When Does A Georgia DUI Result In A Required Clinical Evaluation?
Everyone makes mistakes or missteps now and then and just because these errors may come with criminal penalties, that does not necessarily mean that the individual as a person is inherently bad. Drunk driving is incredibly dangerous and deadly which is why laws in states across the nation take the act so seriously. In Georgia, if you were arrested and convicted for a DUI more than one time during a five or ten-year span, the penalties you will face will be quite severe. Georgia’s DUI laws are meant to dissuade a person from getting behind the wheel if they have had too much to drink.
Still, even with strict DUI laws on the books, drunk driving accidents do happen. Having a drunk driving conviction on your record can be devastating in terms of your career, your ability to get ahead in life, secure stable housing, and more. If you were arrested for a DUI in Atlanta, it is best to get in touch with one of the experienced DeKalb County DUI attorneys at Hawkins Spizman immediately. To best position yourself to handle such charges and overcome them, it is imperative that you have talented and resourceful legal counsel on your side, fighting on your behalf. The legal team at Hawkins Spizman is here for you when you are facing daunting DUI charges.
When Are Clinical Evaluations Necessary After a Georgia DUI Conviction?
If you were arrested for a DUI in Georgia and then arrested and convicted again either five or ten years after your first conviction, you will face enhanced penalties that are mandatory. Sometimes, a prosecutor will evaluate your case and charge these same enhanced penalties even when your second DUI conviction happens after 10 years have passed.
In either case, whether your second conviction happened within 10 years or more of your first, or if you have more than two convictions within 10 years, then as part of your penalties, you will have to go through a clinical evaluation. In these situations, you will not be able to get your driver’s license reinstated and your driving privileges returned to you without proof of such a Georgia state-approved clinical evaluation.
Judges and prosecutors generally believe that when more than one DUI conviction happens to a person during a short span of time that this individual could have a substance abuse issue. As a result, one of the requirements that must be accomplished for a person in this situation is to not only serve punitive sentencing like jail time and fines, but also undergo an evaluation and substance abuse treatment to potentially help them overcome their addiction.
At Hawkins Spizman, we encourage all of our clients who are charged with DUI to obtain a professional alcohol and drug evaluation. If it is a first offense, the evaluation may confirm that you don’t meet the criteria for alcohol abuse, and that has value when negotiating with the prosecutor. If there are repeat offenses, then an alcohol evaluator can put a plan in place that can help on a personal level to address any substance abuse issues, but also demonstrates to the court that steps are being taken to avoid this situation from happening again.
Speak to an Atlanta DUI Defense Attorney
A DUI conviction can be alarming and disappointing. More than one DUI conviction in Georgia can greatly affect the quality of your life and your future. Call the Atlanta DUI defense lawyers at Hawkins Spizman today to schedule a free consultation at 770-685-6400.
Hawkins Spizman Trial Attorneys represent individuals in Georgia including Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, and Sandy Springs.