Recently on our DUI forum we had a driver ask what are the potential fines and penalties they might face if they were arrested for a drunk driving charge in Brunswick, Georgia. The driver also mentioned they been arrested and convicted of a previous DUI charge.
What does a Brunswick driver need to know?
The first question for any Brunswick driver arrested for a second DUI charge is whether or not they were arrested on July, 1st 2008, or any day after. Georgia used to have a five year look back period for DUI, but in July 2008, the law changed to a 10 year look back law. This means if you were arrested after this date the prosecution has the right to punish you as if you are a repeat offender. For instance, if you were arrested July 2nd, 1998 on a DUI and you were arrested July 1st, 2008 on a DUI, you are a second offender.
Administrative license suspensions in Brunswick, Georgia
Next, the driver needs to understand that if they failed the chemical test of their breath, blood or urine with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher or they refused to take the chemical test, they can have their license immediately suspended through an administrative license suspension.
What if this happens but you are found NOT guilty of DUI? It wont matter. The administrative license suspension is not a criminal suspension, but rather a civil one. It is done by the Department of Public Safety in your state (or the corresponding governmental agency) and is not dependent on a criminal conviction for drunk driving.
What penalties can I receive for a second DUI in Brunswick, Georgia?
Without more information its impossible to say for sure. But in general, you may receive three days to one year in jail, mandatory fines from $600 to $1,000, a license suspension up to three years, thirty days of community service, fees to reinstate your license, a potential mandatory ignition interlock device installation and mandatory attendance in a drug and alcohol program.
Do I need a drunk driving lawyer for a second DUI in Brunswick, Georgia?
Although you may be tempted to simply plead guilty and get the DUI behind you, due to the severity of state penalties and laws its always a good idea to seek legal counsel for a second DUI. The DUI lawyer can also receive the administrative suspension and help you request a hearing to challenge the suspension. Consider, however, this must be done within a specified date from the DUI arrest.
What do you do now?
Review your DUI arrest, find out all the information you can from the DUI arrest and decide whether or not you would like to hire a lawyer. Consider, DUI convictions cannot be expunged from driving records in many states and can haunt you forever.
In Georgia, you can only get a DUI expunged if you were arrested and prosecutor never filed charges against you or if you entered a diversion program in exchange for the prosecutor dismissing the charges. Then you can apply for "expungement" to delete the arrest off your record. If you have been convicted of DUI and the conviction is not considered a clerical error (and a judge signs an order verifying this fact) then it will remain on your record.