The penalties imposed for conviction of a 2nd DUI offense within a ten-year period of time are set by O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391. The 10-year lookback period is measured from the date of the prior arrest for which you were convicted or for which you entered a nolo contendere plea to the date of the current arrest if you are convicted of DUI or enter a nolo contendere plea to the DUI charge.
Possible Penalties for a 2nd DUI Conviction in Atlanta
For a 2nd DUI conviction (or nolo contendere plea) within 10 years, the following penalties must be imposed:
- A fine of not less than $600.00 and not more than $1,000.00, which fine shall not, except as provided in subsection (g) of this Code section, be subject to suspension, stay, or probation;
- A period of imprisonment (jail) of not fewer than 90 days and not more than 12 months. The judge shall probate at least a portion of such term of imprisonment, in accordance with subparagraph (F) of this paragraph, thereby subjecting the offender to the provisions of Article 7 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 and to such other terms and conditions as the judge may impose; provided, however, that the offender shall be required to serve not fewer than 72 hours of actual incarceration;
- Not fewer than 30 days (240 hours) of community service;
- Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program within 120 days following his or her conviction; provided, however, that if the defendant is incarcerated and such program cannot be completed within 120 days, it shall be completed within 90 days of his or her release from custody. The sponsor of any such program shall provide written notice of the Department of Driver Services’ certification of the program to the person upon enrollment in the program;
- A clinical evaluation as defined in Code Section 40-5-1 and, if recommended as a part of such evaluation, completion of a substance abuse treatment program as defined in Code Section 40-5-1; and
- A period of probation of 12 months less any days during which the person is actually incarcerated;
Prior DUI Convictions in Atlanta
A prior DUI conviction does not necessarily play any role in the actual determination of whether you are guilty of the pending DUI charge. If a prior DUI conviction is to play any role in the determination of guilt in your current DUI case, the prosecutor must comply with the evidentiary rules governing the admissibility of prior bad acts (similar transactions). What they means is that the prosecutor must bring in the officer from the prior DUI in order to introduce that evidence in the current DUI case. Even when the State is successful in introducing evidence of a prior DUI, it is important to recognize that we can frequently effectively address the lack of relevancy of the prior case to the determination of whether you are guilty of the current DUI charge. However, even if the State is unsuccessful in introducing evidence of a prior DUI offense in the trial of your current case, the State can frequently use it for the enhancement of your sentence – whether or not you are convicted of the DUI charge.
One of the foremost concerns that many people facing a 2nd DUI charge worry about is whether they will face considerable jail time if they are convicted. This is obviously a legitimate concern, and while I believe that we can effectively mitigate possible punishment in many cases, below are some of considerations that we must be aware of in evaluating whether considerable jail is a real possibility in your case:
- How recent was the prior DUI conviction?
- Are you currently on probation?
- Were you convicted in the same court in which your current DUI case is pending?
- Are you willing to take aggressive preemptive treatment actions?
- Are there aggravating considerations in the current case, such as cursing at the arresting officer?