court programs.
You will need to have an ignition interlock device installed in every vehicle that is registered under your name. The device must remain in these vehicles for a one-year period. During that period, you can not legally drive any vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device. Once the monitoring period has passed, the restrictions involving ignition interlock devices will be lifted. You will have the option of renewing the limited permit for periods of two months. After 18 months, you will be eligible to have your license fully reinstated.
Is a Second DUI in Georgia a Misdemeanor or Felony Offense?
A second DUI charge in 10 years is typically considered to be a misdemeanor. However, that could change if the accident results in a severe injury or death. If individuals under the age of 14 are in the vehicle, you could also face child endangerment charges. Still, the majority of second DUIs in the city of Atlanta are misdemeanors.
With that said, you should be aware that any misdemeanor offense in Georgia can still be punished by up to 12 months in jail. If you spent time in jail after you were arrested for your second DUI, this time will be subtracted from your sentence. Your sentence will be decided by the judge overseeing your case. It’s very common for judges to deliver stiff jail sentences in Georgia.
Can my Community Service Hours be Lowered, or “Bought Out”?
If you live in a county that has accountability courts, such as Veteran’s court, DUI court, or Drug court, Georgia allows these courts to reduce community service hours.
How Much are Fines for a Second DUI in Atlanta?
Georgia’s DUI laws have changed recently. Because of this, the potential surcharges for DUI drug cases are very high. They could total more than 100% of the total fines. These surcharges are applicable to any traffic crimes, but the percentage is far less punitive. While fines range from $600 to $1,000, you can expect to add 65% or more in surcharges and fees.
What Are The Criminal Penalties for a Second DUI in Georgia?
In addition to community service, fines, jail time, and other additional penalties that are added on by the court, there are additional criminal penalties faced by someone that is convicted of a second DUI.
Your mug shot will be posted in a local newspaper along with a summary of your case. You will be responsible for covering the cost of this. Vehicle registration tags in your name will be confiscated in turn. Alternatively, you will be ordered to turn in these tags within 10 days of your conviction. This is done to prevent additional crimes.
You’ll be required to undergo assessment for drug and alcohol addiction. You will need to participate in a DUI program. If you want to be able to legally drive in the state of Georgia, you will also need to complete court-mandated treatment and counseling. You will also have to cover the cost of an interlock ignition device and any reinstatement fees.
Can I get a Restricted License after my Second DUI?
It’s possible to obtain a restricted license after a second DUI charge in 10 years if you have gone five years without a conviction. With that said, you’ll want to meet with a DUI attorney as soon as possible so that they can protect your legal rights. For example, your lawyer can ensure that you’re able to drive in the 30 days immediately following your arrest.
Your attorney can file a GA DDS appeal, which will give them control over the administrative license appeal as well as your criminal case. If you don’t take steps to maintain the driving privilege that you have, you may not be able to obtain a limited permit. Most drivers in the state of Georgia will have the option of driving with an ignition interlock device for a one-year period.
Is the Time Between my First and Second DUI Important?
Even though the look-back period lasts for 10 years, arrests in the last five years can determine whether or not you’re able to legally drive in the state of Georgia. There is a significant difference between the second DUI in five years and an offense that’s the second DUI in 10 years, but the first in the last five, at least when it comes to driving privileges.
As an example, if you’ve been convicted for the second time in five years, you will lose all driving privileges for a total of 120 days. Afterward, you may be eligible for a limited permit that will allow you to drive to and from work and nowhere else. Even this requires the driver to install and maintain an ignition interlock device. This will be done at the driver’s expense.
If someone has been convicted of the second offense in 10 years, but the first offense in five, they may be able to have their driving privileges fully reinstated without an ignition interlock device. The last 10 years are considered when it comes to criminal penalties. However, when it comes to administrative consequences, the last five years are considered.
The lookback period for DUI charges was increased to ten years on July 1, 2008. During this time, laws were also changed so that the fourth DUI conviction in 10 years would be considered a felony. This change to the law increased the window of time in which a repeat offender could face more several criminal penalties, such as longer jail time, larger fines, and more community service hours. However, the law did not apply the new 10-year lookback period to administrative consequences like driver’s license suspension.
How can I Avoid Jail Time for a Second DUI?
If you want to stay out of jail, you’ll want to work with experienced DUI lawyers in Atlanta. They’ll work hard to win your case. If your attorney is able to negotiate a plea, they may be able to keep you out of jail. They may even be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
What are the Chances of Winning a Repeat DUI Case?
It can be difficult to win a DUI case if you talked too much at the time on your arrest, especially if that case will be in front of a jury. You may have made statements that incriminated you. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to tell the police anything but your name and address. However, a bench trial is still an option. This type of trial will take place in front of a judge. No jury will be present.
With the support of an experienced legal team, it’s easier to win a DUI case than you might assume. Of course, this will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you’re facing a 2nd DUI in Atlanta contact our DUI law firm to review your defense options.