4th Atlanta DUI Penalties
While the State of Georgia treats a first DUI seriously, the severity of the penalties increases with each subsequent conviction. The 1st and 2nd DUI are misdemeanors. The 3rd DUI is an aggravated misdemeanor. However, a 4th DUI is a felony. Being convicted of a felony is a life-altering event, that will follow you for the rest of your life. If you never considered hiring an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer to defend you in any of your previous arrests, please consider it now, so you can keep a felony conviction off your record.
As of July 1, 2008, any fourth DUI offense within a lookback period of 10 years will be prosecuted as a felony charge. If the four DUIs came after that date, the 4th DUI is a felony. If any of the prior four came before that date, the 4th DUI is still a misdemeanor.
The penalties for a 4th DUI conviction are severe. You will be serving time in jail, and you will be paying a lot of money in fines, fees and other expenses. Penalties include:
- Prison from 1 year to 5 years (however, the judge can suspend all but 90 days);
- Fine of $1,000 to $5,000;
- Minimum of 60 days (480 hours) of community service;
- Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program;
- Clinical evaluation, and if recommended, completion of a substance abuse treatment program;
- Probation up to 5 years; and
- Revoked driver's license for 5 years, with no permit available for at least 2 years.
Aside from the penalties associated with the 4th DUI, once a person is convicted of a felony, they are labelled a felon, and lose a number of rights most people take for granted. A felony conviction may mean you may not be able to vote, run for office, own a gun, and can lose your job or lose a professional license for many occupations. In addition, a felony will stay on your permanent criminal record for life.
The high costs of a 4th DUI go far beyond any court fines and fees. Any time in prison will be time you won't be able to work or spend time with friends or family. You will be responsible for paying for, and lose time attending DUI school. You will be responsible for paying the costs of the clinical evaluation and any treatment program. You will have to find a way to get around without a vehicle for a minimum of two years. In order to get a limited driving permit, you will need to pay for and install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. After 5 years, you will have to pay to have your license reinstated. All tolled, it will take 5 years after a 4th DUI conviction before you can begin to get a normal life back.
Atlanta Fourth DUI Lawyer
Keeping a felony DUI conviction off your record is worth fighting for. You may think it's difficult to defend a 4th DUI case, but trust me, I've seen worse. There are a number of defenses available, even for multiple DUI offenses, that could result in getting your case dismissed, reduced, or found not guilty. As an experienced Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, I've represented hundreds of clients charged with any number of prior DUIs. I've successfully gotten charges reduced or dismissed, to keep my clients' records clean, so they can put the DUI arrest in the past.
With so much more at stake after a 4th DUI, you need a skilled Atlanta DUI defense lawyer with experience representing people charged with felony DUI. I exclusively handle DUI cases in Atlanta and the North Georgia region. Don't risk a felony criminal record. Call me anytime 24/7, so we can get started to keep you out of jail, and save your license.