If you have multiple DUIs on your record, call the DUI attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland LLP. We serve clients throughout Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Hall County, Barrow County, Jackson County, and Dawson County.
Being charged with driving under the influence (“DUI”) in Georgia has serious repercussions. If you’re being charged with DUI while having prior DUIs on your criminal record, then the potential consequences are even more grave. Being convicted of a second, third, or fourth DUI has significantly greater and more damaging penalties, such as greater fines and potentially mandatory imprisonment.
At the Law Office of Banks, Stubbs & McFarland LLP, we specialize in DUI defense. Our lead DUI lawyer, Phil Pilgrim, previously tried hundreds of DUI cases as a Georgia prosecutor. As a result, he understands the tactics of local prosecutors and is in the best position to protect you from overzealous prosecution. If you have been charged with DUI, please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.
In Georgia, there are two types of DUI charges: (1) DUI per se and (2) DUI less safe. To be convicted of a DUI per se, the prosecution must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) in excess of the legal limit.
Georgia law defines three separate BAC limits depending on the specific individual. For an individual who is 21 years of age and older, the allowable BAC is 0.08. For an individual who is 21 years of age and older and operating a commercial vehicle, the legal BAC limit is 0.04. For those under 21 years of age, the legal BAC limit is 0.02. If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI while operating a vehicle and your BAC is in excess of the legal BAC limit, you will be charged with a DUI per se.
Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you may still be charged with a DUI less safe. A DUI less safe does not require your BAC to be in excess of the legal limit. Rather, the prosecution must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle while under the effects of alcohol, and your impaired ability was “less safe.” Regardless of which DUI you have been charged with, the effects for multiple DUIs are the same.
Under Georgia law, penalties for multiple DUI convictions grow increasingly more severe with each successive DUI conviction. When determining DUI penalties for an individual with prior DUI convictions, the court and prosecutors will employ two different look-back periods.
When determining the consequences associated with an individual’s driver’s license, a 5-year look-back period is used. However, when determining criminal consequences such as fines and imprisonment, a 10-year look-back period is used. These look-back periods apply to minimal punishments.
This means that DUI convictions within the look-back period must be considered when evaluating statutorily prescribed minimum penalties. However, the courts and prosecutors can look well beyond the mandatory look-back period and will often consider the individual’s entire criminal record. Thus, despite being convicted of a DUI 20 years ago, that DUI may still be assessed as an aggravating factor and result in repeat offender penalties.
For an individual convicted of a DUI with at least one prior DUI on his or her record, the following penalties could apply:
In addition to the above penalties, the following penalties specifically apply to commercial drivers:
Note that if any prior DUI convictions are outside the look-back window, the court may decide not to consider them and thus result in a “first offense” penalty, although this is rare.
If you’ve been charged with DUI, especially if you have prior DUI convictions, you will need an aggressive legal defense to avoid severe fines and penalties. Phil Pilgrim, having previously trained Georgia law enforcement on DUI detection, enforcement, and handling as a prosecutor, is now one of the most experienced and effective DUI defense attorneys in Georgia.
Despite what may seem to be an “open and shut” case, Attorney Pilgrim will meticulously review all aspects of your case, including the police’s rationale for the initial stop, their process for DUI testing, their handling of any samples, and their introduction of evidence.
By identifying law enforcement errors relating to your charges, Phil Pilgrim can raise a zealous defense against the prosecution and may even be able to keep your blood sample evidence out of court. Regardless of what you may believe regarding your case, an experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to find holes in the prosecution’s case.
Our law firm is located in Suwanee Georgia, but we provide legal services for clients in and around Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Hall County, Barrow County, Jackson County, and Dawson County.
If you have been charged with DUI, please contact our offices today for a free consultation.
We are located in Suwanee Georgia, but we defend clients throughout Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Hall County, Barrow County, Jackson County, and Dawson County. Contact our Atlanta law firm as soon as possible to learn how we advocate for your best interests.