DUI Attorney in Forsyth County
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Forsyth County, you need an experienced attorney. Whether this is your first DUI offense or you are charged with felony DUI, our experienced DUI Lawyers in Forsyth County are here to help. Remember, a DUI charge is only an allegation. The prosecution still has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There are a variety of Georgia DUI defenses available to you that our Forsyth County DUI Lawyers can use to get your case dismissed or the charges reduced. Call now for a free case evaluation.
What are the Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction in Forsyth County, Georgia?
A person who has already been convicted of DUI in Georgia faces enhanced penalties for a second conviction. The judge or jury may be less likely to view a second DUI as a mistake, but instead, may see it as a pattern of criminal behavior. Georgia law distinguishes between a second DUI committed within five or ten years or outside of five or ten years, with harsher penalties for two DUIs within five years.
A second DUI conviction in Forsyth County is still a misdemeanor charge. However, the penalties are more severe than first DUI charges. The penalties you can expect include:
- 12 - 36 months of probation (depending on whether there are other associated offenses)
- Fines of $600 - $1000
- 90 days to 12 months in jail ( a minimum of 3 days must be served; however few people only get 3 days)
- 240 hours of community service (30 full, 8 hour days)
- License suspension for at least 1 year.
- Ignition Interlock
- Surrender of License Plate
- 17 weeks of Alcohol and drug counseling
- Mandatory Treatment
- Red Stripe on License
- DUI Court Programs - Court Supervised Intensive Alcohol and Drug Treatment
- Publication of Photo in the local newspaper at your own expense (For 2nd DUI conviction within 5 years)
Will My License Be Suspended for a Second DUI Conviction in Georgia?
In 2013, Georgia changed some of the laws regarding a second DUI conviction. If this is your 2nd DUI conviction in 5 years, your license will be suspended for a minimum period of 18 months. The first 120 days is a “hard” suspension, and then, you can apply for a restricted permit that will allow you to drive for limited purposes if you meet certain conditions. You will have to present a certificate of eligibility from a drug court program or enrollment in a substance abuse treatment program. However, the restricted permit is conditioned upon installing an ignition interlock device for a minimum period of 12 months. After the period expires requiring an ignition interlock device, you can apply for a limited permit without the ignition interlock device restriction. You must keep the limited permit for the final 2 months of your 18-month license suspension.
If this is your 2nd DUI in 10 years, and your prior DUI conviction was more than 5 years ago, the Department of Driver Services will consider the conviction as a first offense for license suspension purposes. Your driver's license or privileges will be suspended for a period of one year. If a DUI Risk Reduction course has been completed, you will be eligible for full reinstatement of your driver's license after 120 days. You are eligible for a limited driving permit throughout the entire suspension period.
After you are issued a limited permit, you will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for eight months. After that, the limited permit will be renewable for six-month periods without the ignition interlock device restriction. The judge has the discretion to exempt you from the ignition interlock device requirement if he determines that it would cause undue financial hardship. The cost of installing and maintaining the device can range from $50 to $150 per month. The limiter permit only allows you to drive to work, school, alcohol treatment programs.
After 18 months, you will be able to reinstate your driving privileges. You must provide the following documentation:
- A reinstatement fee ($210 or $200 if submitted by mail)
- Proof that your vehicle had an ignition device for eight months
- An order from a court exempting you from the requirement of completion of a substance abuse treatment program
Hiring an Experienced Forsyth County DUI Lawyer is the Best Step You Can Take for Your Case
Our DUI Lawyers in Forsyth County at The Law Office of Richard S. Lawson have decades of experience helping people charged with DUI. If this is your second DUI charge, you need to call us immediately. A second DUI conviction will have a drastic impact on your life, and then you will have to be extremely careful not to get charged with a third DUI.
Our Forsyth County DUI Lawyers have extensive knowledge of DUI laws and use our insight to aggressively challenge our clients' DUI charges. We build a robust defense strategy and present issues that cast doubts on aspects of the prosecution's case. Then, we can use these issues to negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the second DUI charge.
Forsyth County Superior Court
Forsyth County Superior Court handles all felony DUI cases that originate within Forsyth County limits. Additionally, if your case begins in Forsyth County Probate Court or in Cumming Municipal Court, and you request a jury trial, your case will be bound over to Forsyth Superior Court. There are three judges that sit on Superior Court: the Honorable Chief Judge Jeffery S. Bagley, Judge David L. Dickinson, and Judge Phillip C. Smith. The Superior Court is located at 110 East Courthouse Square, Cumming, GA 30040, and can be reached at 770-781-2120.
Penny Penn serves as Forsyth County's District Attorney, and her office can be reached at 770-781-2125. Willian Finch serves as the Solicitor for Forsyth County, and his office can be reached at 770-781-2145. The Solicitor's office is located at 101 East Courthouse Square, Suite 2084, Cumming, GA 30040.
Forsyth County Probate Court
Forsyth County Probate handles DUI cases that originate outside of Cumming city limits and in the unincorporated parts of Forsyth. The Honorable Judge Lynwood D. Jordan presides over the Court. The Court is located at 100 West Courthouse Square, Suite 008, Cumming GA 30040, and can be reached at 770-781-2140.