My Cousin Danny
You’re out to dinner with your wife, boyfriend, friend, mother, children, whoever and you have a few drinks. Perhaps you are coming back from a Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs, Atlanta United, Hawks, Gladiators, Panthers, or Yellow Jacket game and you had been tailgating. Maybe you were downtown living it up a bit too much. No matter what the reason people drive after drinking. But just that fact that you had consumed alcohol before operating a motor vehicle does not mean you are guilt of DUI. In general, there are two types of DUI in DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and the State of Georgia; DUI less safe and DUI Per se.
You are now in two Fights
What many people do not realize is that an arrest for driving while intoxicated triggers both criminal and civil penalties against the accused. You have two separate fights on your hands: one with in Court, and one with the Department of Driver Services. In the civil context a person will face license suspension from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). A person can challenge the suspension through administrative proceedings conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH). The criminal prosecution for a DUI is handled in a State Magistrate, State, or Superior Court. The penalties and Statutes covering DUI can be found in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).
What are the Penalties I am Facing?
The fines, jail time and punishments you will receive for a DUI in Dekalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and every County of Georgia depends on how many other DUIs you have been convicted of and how far apart they were.
Remember, you are in two separate but related fights. Georgia has two look back periods: one for criminal penalties (DUI), and another for driver’s license penalties (DDS). The look back period for a DUI is ten years. For example, if you were arrested for a DUI in DeKalb County Georgia (and convicted in DeKalb County State Court) in 2006 and then arrested for DUI again in 2017 in Fulton County Georgia. The 2017 DUI will count as a first DUI for purposes of the criminal punishment; even though it’s technically your second DUI. This is because the two arrests were more than ten years apart. If you’re arrested for DUI in Cobb County Georgia (and convicted in Cobb County Superior Court) in 2006, 2008, and 2017, your 2017 Cobb County DUI will be treated as your second in ten years, even though it’s your third lifetime DUI. The DUI look back period dictates only the minimum fines and jail time. Judges can still consider how many prior DUIs you’ve had when deciding what punishment to impose on you. If you have a history of repeat DUIs, you’ll very likely face stiffer penalties than a true first offender would face, regardless of how long ago your priors were.
For driver’s license penalties and suspensions, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) uses a five-year look-back period. A DUI Gwinnett County conviction will be considered a second, third, or subsequent conviction for license purposes if you had other DUI arrests in Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb or in the State of Georgia which resulted in convictions within the previous five years.
No Prior DUIs
A first conviction for a DUI will be a minimum fine of $300.00 up to a maximum of $1,000.00, ten days to 12 months imprisonment, a minimum 40 hours of community service, drug and alcohol evaluation with any recommended treatment, and successful completion of DUI school. However, if the alcohol concertation was under 0.08 (0.02 under 21, or 0.04 commercial license) the judge can suspend, stayed, or probated any jail time. If the offender’s alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was 0.08 grams or more (0.02 under 21, or 0.04 commercial license), the judge may suspend, stay, or probate all but 24 hours of any term of imprisonment.
A First DUI conviction without 12-Month Imprisonment will lead to a mandatory probation period of 12 months, with the individual being given credit for any time spent incarcerated.
Department of Driver Service (DDS) First Offense Penalties
For a driver over 21 years old a DUI will most likely result in a 120-day license suspension, $210.00 fine and DUI school; with limited driving permit being made available if the driver qualifies.
For a driver under 21 years old, If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was under .08 percent, then the suspension period shall be 6 months, fines of $210.00 and DUI school. If the BAC was more than .08 percent then the suspension period shall be 12 months.
DUI lawyer My Cousin Danny employs many successful defenses to combat a DUI arrest. From challenge the validity of the DUI stop, suppressing test results by filing motions, challenging the method of field sobriety testing, challenging the implied consent notices, and or the validity of the breath or blood test results My Cousin Danny is equipped to get your case dismissed, or get you the best possible result. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do. 470-275-1500
Second DUI within ten-years of a prior DUI
The time period is measured from the dates of previous arrest for which conviction was obtained (or plea of nolo contendere was accepted) to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained (or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted).
A second DUI within a ten-year period will likely result in a fine of not less than $600.00 and not more than $1,000.00, a period of imprisonment of not fewer than 90 days and not more than 12 months. The judge may probate a portion of the imprisonment; however, the offender shall be required to serve at least 72 hours of actual incarceration. Furthermore, a second in ten offender will perform at least 30 days of community service; completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program within 120 days following the conviction (or within 90 days of release from custody if incarcerated); get a clinical evaluation for drug and alcohol abuse with, completion of a substance abuse treatment program if referred; and be subject to a period of probation of 12 months less any days during which the person is actually incarcerated.
Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do. 470-275-1500. A second in ten DUI in DeKalb Superior Court, Gwinnett Superior Court, Fulton State Court, Cobb County Superior Court or anywhere is the State of Georgia is no joke. That is why you need a knowledgeable and aggressive advocate on your side. My Cousin Danny will take the time to review the records, get the police reports, watch the officer’s body cam footage and put you in the best position to win your case, or minimize penalties.
Department of Driver Service (DDS) Second Offense Penalties
In addition to the penalties outlined above, a second DUI conviction will have an impact on your driver’s license. For driver’s license penalties DDS uses a five-year look-back period. A DUI conviction will be considered a second conviction for license purposes only if you had another DUI arrest (for which you were convicted) within the previous five years. For drivers over 21 years old a second, non-drug-related DUI conviction within five years of the prior conviction will result in DDS will suspending your license for three years.
After you’ve served 120 days of the three-year suspension, you may be eligible for an ignition interlock device (IID) limited permit. This type of permit allows you to drive to and from work or school, to get medical treatment, and other approved destinations, as long as you have an ignition interlock device installed on your car or truck. To be eligible for an ignition interlock permit you have to be enrolled in an accountability court like a DUI or drug court or a state-certified alcohol and drug abuse treatment program.
After serving 18 months of your three-year suspension, you can request early reinstatement of your license if you’ve met certain requirements. You’ll have to provide the DDS with proof that you’ve completed a state-approved Risk Reduction Program, and you’ll have to pay a reinstatement fee of $210.00; and you will also have to provide proof that you’ve had an IID installed in your vehicle for a one-year period.
Let My Cousin Danny explain how you cannot just wait out the full three years of suspension and have your license reinstated. Georgia law makes it clear that if you want your license back, you have to completion a Risk Reduction Program and pay the reinstatement fee, no matter how much time has passed since your conviction. Let My Cousin Danny show you how a license suspension resulting from a conviction is different from an “administrative license suspension.” An administrative suspension can be imposed by DDS before you even go to court for your DUI. Confused? -That’s understandable. That is why you need My Cousin Danny to protect you. Call 470-275-1500 now.
License Suspensions for DUI-Drug Cases
If your DUI conviction was drug-related (the influence of drugs alone, or alcohol and drugs combined) you face different rules regarding license suspension. For a second DUI-Drug conviction in five years, DDS will issue a yearlong “hard suspension” of your license, meaning that you won’t be allowed to drive for 12 months, period. But if you enter an alternative sentencing program like a DUI or Drug Court, you might be eligible for limited permit.
Third DUI within ten-years of Prior DUIs
A third DUI within a ten-year period is a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor. For the third conviction within a ten-year period of time, as measured from the dates of previous arrests for which convictions were obtained (or plea(s) of nolo contendere were accepted) to the date of the current arrest for which a conviction is obtained (or a plea of nolo contendere is accepted) you can expect a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $5,000.00; A mandatory period of imprisonment of not fewer than 120 days and not more than 12 months, the judge may probate a portion of imprisonment, but the offender shall be required to serve15 days of incarceration. Furthermore you will perform 30 days of community service; Complete of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program within120 days of the conviction, (or within 90 days of release from custody); receive a clinical evaluation, and completion of any substance abuse treatment program recommended; and period a of probation of 12 months less any days during which the person is incarcerated. Do You Need a Lawyer? You Sure Do; 470-275-1500
Department of Driver Service (DDS) Third Offense Penalties
If this is your third offense within a five -year period, and you are 21 or over, you have achieved the status of Habitual Violator and your license is revoked for five years. In order to get your probationary license after two years, you will have to complete DUI school, complete assessment and counseling, and have the ignition interlock device installed in your car. You can then get your probationary license and will be required to have the ignition interlock device for at least six months.
Habitual Violator OCGA § 40-5-58
Under O.C.G.A § 40-5-58 driving while being declared a habitual violator is a felony. Any person declared to be a habitual violator as a result of three or more convictions within a five-year period of time for violations of:
(1) Homicide by vehicle, as defined by § 40-6-393;
(2) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
(3) Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident in violation of §40-6-270;
(4) Racing on highways and streets;
(5) Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer;
(6) Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration in violation of Code Section §40-6-15;
(7) Driving under influence as outlined in code Section §40-6-391;
(8) Homicide by vehicle as stated in § 40-6-393;
(9) Feticide by vehicle as stated in § 40-6-393.1;
(10) Serious injury by vehicle as stated in § 40-6-394.
This has nothing to do with driving under the influence or drunk driving; the issue is merely driving after being declared a Habitual Violator (HV). An HV is not allowed to drive for up to 5 years; after 2 years an HV may qualify for a special permit.
Being a Habitual Violator is not a crime in Itself
To be declared a Habitual Violator you must have committed three major offenses, such as DUI, within a 5 Year period of time. You will not have committed any additional crime just by being labeled a Habitual Violator.
There are 4 different levels of the Habitual Violator in Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County and the State of Georgia.
The least serious HV charge in Georgia is being caught driving after your 5-year license suspension has expired but you have not reinstated your Georgia Driver’s license. In this case you could have gone and got your license back but failed to do it. This is Misdemeanor Habitual Violator in DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and all Counties of Georgia. You will be facing misdemeanor consequences which include up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1000.
The next Habitual Violator offense in level of seriousness is violating the HV limited permit. In this situation, you are legally driving on the HV permit but driving outside the of the permit’s limitations. On a limited Habitual Violator permit you are allowed to drive in the following circumstances:
(i) Going to your place of employment or performing the normal duties of your occupation
(ii) Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs (the doctor or pharmacy)
(iii) Attending a college or school at which you are regularly enrolled as a student
(iv) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs;
(v) Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug treatment program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in revocation of his driver’s license or by the commissioner.
If you are caught driving outside of these limitations while having the HV limited permit, you have committed the offense of Misdemeanor Habitual Violator and are subject to misdemeanor punishments as well as losing your HV permit for the remainder of the 5-year license suspension.
The next level of HV offense is being caught driving without a limited HV permit. Just by being caught driving in this situation (not a DUI, just any operation of a motor vehicle), you have committed a felony (punishable with 1 to 5 years in prison). Conviction of a felony in Fulton County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Cobb County or anywhere in the State of Georgia is a life-changing event. It is very common that persons charged with an HV Felony in Georgia will be sentenced to prison. Prison means a Georgia State Penitentiary, not 901 Rice St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318; 4425 Memorial Dr, Decatur, GA 30032; not 2900 University Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 3004; not 1877 County Services Pkwy, Marietta, GA 30008; The big house, 300 1ST Ave South, Reidsville, GA 30453 or one of the 33 state prisons across the state of Georgia, which house nearly 52,000 offenders. In addition, you will lose your right to vote and your right to own a firearm. My Cousin Danny would not do well in prison, and neither will you. Do you Need a Lawyer? You Sure Do; 470-275-1500
The most serious level of Habitual Violator is being caught DUI (or committing another serious offense) while being a HV. In that situation you are facing a hard time felony, as above; as well as facing additional consequences for the DUI and other charges. If the DUI itself is a 4th DUI this can be a felony DUI. So you will have two felonies for the same occurrence; once again, hard time with hard company. A Judge can Order these jail sentences to run consecutive (one after another) and not concurrent (at the same time); meaning that you may be facing in excess of 5 years in prison. Time is of the essence. You need the help of the best DUI lawyer in Fulton County, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Cobb County Georgia, My Cousin Danny. Do I Need a Lawyer? You Sure Do; 470-275-1500
License Plate Confiscation and Photo Publication
For a third DUI within a in a five-year period, the license plates of all motor vehicles registered to the offender must be surrendered. Once the offender obtains either a probationary license or full reinstatement, license plates can be reissued. Special hardship plates are available in certain circumstances for co-owners or family members. Additionally, your photograph, name and address, as well as the date, time, place of arrest will be published in your local newspaper. You will be charged $25.00 for this notice. You can go to the DDS website at http://www.dds.ga.gov to read the full list of suspensions and fines.
As you can see it is best not to receive a third conviction for DUI in the State of Georgia, Fulton County Court, Cobb County Superior Court, DeKalb County State Court, Gwinnett County State Court. That is why you need My Cousin Danny to review the evidence against you and figure out a way to get you out of the charges or to amend the charge to something less serious. My Cousin Danny has the experience to help keep the individual driving and out of jail.
DDS Administrative License Suspensions/Revocations
In most instances your license will be suspended after an arrest for DUI in Gwinnett County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, DeKalb County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and within the State of Georgia. A person’s license will also be administratively suspended by the Department of Driver’s Services for violations of these offenses:
- Refusal to submit to a test to determine the driver’s alcohol concentration (§40-5-55)
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level requires suspension (§40-5-67.1)
- Georgia residents who have accumulated at least 15 points in any consecutive 24-month period (§40-5-57)
- Failure to Respond to Citation (§40-5-56)
- Noncompliance with Child Support Order (§40-5-54.1)
- Failure to pay the Super Speeder Fee (§40-6-189)
- Ignition Interlock Device Permit (§42-8-112)
- Medical Revocation (§40-5-59)
- Safety Responsibility (§40-9-3)
Revocations Triggered by Operation of Law
In Gwinnett County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, DeKalb County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and within the State of Georgia a person’s license will be suspended operation of law by the Department of Driver’s Services for violations of these offenses:
- Any moving violation conviction while driving with limited permit
See O.C.G.A 40-5-64 & 40-5-64.1
- Habitual Violator (§40-5-58)
- Violating conditions of limited permit (§§40-5-64, 40-5-64.1)
You Must Request a Hearing if You Wish to Drive While Your DUI Case is Pending
Remember, a DeKalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County of State of Georgia DUI Arrest triggers two different battles and the possibility of two separate license suspension. Failure to request a hearing with DDS is not advised because you will automatically relinquish your right to challenge any administrative license penalties you are facing and your driver’s license will be suspended. Furthermore, the license suspension hearing is an opportunity to depose or question the arresting officer prior to court trial without the presence of a prosecutor. You will be able to create a record or transcript of the arresting officer’s testimony. My Cousin can use this transcript to impeach the officer if he changes his testimony at trial. Failure to go to the administrative hearing without My Cousin Danny is suicide because you are not equipped to get up to speed on the rules of evidence and art of cross examination necessary to defeat the trained testimony of a police officer in a just a few weeks’ time. Donato “Dan” Palumbo- a/k/a My Cousin Danny began his legal career in 2005 when he entered Pace Law School in White Plains, New York, and graduated with honors in 2009. Dan has been practicing law since 2010, is a member in good standing with the State Bar of Georgia, State Bar of New York, admitted to practice before the Georgia Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court of Georgia. Dan is also admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the United States District Court, for the Northern District of Georgia. Dan is experienced in trial practice, cross-examination, and criminal litigation; including traffic tickets, DUI, misdemeanors, and felony cases. A driver’s license represents freedom. You need a successful professional protecting your freedom- you need My Cousin Danny. Do You Need a Lawyer? You Sure Do; 470-275-1500
30 Day Notice
In Fulton County DUI Court, DeKalb County Magistrate Court, Gwinnett County Superior Court, Cobb County Georgia or any Georgia DUI case, you have 30 days to begin protecting your ability and privilege to drive. You have only 30 days from the date of your arrest to have My Cousin Danny file an appeal with DDS to maintain your ability to drive during the pendency of the DUI case. The DSS appeal has a $150 filing fee and must be done to keep your ability to drive; or at least limit your license suspension in a HV case. Call My Cousin Danny to limit the suspension of your license and get your license restored as quickly as possible, 470-275-1500.
If requested My Cousin will send the Thirty (30) Day Letter and not charge you; that’s right- something free from a lawyer. You will need to pay any fee for the hearing but My Cousin Danny will send the letter for you to preserve your rights. If retained, My Cousin Danny will send the letter certified mail with a return receipt requested for proof of delivery. Preparing and sending the letter is free, but you must provide $150 filing fee for the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If you do not hire My Cousin Danny, we will not receive any notice for your hearing and will not be tracking the case for you. It is your responsibility to make sure you appear at your license hearing; your license will most likely be suspended administratively for your Georgia DUI arrest if you fail to attend the hearing. But why go it alone, have My Cousin Danny provide the expertise and representation you need. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do. (470) 275-1500
Timing of Hearing
The Administrative license suspension hearing usually occurs between 45 and 90 days after the sending the letter. In some cases, the license hearing cane be delayed in excess of six months. It is necessary in some instances to obtain an extension of your driving permit from the Georgia Department of Driver Services while you await an administrative license suspension hearing.
Form DDS- 1206 and Department of Driver Services Hearing
Following a DUI arrest or the refusal to take a breath or blood test in Georgia, you will have your driver’s license suspended until the criminal court hearing. However, you have the right to file an appeal with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) to contest the suspension. To Contest a DUI/Administrative License Suspension, or Limited Consent License Suspension the the fee is $150.00; to contest a permit suspension for a 2nd DUI the fee is $250.00. Upon receipt of your hearing request, filing fee, and the DDS Form 1205 from the arresting officer, the case will be docketed with the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH), and the DDS will mail an extension of your temporary driving permit if your license/driving privilege is otherwise valid. You will receive notice of the date, time and place of the hearing by mail from OSAH. The appeal will allow you and My Cousin Danny to go to OSHA for a hearing to plead your case against license suspension. The OSHA hearing is only to determine the initial license suspension, not to make a ruling on the criminal DUI charge. The Administrative License Suspension hearing determines whether the DUI defendant’s driving privileges will be suspended prior to a conviction of DUI in criminal court. A conviction for DUI in criminal court carries other additional license suspension provisions in addition to the administrative license suspension. However, if you prevail at the administrative license suspension hearing you will keep your license until final resolution of your DUI case, and that can be many many months. Do I need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
Because the Administrative License Suspension Hearing is not a criminal matter the license holder does not have to appear, if she or he is represented by counsel (unless the license holder has been subpoenaed).
At the administrative license suspension hearing one of three things can happen: (1) the Administrative License Suspension can be “rescinded” or dismissed by the failure of the arresting officer to appear; (2) your attorney and the arresting officer can enter into an agreement to “rescind” or dismiss the administrative license suspension; or (3) a hearing will be held to determine if the arresting officer can present sufficient evidence of the need to suspend your driver’s license administratively for a DUI arrest.
At this hearing, an Administrative Law Judge will determine if certain statutory factors were met. The arresting officer (representing DDS) will testify first in order to establish that the factors were met. The My Cousin Danny will be able to cross-examine the officer to show that the necessary statutory factors were not present, if applicable. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
The arresting officer must show that there was reason to believe that you were driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; were lawfully placed under arrest, or an accident occurred as a result of you driving under the influence; and you were properly read and advised of statutorily required consent laws, and the penalties for refusing to a BAC test; and you refused the test or were given a test with results above the legal limit for your classification of license; and all tests were administered legally, handled by the correct individuals, and the machines used was in good working order. The administrative judge will make a decision within five business days. A decision favorable to the motorist will result in their driver’s license being reinstated; while a ruling supporting the officer’s testimony will result in suspension of the motorist’s driving privileges. See, https://osah.ga.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/post-duilicensing.pdf
Disqualification of Commercial Driving Privileges (CDL)
Being a professional driver is not easy. You work hard for your money, often spending long periods of time separated from your family and the ones you love. Governmental rules and restrictions limit how often you can drive, and often prevent you from maximizing your income. In Gwinnett County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, DeKalb County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and within the State of Georgia a holder of a CDL license has lower limits of blood alcohol concentration than other motorists to be arrested and convicted of DUI; this is true whether you were driving a commercial vehicle or your personal car at the time of the arrest. Is this fair? No. More than others, you need My Cousin Danny’s knowledgeable and aggressive representation to help you keep your CDL. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
In addition to all of the suspensions listed above, a person’s commercial driving privileges will be disqualified pursuant to O.C.G.A. §40-5-151 for:
- Any offense listed in O.C.G.A. §40-5-54 (Habitual Violator Statue)
- Conviction of any violation of code sections §16-8-2 through §16-8-9 if the property that was the subject of the theft was a vehicle engaged in commercial transportation, any appurtenance thereto, or any cargo contained therein or thereon
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Refusal to submit to a test to determine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration
- Using a CMV in the commission of a felony
- Failure to report striking an unattended vehicle
- Failure to report striking a fixed object
- Failure to report an accident
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the person’s commercial driver’s license or commercial driving privilege is revoked, suspended, canceled, or disqualified
- Commission of multiple serious traffic violations
- Violations of out-of-service orders
- Conviction of a railroad grade crossing offense while operating a commercial motor vehicle
- Falsification of information on CDL application and/or supporting documents
- Notification from FMCSA of imminent hazard
- Any violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act (Article 2 of Chapter13 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated) (§40-5-75) ONLY when a motor vehicle was knowingly used in the commission of any felony involving the trafficking, manufacture, distribution, sale, transfer, dispensing, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute, cultivate, sell, traffic in, or dispense a controlled substance or marijuana.
You May Still Be Able To Drive if Your Commercial License Has Been Disqualified
Federal regulations and Georgia law establish criteria for commercial license disqualifications. Disqualifications should not be confused with suspensions. Disqualifications only withdraw the commercial privileges (that is, the licensee’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle or apply for a commercial license). Suspensions, however, lead to the withdrawal of ALL driving privileges (non-commercial, commercial, and motorcycle).
A licensee with a commercial disqualification can still operate a non-commercial vehicle if those privileges are not also suspended.
Criminal Court Reports Convictions to DDS
After a conviction of a traffic offense, the court will forward notice of that conviction to DDS. The conviction information will be placed on the driver’s driving record by DDS and additional penalties will be imposed, if applicable.
Georgia’s Super Speeder Law is codified in O.C.G.A. -§40-6-189. It states, in part, that all citations shall specify whether a speeding violation occurred on a two-lane road or highway. If one is convicted of traveling 85 MPH or more on any road or highway, or 75 MPH or more on any two-lane road or highway in DeKalb County, Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County or any county within the State of Georgia, they will be declared a ‘super speeder.’ DDS will administer and collect a $200.00 fee for any conviction that meets the classification of super speeder. If the fee is not paid within 90 days the license will be suspended. The licensee will thereafter have to pay the $200 super speeder fee, and a $50.00 reinstatement fee. A plea of nolo contender or a zero points order in the court will not avoid the imposition of the super speeder fee. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
Mandatory Suspensions for Drivers Under 21 Years of Age O.C.G.A. §40-5-57.1
While many people yearn for the days of their youth it was not all for the better. Young drivers are treated differently in the State of Georgia, Fulton County Court, Cobb County Superior Court, DeKalb County State Court, Gwinnett County State Court than drivers over 21 years on age. Many offenses have a different effect when committed by those defendants who are under 21 years of age at the time of conviction. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do. 470-275-1500
Mandatory suspensions for drivers under 21 include:
- Hit and run or Leaving the scene of an accident, O.C.G.A. §40-6-270;
- Racing on highways or streets, O.C.G.A. §40-6-186;
- Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer,
O.C.G.A. §40- 6-395;
- Reckless driving, O.C.G.A. §40-6-390;
- Improper passing on a hill or a curve, O.C.G.A. §40-6-45(a)(1);
- Unlawful passing of a school bus, O.C.G.A. §40-6-163;
- Exceeding the speed limit by 24 mph or more, O.C.G.A. §40-6-181;
- Aggressive driving, O.C.G.A. §40-6-397;
- Driving Under the Influence, O.C.G.A. §40-6-391;
- Accumulation of 4 or more points in any 12-month period by a person under the age of 18
Failure to Appear O.C.G.A. §40-5-56; §17-6-11
A failure to appear for a court hearing will cause a bench warrant to be issued and the Failure to Appear (FTA) submitted to DDS for suspension of driving privileges. A failure to appear on certain offenses will cause a notice of suspension to be mailed to the driver to give him or her 28 days to resolve the failure to appear before their licenses is suspended. However many offenses do not require the 28 day notice period: §40-6-393 Homicide by Vehicle (1st and 2nd Degree) (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-270 Hit and Run or Leaving the Scene of an Accident (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-394 Serious Injury by Vehicle (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-393.1 Feticide by Vehicle (1st Degree) (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-15 Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, cancelled, or suspended registration (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-186 Racing on Highways or Streets (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-395 Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer (§§40-5-54, 40-5-63); §40-6-391 Driving under the Influence/DUI –Child Endangerment (§40-5-63); §40-6-10 No Insurance/Failure to Show Proof of Insurance (§40-5-70); §40-5-121 Driving While License Suspended or Revoked (§40-5-121); §40-6-390 Reckless Driving (any age, see 17-6-11(b)(2)(C)); §40-6-397 Aggressive Driving (any age, see 17-6-11(b)(2)(C))
For persons under the age of 21 who are Georgia residents, any of the above convictions AND: §40-6-45(a)(1) Improper Passing on a hill or curve (§40-5-57.1); §40-6-163 Unlawful passing of a school bus (§40-5-57.1);§40-6-181 Exceeding the speed limit by 24 mph or more (§40-5-57.1) will result in a suspension of driving privileges without being given 28 days to clear the Failure to Appear with the Court. Do You need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
The Department of Driver Services shall suspend a license for a conviction of any of the following offenses in Georgia or any other state:
- Homicide by vehicle.
- Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used.
- Using a motor vehicle in fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
- Hit and run or leaving the scene of an accident.
- Operating a motor vehicle with a revoked, canceled, or suspended registration.
When a license is revoked driving, privileges are terminated and withdrawn until the end of the prescribed time period brought on by formal action by DDS. At the expiration of the revocation period and once all requirements are met, applicant is eligible to restore driving privileges.
Your driver’s license will be revoked in Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, DeKalb County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia or in any County of the State of Georgia, if you are convicted of one of the following:
- A driver is declared a habitual violator for any third conviction of a mandatory suspended offense within 5 years. Revocation is for 5 years.
- Refusal to submit to a re-examination of driving skills or knowledge of driving rules after receiving notice giving reasonable grounds for such a request.
- If there is sufficient evidence of incompetence or unfitness to drive, due to being incapacitated by reason of disease, mental or physical disability, or by alcohol or drug addiction.
Other Common Suspensions
- Refusal to take a chemical test in conjunction with an arrest for DUI.
- Conviction for driving without insurance.
- Conviction for driving while suspended.
- Failure to appear in court or respond to a traffic citation, your license may be suspended indefinitely.
- Any felony that involved the use of a motor vehicle.
- You have accumulated 15 points within 24 months under the Georgia point system, including violations committed out of state. Select for information on Points and Points Reduction.
- A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Limited Driving Permits
In some situations, a limited driving permit may be available for a fee during the suspension period. A limited driving permit will restrict the places and purpose that you are allowed to drive such as:
- Driving to your place of employment to perform the normal duties of your occupation.
- Receiving scheduled medical attention or obtain prescribed drugs.
- Attending classes at a college or school in which you are enrolled as a student.
- Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meeting of support organizations for the treatment of alcohol or other drugs.
- Attending a driver education program or alcohol/drug assessment and treatment program.
- Attend court, report to community supervision or probation, or to perform community service.
- Transport unlicensed immediate family members to obtain medical care or prescriptions, to work, or to school.
- Attend any programs or activities ordered by an accountability court judge.
- DDS may also specify the places you can travel to, specific routes of travel, times of travel, and indicate vehicles, or other restrictions deemed necessary. Limited driving permits are not valid for driving a commercial vehicle.
A limited driving permit will be revoked by DDS if you are convicted of violating any state law or local ordinance relating to the movement of vehicles, violating any of the conditions or restrictions of your permit, or if another suspension is imposed.
Felony Defense Attorney My Cousin Danny
In DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and the State of Georgia all crimes punishable by a sentence of one year or more in prison are felonies. Are you or a loved one charged with a felony in DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia or within the State of Georgia or New York? Felony charges are very serious and the outcome may impact the rest of your life. You need skilled legal representation to secure the best result for your case. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
Court can be confusing and crowded. Things move fast and unrepresented people will often sit around not sure if they are in the right place or who they need to talk to. Furthermore, a pro se defendant (unrepresented by counsel) may not realize who all of the people in the Courtroom are and what roles they play. Often a person is embarrassed of being accused of a crime and just wants everything over with as quickly as possible. Sometimes an unrepresented person will talk with a District Attorney and think that the deal being offered is the best outcome they will receive. Sometimes a person will enter into a plea without having all of the information required to make a fully informed decision. These are all dangerous situations that can have disastrous consequences for the rest of a person’s life. You need an aggressive negotiator like My Cousin Danny to get you the best possible result. My Cousin Danny will get all of the evidence against you from the police and District Attorney to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the case against you. Once all of the facts are known, My Cousin Danny will meet with the District Attorney assigned to the case well before trial to discuss the best deal for you. If an acceptable plea bargain is not offered My Cousin Danny is always prepared to go to trial for you. In appropriate situations, My Cousin Danny will ask the Judge to throw out certain evidence against you, to limit certain witness testimony against you, or to dismiss the case completely. It is crucial that you have an attorney throughout this process. These courts are often confusing and crowded. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process to a favorable outcome.
If you, or a loved one, are charged with a more serious felony, such as burglary, domestic violence, drug trafficking, possession with intent to distribute, armed robbery, aggravated assault, vehicular homicide, manslaughter or murder, you need a criminal defense attorney who is well-respected and experienced; you need My Cousin Danny, 470-275-1500, Call now.
Misdemeanor Defense Attorney My Cousin Danny
In DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and the State of Georgia a misdemeanor is a criminal charge that carries one year or less of possible incarceration. The maximum fine for a misdemeanor is $1,000.00 plus court costs, fees or surcharges. Misdemeanors vary from minor traffic violations to domestic violence and solicitation; to name a few. An act that would have constituted a misdemeanor becomes a felony if a person has prior convictions for the same offense or if a certain dollar value is stolen or damaged.
For example, shoplifting becomes a felony if a person is arrested for shoplifting four times, or if the value of the goods taken is $500.00 or greater. Misdemeanors can become high and aggravated. These misdemeanors can have higher fines than $1,000.00. Certain misdemeanors carry with them mandatory penalties such as license suspensions and jail time. All traffic violations are misdemeanors. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
My Cousin Danny has the experience and knowledge to negotiate the best deal or to take your case to trial. If you have been charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs; Possession of Marijuana less than one ounce; Possession of Alcohol by a Minor; Distributing Alcohol to Any Person Under the Age of 21; Public Intoxication; Open Container; Domestic Violence; Assault; Battery; Misdemeanor Cruelty to Children; Disorderly Conduct; Prostitution; Sexual Battery; Solicitation for Prostitution; Public Indecency; Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter; Misdemeanor Fleeing and Attempting to Elude; Any Moving Violation; Speeding; No Insurance; Reckless Driving; Texting and Driving; Aggressive Driving; Failure to Yield right of Way; Failure to Maintain Lane; Driving on a Suspended License; Criminal Trespass, Shoplifting; Loitering or any crime in DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia, or anywhere in the State of Georgia or New York My Cousin Danny can help you. You have already made one mistake, don’t make another- call My Cousin Danny now 470-275-1500.
Disposing of the Case Before Trial
In some cases, even for people who have minor past criminal offenses on their criminal, many jurisdictions offer Pre-trial Intervention and Diversion programs that literally intervene, or divert away from the prosecution of your case. Pre-trial diversion is available for misdemeanors and some low-level felonies; such as Violations of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act (drug possession), Theft, fraud. Diversion is a great option for first-time offenders because if you successfully complete the terms of your diversion your case will be placed on the “dead docket” and the District Attorney’s Office will consent to have your arrest record expunged. If you have a criminal history you may still be eligible for probation in lieu of prison time. Have My Cousin Danny get you best outcome possible on your DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia, or anywhere in the State of Georgia or New York case. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
Appeal the Criminal Case to Keep Your License O.C.G.A. §40-13-33
So you have lost your misdemeanor traffic case which is triggering a mandatory report being sent to DDS that will end up with your license being suspended. If you are eligible for conditional driving privileges this might not be such a big deal, but if this is not your first rodeo with DDS you need to act fast. Any challenge to a misdemeanor conviction of any of the traffic laws of the State of Georgia or the traffic laws of any county or municipal government must be filed within 180 days of the date the conviction becomes final. Failure to file the challenge within 180 days shall divest the court of jurisdiction. By just filing a notice of appeal DDS not halt administrative suspension proceedings. However, If the appeal is successful and the conviction is overturned DDS will amend you driving record appropriately upon receipt of the results of the appeal. Put your cousin to work; have My Cousin Danny appeal your conviction in Cobb County Georgia, DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, or anywhere in the State of Georgia where you need help. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
First Time Offender O.C.G.A. Section 42-8-60
If you are sentenced under Georgia’s First Time Offenders Act and you successfully complete all terms of your sentence without committing a new crime, you will not have a conviction, and the charge will be sealed from your official criminal history.
If this is the first time that you have been arrested you are most likely scared about how a conviction will impact the rest of your life; and confused as to the process and what will happen going forward. If this sounds like you, you need My Cousin Danny to help you through the process and get the best possible result for you.
In DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia, or anywhere in the State of Georgia you have never been convicted of any crime and you have never pled guilty to a crime under a first offender law of any other jurisdiction, you may be eligible for “first offender” consideration under Georgia’s First Offender Law. Call me today (470) 275-1500 for a free consultation. I’m ready to help guide you through the criminal justice process and coach you through this difficult time. Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.
Georgia’s First Time Offenders Act is a law that allows some first-time offenders charged with certain crimes to enter a plea of “guilty” or “nolo contendere” but avoid a conviction. A person can only use the First Time Offender Act once.
According to the GBI: “upon a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere, but before an adjudication of guilt, the court may, in the case of a defendant who has not been previously convicted of a felony, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, defer further proceeding and place the defendant on probation as a first offender.”
A person will be given a sentence that will require him or her to perform certain acts or do certain things. The sentence could include a period of probation, community service, drug and alcohol treatment, anger management classes, payment of restitution to victims, payment of fines and fees, or even incarceration. Once the terms of the first offender sentence are successfully completed, and the person discharged, the charges would be sealed on the GCIC database when the discharge is applied to the GCIC criminal history; however, the information may be available through other sources, including court docket books, criminal justice agency websites, or through “third party” vendors. The record is not automatically sealed based on completion of the sentence requirements.
If a person fails to comply with all of the sentencing requirements in DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia, or anywhere in the State of Georgia, or the offender has received prior FOA treatment in another jurisdiction, Georgia Law requires GCIC to change the first offender sentence to a conviction, the subject is arrested and may be convicted of another offense. Courts may also revoke a first offender sentence, indicate unsatisfactory completion of the first offender sentence or change to an adjudication of guilt.
First Time Offender treatment is not automatic and a Judge must approve of the request. This is where you are best served with My Cousin Danny advocating for you. Let My Cousin Danny make compelling arguments how First Time Offender treatment is the right thing for your case. Remember, if the judge denies your request for First Time Offender, you cannot appeal the decision. Don’t go it alone, call 470-275-1500 now.
You may be eligible for First Time Offender treatment if you:
- Have never been convicted of a felony (in any state )(O.C.G.A. Section 42-8-60(a);
- Have never used first offender before (O.C.G.A. Section 42-8-60(b);
- Your charge is not driving under the influence (DUI);
- Are not charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer, if such violation results in serious physical harm or injury to such officer, while such officer engaged in his duties, aggravated battery or aggravated assault (O.C.G.A. Sections 16-5-21, 16-5-24, 16-10-24(b);
- Are not charged with a crime related to child pornography;
- You are not charged with a serious violent felony as outlined in O.C.G.A. Section 17-10-6.1;
- Are not charged with a serious sexual offense (O.C.G.A. Section 17-10-6.2);
- Are not charged with any crime related to electronic sexual exploitation of a minor, computer pornography (O.C.G.A. Sections 16-12-100, 16-12-100.1, 16-12-100.2)
Remember, a person being granted First Offender Treatment can still possibly go to jail, the benefit of First Offender is that it is not a conviction against you. Under the First Time Offenders Act, your sentence may include probation, jail, or a combination of the two. Your First Time Offender will show on your criminal history with the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) criminal history as “First Time Offenders Act” as a result of the case in which you were granted First Offender treatment. And pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 42-8-63.1) the information will be disseminated to prospective employers if they ask.
Once you complete the terms of your sentence, the probation officer should ask the judge to issue an Order of Discharge. The judge will issue the Order, and file it in the Clerk’s office. You should get a Certified Copy from the Clerk, and keep it in a safe place. The Clerk will enter the Order of Discharge on your official Georgia criminal history record, and the record of the case will be sealed from your GCIC criminal history record for most, but not all, employers.
First Offender for Drugs- Conditional Discharge
For drug offenses, Georgia has a separate First Offender law. O.C.G.A 16-13-2 is the “conditional discharge” statute. If you plead guilty under this provision, you do not suffer certain losses of your civil liberties; mainly you do not have your drivers license suspended. If you successfully complete your sentence under the provisions of 16-13-2, the record of the offense can be cleared from your criminal history.
First Offender for Criminal Case
Let My Cousin Danny show you how First Offender pleas work in Gwinnett County Superior Court reckless driving cases, DeKalb County Georgia failure to maintain lane cases, Fulton County Georgia following too closely cases, Cobb County theft by taking cases and all criminal cases in the State of Georgia.
OCGA 42-8-60 states, in part, that If a defendant has not been previously convicted of a felony, the court may, upon a guilty verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere and before an adjudication of guilt, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the defendant, defer further proceedings and:
(1) Place the defendant on probation; or
(2) Sentence the defendant to a term of confinement.
(b) The court shall not sentence a defendant under the provisions of this article unless the court has reviewed the defendant’s criminal record as such is on file with the Georgia Crime Information Center.
(c) When a court imposes a sentence pursuant to this article, it:
(1) Shall state in its sentencing order the prospective effective date of the defendant being exonerated of guilt and discharged as a matter of law, assuming the defendant successfully complies with its sentencing order, provided that such date may not have taken into account the awarding of credit for time served in custody; and
(2) May limit access to certain information as provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 42-8-62.1.
(d) The court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed to sentence the defendant as otherwise provided by law when the:
(1) Defendant violates the terms of his or her first offender probation;
(2) Defendant is convicted for another crime during the period of his or her first offender sentence; or
(3) Court determines that the defendant is or was not eligible for first offender sentencing under this article.
(e) A defendant sentenced pursuant to this article shall be exonerated of guilt and shall stand discharged as a matter of law as soon as the defendant:
(1) Completes the terms of his or her probation, which shall include the expiration of the sentence by virtue of the time frame of the sentence passing, provided that such sentence has not otherwise been tolled or suspended;
(2) Is released by the court under Code Section 42-8-37, 42-8-103, or 42-8-103.1 prior to the termination of the period of his or her probation; or
(3) Is released from confinement and parole, provided that the defendant is not serving a split sentence.
No First Offender Treatment for Certain Crimes
A person id not eligible for First Offender Treatment if they have been found guilty or entered a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere for the following offenses:
- Serious violent felony as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.1;
- Sexual offense as such term is defined in Code Section 17-10-6.2;
- Trafficking of persons for labor or sexual servitude as prohibited by Code Section 16-5-46;
- Neglecting disabled adults, elder persons, or residents as prohibited by Code Section 16-5-101;
- Exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents as prohibited by Code Section 16-5-102;
- Sexual exploitation of a minor as prohibited by Code Section 16-12-100;
- Electronically furnishing obscene material to a minor as prohibited by Code Section 16-12-100.1;
- Computer pornography and child exploitation as prohibited by Code Section 16-12-100.2;
- Any of the following offenses when such offense is committed against a law enforcement officer while such officer is engaged in the performance of his or her official duties: (i) Aggravated assault in violation of Code Section 16-5-21;(ii) Aggravated battery in violation of Code Section 16-5-24; or (iii) Obstruction of a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection (b) of Code Section 16-10-24, if such violation results in serious physical harm or injury to such officer.
- Driving under the influence as prohibited by Code Section 40-6-391.
First Offender for DDS Suspension of License
Regardless if you receive First Offender treatment for the Treatment (O.C.G.A. §42-8-60) for any crimes in relation to the operation of a motor vehicle this will not prevent the imposition of a driver’s license suspension or revocation. See Salomon v. Earp, 190 Ga. App. 405, 379 S.E.2d 217; 1989 and O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(f).
When a defendant has entered a plea under the First Offender statute for a traffic offense that is reportable to the DDS, the court must report the plea/conviction to DDS. If a conviction for a traffic offense is reported to DDS that mandates suspension of the driver’s license or privilege, and the defendant has been granted “First Offender” status, the driver’s license will still be suspended or revoked as required by law. O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(f) specifically prohibits first offender status for people convicted of, or entering a plea to a DUI.
Common Legal Questions
How do I file for divorce?
A divorce is initiated by filing a Domestic Relations Case Initiation Form, Summons, and Petition for Divorce with the Court Clerk of the relevant County of the Parties; and paying a filing fee. Once a divorce is properly filed the Respondent (person not initiating the divorce) must be served with process.
How long before I get my license back?
It depends on your past driving history, your age, the class of driver’s license you have and the current charges against you. As an example, for drivers over 21 years old a second, non-drug-related DUI conviction within five years of the prior conviction will result in DDS will suspending your license for three years. Call to discuss the specifics of your case.
What Can i drive with a DUI?
Once again, it depends. If your DUI conviction was drug-related (the influence of drugs alone, or alcohol and drugs combined) you face different rules regarding license suspension. For a second DUI-Drug conviction in five years, DDS will issue a yearlong “hard suspension” of your license, meaning that you won’t be allowed to drive for 12 months, period. But if you enter an alternative sentencing program like a DUI or Drug Court, you might be eligible for limited permit.
Can I get 50/50 Custody?
In Georgia child custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right and ability to talk to your child’s doctor, teachers and such. Think of it as the ability to have a say in their life. Physical custody is the person who the child primarily lives with. Most divorcing parents will have joint legal custody (50/50 custody) of any minor children born of the marriage, while designating one parent as the physical custodian of the child or children. However, it is possible to have 50/50 joint legal and physical custody.
How much does a divorce cost?
There is no magic answer to that question. Other than everybody paying the same filing fee to initiate a divorce each divorce contains different issues, different disputes and different personalities. The Parties to the divorce have the biggest influence on the final cost of the divorce. Litigants who are fighting over silverware and toiletries out of spite for each other are likely to spend a larger amount that people who have resolved most of their issues. High value divorces with stocks, multiple parcels of real property, business or large pre-marital assets will also cost more than divorces with less assets. Lawyers sell their time. A divorce that takes more hours is going to cost more than a divorce that takes less hours. Let’s talk about your divorce so you will have an idea of the total cost.
Can i leave the state with my kids?
A well drafted parenting plan will cover contingencies and events you might not have though of. Interstate, intrastate and international travel are all issues that should be considered before signing any agreement. Depending on the facts of your case out of state travel with your children should be permissible with reasonable notice to the child’s other parent. What is reasonable notice? Call me, and lets talk.
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