If you are an Atlanta driver facing your third DUI charge, unfortunately you will be going to jail and you will be losing your license for an extended period of time. How long you spend in jail and off the road, however, varies widely based on the factors the judge is willing to consider in reducing or suspending your penalties.
Third DUI in Atlanta: An Aggravated Misdemeanor
A third DUI charge is a high or aggravated misdemeanor in the state of Georgia, and if convicted for a third DUI offense, you will be declared a “habitual violator” under Georgia law. “Third DUI” means your third DUI within the last 10 years, with the clock starting on the date of arrest for your first DUI charge.
The penalties imposed for a third DUI are harsh and numerous. The mandatory fine for a third DUI offense is between $1,000 and $5,000 and the term of imprisonment is between one and five years in prison. The judge may at his or her sole discretion reduce these penalties, and he or she will be more likely to do so if the right mitigating circumstances are presented. The mandatory fine for your third DUI offense may be reduced to statutory minimum, or at least converted into a manageable payment plan, if the fine would result in a large enough economic hardship to the accused. Another option for reducing the fine by up to one half below the mandatory level is if the accused voluntarily enters a substance abuse treatment program.
The minimum mandatory sentence of one year imprisonment may also be stayed at a judge's sole discretion. The law obligates, however, that you must spend a minimum sentence of 15 days imprisonment.
Additional penalties for a third DUI offense include a minimum of 30 days community service, enrollment in a DUI risk reduction program, and a mandatory clinical evaluation, which may result in court ordered enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program.
Your driver's license will be revoked for five years and you will be given one year probation at the end of any sentence. Finally, you will be subjected to the humiliation of having your name, picture, and home zip code published in the local newspaper, at your expense.
If you have been charged with your third DUI offense, most of the penalties described above may be lessened if the right mitigating circumstances are presented to the judge.
You may think your situation is bad, but trust me, we have almost certainly seen worse. There are many arguments available to reduce the penalties you may be facing, no matter what happened when you were arrested. If you have been charged with a third DUI, the path ahead may look hopeless. Call our office today and let our experienced teamrestore your hope. I can help find mitigating circumstances even in seemingly egregious cases. The very severe penalties for subsequent mean is imperative that drivers who are facing a third DUI conviction seek experienced, specialized legal representation.