Subsequent DUIs in Georgia: A Closer Look

Georgia’s lengthy 10-year lookback period means that an old and forgotten DUI could come back to haunt the defendant.

Some jurisdictions permit DUI defendants to quickly put past mistakes behind them and move on with their lives. But Georgia has a ten-year lookback period. A DUI conviction that is less than a decade old could enhance a new DUI to a second or third DUI. The lookback period clock starts running on the date of conviction, not the date of arrest. Fourth DUIs are rare, mostly because the penalties for a third DUI are so harsh.

Challenging the state’s evidence and taking the bull by the horns is usually the best defense in a DUI, whether it’s the first or fifth one. An experienced Norcross criminal defense lawyer knows what defensive strategies typically work and which ones typically do not work. If the evidence has a weak spot, and it usually does, an attorney knows how to exploit that weak spot and successfully resolve the matter.

Second DUI

Before we go further, we should clarify one thing. Courts can always use old DUIs to enhance sentences, even if they are 50 years old. Additionally, for law enforcement and judicial purposes, sealed records remain on the defendant’s permanent record. However, the prior conviction must be within the ten-year window to enhance a first DUI to a second, a second DUI to a third, and so on.

The penalties involved with a second DUI charge include:

Third and Subsequent DUI

The penalties involved with a third DUI charge include:

The penalties involved with a fourth DUI charge include:

A fourth DUI offense within 10 years is classified as a felony in GA. However, the fourth DUI offense, and all others, must have occurred on or after July 1, 2008, to meet this DUI felony status.

Work With a Gwinnett County DUI Defense Attorney

A prior DUI conviction significantly complicates a current DUI case. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Norcross, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law.