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I got a dui in Georgia today and had 2 dui's over 15 years ago in Georgia. Can they be used against me?

Gainesville, GA |

I also had three for a felony conviction over 15 yrs ago in Texas which I served 11 months. Texas never used the dui's in Georgia against me back then, and consequently GA never used the ones in Texas against me either. My bond for this recent dui was rather small only $1200 so a bail bondsman got the release for me for 10%..I have maintained a clean record for the last 15 yrs and its been 17 yrs since my 2nd dui in GA. I have a total of 5 priors in two different states that were over 15 yrs ago I am sure things have changed since then with the laws so.... I am scared...

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

The evidence rules have changed recently so that its harder for the state to use prior charges against you. But, they can try to use those against you for certain limited purposes at trial. This is one reason why you'll need a good DUI attorney on your side. Also, the prosecutor will consider the prior charges during negotiations. Even though the statue only requires harsher punishments for multiple charges within 5 years, the prosecutor will likely be harsher on you when your attorney tries to work out a good deal for you. On the other hand, all of those charges were a very long time ago, and just because you were previously convicted does not mean that you were guilty this time. There are many possible defenses that should be considered, and a good legal argument could result in a reduction in the charges or a victory at a motions hearing or trial. You need to find a good lawyer in a reasonable price range who's serious about fighting the case.

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Do not be paralyzed with fear, simple research and select a good criminal defense counsel practicing in Gainesville, GA to protect your legal interests fully and competently.

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I don't practice in GA, but I believe in GA priors wash out after 10 years. This is to say they can only allege priors that occur within 10 years of your current offense.

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Posted

They can be used against you for aggravation of sentencing. Georgia has a 5 year look back period, then a 10 year, and then a lifetime look back period. The more DUI's you have in the 5 year time period is the most severe, followed by the 10 year period, and then over a lifetime. When calculating the time period it is calculated from date of arrest to date of arrest, and not conviction. As far as using the prior cases against you at trial is going to depend as the laws in Georgia have changed recently. The general answer is no they cannot be used against you at trial, but there are narrow instances where they can be.

James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.

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Posted

I am not really sure what your question is but your first step should be to hire an experienced lawyer to fight your case.

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Yes, the prosecutor and judge will almost certainly take those into account when sentencing if you are convicted. The DUI priors you mention are too old to trigger automatic aggravation, but that doesn't mean you won't be facing much stiffer penalties than someone with a clean record.

My website has a section on typical penalties for DUI convictions. You can find it on www.procterlaw.com.

You should consult with a good DUI lawyer immediately.

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I agree with Attorney Yeargan and Chastine, however you also need to keep the following in mind: your question really goes to the heart of how thorough the team prosecuting you will be and where you were arrested. As mentioned before, the court may use your priors when determining your sentencing. As far as using in a trial scenario, as Attorney Chastine was referring to, Georgia now uses the Federal Rules for evidence so there are some limitations now on using those priors as similar transactions. You need to talk with an attorney at least for a free consultation to discuss and weigh your options.

If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. At this time, I am not accepting professional responsibility on this matter. No attorney/client relationship is created unless and until I receive a signed retainer agreement along with the requested retainer fee. If this matter is truly important to you, hire an attorney. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 678-510-1716 or mbarber@barberlegalcounsel.com if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). Without reviewing the appropriate paperwork It is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Note that I am only licensed in Georgia and thus cannot practice in other states. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. Circular 230 Disclosure: Pursuant to recently-enacted U.S. Treasury Department Regulations, we are now required to advise you that, unless otherwise expressly indicated, any federal tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments and enclosures, is not intended or written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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