Tag Archives: DUI

No Laughing Matter: The Serious Consequences of a Second DUI Conviction

One DUI is certainly one more than anyone needs or wants, but a second DUI conviction carries the very real possibility of hefty fees and fines, significant jail time, hundreds of hours of community service, long-term license suspension, and tag forfeiture of any car titled in your name.
The Georgia legislature has enacted strongly worded laws and put in place severe penalties for anyone convicted of driving under the influence for the second time. While some of the penalties may be lessened at the discretion of a lenient judge, in general, second-time offenders should expect to receive a lengthy, expensive, and difficult punishment.

Expense
A second DUI carries a heavy financial burden. The state of Georgia charges a minimum of $600 in DUI fines, but in many cases judges raise the fine to over $1,000. This fine is in addition to 40% of that amount in statutory surcharges. While that number by itself is daunting, keep in mind that it does not include DUI attorney’s fees, lost wages due to missed work, the expense of completing court-mandated alcohol or driving education, or the transportation costs incurred after you lose your license.

Time
Second-time Georgia DUI offenders face between three days and 12 months in jail. A judge may reduce the requisite jail time, but offenders must spend a minimum of 72 hours behind bars. In Metro Atlanta, it is common for second-time DUI offenders to spend around 10 days in jail. You must complete a clinical alcohol and drug evaluation and attend what is commonly referred to as ‘DUI school.’ Factor in any time spent in your attorney’s office, in court, or performing the mandatory 240 hours of community service, and a second DUI is likely to have extremely time-consuming consequences.

Stress
The stress of a second arrest, incarceration, court date, and loss of any driving for a at least four months  – can take a heavy emotional toll on both the offender and his or her loved ones. Adding to the stress of the experience is the embarrassment of having your photo and DUI conviction published in the local legal newspaper. When the requisite four-month period of license suspension is up, offenders must deal with the stress and expense of applying for a limited permit. In order to obtain a limited permit, the offender’s vehicle must be outfitted – at the offender’s expense – with an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) for 12 months. Then you are entitled to a limited permit with no IID for 2 more months before becoming eligible for full license reinstatement.

Clearly, a second DUI conviction creates significant hardship for the offender. If you have been charged as a second-time DUI offender, it’s crucial to contact an experienced DUI lawyer who knows the law and defends DUI cases. Atlanta DUI attorney Mickey Roberts has been successfully fighting for drivers for over 34 years. Connect with Mickey on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Vehicular Homicide Continued: Misdemeanor, Feticide, & Serious Injury Crashes

Last month, I filled you in on the ins and outs of felony vehicular homicide. To recap, determining felony vehicular homicide depends largely on the traffic violations committed, including reckless driving, DUI, fleeing/eluding, and leaving the scene of the accident. Generally, if found guilty of felony vehicular homicide in Georgia, you can expect a punishment of 3 to 15 years in prison, though habitual violators can face up to 20 years.

As a seasoned traffic and DUI lawyer in Georgia, I have experience in defending cases involving other facets of vehicular homicide outside of felony, including misdemeanor, feticide, and serious injury crashes. All of these classifications have varying implications, but all involve a driver’s actions as the proximate cause of death or cause of serious injury. Vehicular homicide in the 2nd Degree is known as a misdemeanor. In Georgia, any person who causes the death of another person as a result of traffic violations other than the felony predicate offenses commits this offense.

For example, if you were to run a red light, crash into another car, and cause the death of another person, it would be classified as vehicular homicide in the 2nd Degree.  To be found guilty of misdemeanor vehicular homicide, the judge or jury is required to find that the person committed a traffic offense other than the felony vehicular homicide predicate offenses. Subsequently, it must be found that the person’s unlawful acts were the proximate cause of death. For this offense, you can be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months.

Another aspect of vehicular homicide is feticide by vehicle. The elements and punishment for felony feticide by vehicle are the same as felony vehicular homicide, with the same rule applying to misdemeanor vehicular homicide. Feticide by vehicle is defined as causing the death of an unborn child, at any stage of development that is carried in the womb, within a car crash.

Lastly, any person who brings about serious injury to another person as a result of reckless driving or DUI commits the offense of serious injury by vehicle. “Serious injury” is defined as “depriving a person of a member of his body, by rendering a member of his body useless, by seriously disfiguring his body or a member thereof, or by causing organic brain damage, which renders the body or any member thereof useless.” In order to be found guilty of serious injury by vehicle, the judge or jury must find that the person committed either reckless driving or DUI. Subsequently, they must find that the person’s unlawful acts were the proximate cause of serious injury. This offense is a felony that comes with a sentence from one to 15 years in prison. If convicted of serious injury by vehicle, the person will face 3 years of driver’s license suspension, no work permit available.

Navigating the various facets of vehicular homicide and serious injury crashes can be daunting and often times confusing. If you find yourself in any of the situations described, I urge you to contact a professional to aid in your case. To contact a reputable lawyer in Georgia, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for traffic law updates and news.

Case of the Month: DUI with Drugs Involved Turns into a City Ordinance Violation

While marijuana laws are changing all over the United States, the facts remain unchanged in Georgia: have it in your possession or drive under the influence, and law enforcement will not be happy. For an example, let’s examine this edition of my Case of the Month series featuring underage DUI involving marijuana.

dui with drugs

An underage client of mine was stopped by a police officer for making an illegal left turn.  When the officer approached the car, he smelled the telltale odor of marijuana drifting from inside. My client admitted to smoking marijuana prior to being stopped with his girlfriend, a passenger in the car. 

After performing field sobriety evaluations, my client was arrested for DUI for being under the influence of marijuana. When the officer requested a urine test, my client consented.  The urine test came back positive for marijuana. Georgia law states that a person is guilty of a DUI if that person “drives a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana to the extent that person is rendered incapable of driving safely.”  Since marijuana is detectable in urine even a month after use, it is possible to be convicted of this type of DUI weeks after it was last used, if the State can prove, through physical appearance, driving, and field sobriety evaluations, that you were incapable of driving safely. This is part of what makes marijuana DUIs so tricky.

Because of my client’s age, even a plea to reckless driving would have resulted in a 6-month suspension. The key to a urine test is that by the time marijuana (or its inactive ingredient) gets into your urine, you are no longer under the influence of the effects of the marijuana.  In this case, I was able to resolve the case as follows: the DUI was reduced entirely, and the client pled to a city ordinance violation, which did not go on his driving record or on his criminal history.

There are hundreds of ways to win a DUI case, especially when you consult an experienced DUI and traffic lawyer in your area. We just need to be open and creative enough to find the way for each particular case. To contact a reputable lawyer in Georgia, contact me, Mickey Roberts. Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for traffic law updates and news.

What Happens When You Are Arrested for DUI?

Whether you have been arrested for DUI (Driving under the Influence) for the first time or multiple times, you may be wondering how the DUI process works and exactly what you should be doing NOW.  Below, DUI attorney Mickey Roberts details step-by-step what happens when you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI.

  1. After suspicion or probable cause (for example, operating your vehicle in an unusual or illegal manner), an officer stops your vehicle and requests you to pull over before obtaining your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and insurance card.
  2. After providing the police with your license and insurance, tell the officer you are invoking your 4th Amendment rights. Also tell him/her that you are invoking your 5th Amendment rights as well.
  3. If the officer suspects you are under the influence of alcohol, you will be asked to submit to field sobriety tests such as horizontal gaze, walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand evaluations.
  4. Following the field sobriety tests, if the officer suspects nothing, you will be released. However, if the officer has probable cause, you will be placed under DUI arrest and taken to the police station. You will be asked to submit chemical testing of breath, blood, or urine.
  5. … Do NOT refuse to take the State chemical tests UNLESS you have had enough alcohol to be above the .08 limit. If you refuse to take the test, your license could be suspended for one year.
  6. If you are under 21, or this is not your first DUI in five years, it is recommended that you refuse to take any state chemical test of blood, breath, or urine. Otherwise, request a blood test and independent breath test with another police department immediately after arrest, and then take the state test(s). Do not refuse to the take the State test outright or your license will be suspended for one year.
  7. Once in custody, invoke your right to an attorney—however, you are not guaranteed the right to call an attorney for advice on a roadside stop. Memorize and print your legal rights NOW to avoid problems at the scene.
  8. You are required to post bond and may be incarcerated until bond is posted.
  9. Your vehicle may be towed, impounded, or seized.
  10. Keep in mind: If you register over .08 on the state chemical test or refuse completion, you only have ten business days from the arrest to request a hearing from the department of Public Safety before your driver’s license will be inevitably suspended.


Stay tuned for a blog coming soon for more on what happens after your arrest. If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

New Practice Area: Criminal History Restriction

arrested for duiDo any of the following categories apply to you after being charged with a crime? You…

  • Were found not guilty
  • Had your case dismissed
  • Entered into a first offender type plea
  • Were under 21 at the time of the charge


If any of the classifications above pertain to your case, you’ll want to talk to Georgia DUI attorney Mickey Roberts about the new Georgia “Restriction” Law. The law was formerly known as expungment, a process whereby a person’s criminal arrest is deleted. In most States expungment is not available for a DUI arrest; however, involving an experienced attorney can make all of the difference in finding success from your case.

The new Georgia “Restriction” Law enables you to, under certain circumstances, go back and have your arrest restricted from public access or corrected if it is showing an incorrect disposition. You may also be able to get court and jail records sealed.

Recently, I have been able to get a 2002 DUI arrest record restricted from public access, diminishing the possibility of the past creeping into your present and getting in the way of your opportunities. Additionally, I had a record corrected, enabling my client to either obtain the record or have it restricted, allowing them to at least be able to show employers that the underlying DUI in the case was dismissed.

Don’t let your DUI obstruct your career path. Contact Mr. GA DUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

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Disclaimer

The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
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