What Happens if I Receive a DUI in a Different State?

An out-of-state DUI conviction makes a Georgia DUI case much more complex.

Some people move frequently, usually for employment purposes. So, if you recently moved to Georgia, you may have a DUI in another state on your record. Technically, these convictions are admissible for 10 years. As outlined below, even if the defendant has a foreign (out-of-state) conviction that appears to be within the 10-year window, that foreign conviction may or may not be admissible in a Gwinnett County courtroom.

This issue is significant. A prior foreign conviction may raise a first DUI to a second, a second to a third, and so on. Aggressive prosecutors usually pounce on a prior foreign conviction and use it to enhance charges, even if the foreign conviction is invalid. That is just one example of how a Norcross criminal defense lawyer takes advantage of a prosecutor’s over-aggressive nature and uses it to engineer a favorable plea bargain agreement.

Defending the Case

About 80 percent of defendants provide breath or blood samples, usually a breath sample. These defendants aren’t automatically guilty.

Since they use breath alcohol levels to estimate blood alcohol levels, Breathalyzers have several flaws. Unabsorbed alcohol might be the most common one. Most fluids travel from the stomach to the blood. Alcohol travels from the stomach to the liver to the blood. So, if the defendant has been drinking within the past hour or so, the breath alcohol level is higher than the blood alcohol level since the body has not processed the alcohol.

Blood samples are more accurate. However, they are not 100% accurate. Frequently, attorneys commission independent laboratories to re-test the specimen. These chemical professionals often get different results from the results a police technician claims s/he found.

The field sobriety tests, which usually precede a chemical test, are not perfect, either. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test may be the best example. Alcohol intoxication is not the only cause of nystagmus, a condition also known as lazy eye. In fact, this condition is common. Usually, however, the symptoms are so mild that defendants do not know they have lazy eyes. Therefore, the HGN test is usually only admissible for limited purposes in Georgia.

Reach Out to a Hard-Working Gwinnett County DUI Defense Lawyer

Out-of-state DUIs don’t always affect your case. For a free consultation with an experienced Norcross criminal defense lawyer, contact Zimmerman & Associates, Attorneys at Law.