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Is DUI a Felony? DUI Laws in GA & Other D.U.I. Information

Is driving under the influence a felony? The traffic violation crime in Georgia can be a felony, with the most common basis being a 4th DUI in Georgia within ten (10) years. The Georgia felony DUI became effective July 1, 2008.

The United States is the world's only nation that lacks a singular, federal law (national law) that applies to driving while intoxicated. Yet, through laws and federal regulations suggested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these common "categories" of uniform criminal law punishments have been enacted in all states:

  1. Georgia DUI laws call for driver's license suspension or revocation of driving privileges upon any conviction;
  2. Jail time is mandated at 24 hours or more on any GA DUI offense where the BAC alcohol level is 0.08 grams percent or more;
  3. Mandatory probation of one year or more, giving credit for any jail time served;
  4. A requirement that offenders perform community service hours, during probation;
  5. Attend an alcohol and drug driving safety course commonly referred to as DUI school;
  6. Mandatory open container laws so that additional punishment is imposed if that driver has any bottles, cans or cups within the vehicle that can be reached by the driver;
  7. Suggested imposition of ignition interlock devices for any driver allowed to have limited route driving privileges when that state's law permits such restricted driving.

In the State Georgia, every DUI conviction is considered a criminal offense and can be either a misdemeanor or felony. In GA, no law is in place to allow for people charged with a DUI to take advantage of diversion, deferral, conditional discharge, or expunction of the DUI. Plus, Georgia's record restriction law prohibits any DUI or a reckless driving that started out as a DUI to be expunged.

Incredibly, thousands of people are in Georgia prisons and jails for DUI-related offenses. This is why our DUI attorneys in Georgia will do whatever the law allows to achieve a dismissal the DUI or reduce the charges to something other than a DUI. So, the answer to the common question, 'Is a DUI considered a criminal offense in GA?' is a definitive 'Yes.'

Three Georgia Super Lawyers and legal book co-authors on DUI defense in GA. Each partner is a NHTSA standardized field sobriety test instructor. Additionally, each has taken courses on fighting the breath alcohol tests or blood tests analyzed by the GBI. With thousands of successful DUI cases to their credit, the three law partners are regular speakers at continuing legal education seminars on driving under the influence topics.

What is a DUI classified as? In over 9 out of every 10 DUI arrest cases in GA, a misdemeanor DUI charge is what our clients are facing. Any fourth DUI within 10 years, using dates of arrest, will be accused as a felony DUI.

Is a DUI a misdemeanor in Georgia? Usually, yes, they are. Typically, each year, fewer than 7% of all DUIs in the Peach State are felony prosecutions for those who accumulate 4 DUIs within a ten-year period. Without question, hiring skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys near me is crucial, for such complex cases.

In what states is a DUI a felony? Every state but New Jersey makes either a 3rd DUI or 4th DWI a felony except the Garden State. To be charged with a related felony the driver would have had to kill someone else or seriously injure others.

What Makes a DUI a Felony in Georgia? Is a DUI a felony? Georgia laws explained by award-winning DUI attorneys and GA DUI law book authors.

In all states, the legislative branch writes their laws, and every state and the District of Columbia, their legislators have enacted statutes that define when a DWI-DUI is a felony or misdemeanor. In no states is drunk driving or drugged driving tolerated.

Is first offense DUI a felony? Because they were arrested and taken to jail, many clients ask, "Is first time DUI a felony?" Not in any state, unless a crash is caused by the arrested driver and a serious bodily injury (e.g., organic brain damage) or death happened to any other person involved in that wreck.

Felony Driving under the Influence. However, the answer to another common question, "is drinking and driving a felony?" is "not necessarily." Adults (ages 21 and over) in every state are allowed to consume alcohol and then drive, so long as that driver is not too impaired to operate safely.

Felony drunk driving cases make up a small fraction of annual DUI-DWI cases in the United States. DUI Georgia felony offenses can carry a 5-year prison sentence.

In all states, DUI misdemeanor cases are 10 times more likely than felony DUI charges. But, in the past 30 years, more states have added felony DWI or DUI statutes to their traffic laws, and several have eliminated the "lookback" rules, thereby making repeat offenses look at your lifetime record.

At the 4 metro Atlanta Kohn & Yager law offices, the three DUI law book authors on defending a drunk driving charge understand that preparation is the key to obtaining a successful outcome in a DUI case. Our three partners, ex-cop Cory Yager, DUI lawyer William "Bubba" Head and AVVO superstar Larry Kohn have helped multiple thousands of drivers in GA avoid DUI convictions. Mr. Head wrote the definitive book on how to beat a DUI case in 1991.

These “wins” were accomplished by getting a DUI charge reduced or dismissed entirely, using a wide variety of tactics. For some cases, not taking the prosecutor’s offer for minimal punishment, and simply fighting the cases, we later found a way to win. So, defending these tough cases in every available way possible is the starting point.

Georgia DUI law book co-authors, William Head, Larry Kohn and Cory Yager.

It is crucial to the defense of your DUI case that you hire an experienced Georgia DUI attorney who knows the law, plus has had experience in over 1,000 cases in defending DUI clients in Georgia. Our three Super Lawyers all have that enviable track record on both misdemeanor and felony drunk driving cases.

In Georgia, is a DUI considered a felony? The State of Georgia is one of those states that has modernized and enhanced DUI penalties, beginning July 1, 2008, when the Peach State added a felony 4th offense DUI, if occurring within 10 years of the first DUI (using dates of arrest to "measure.")

Felony DUI jail time in Georgia. If convicted, this felony crime brings up to 5 years in prison. If that driver was involved in a crash causing serious injury or death to another, the related additional charges can add 15 more years to that five-year prison sentence, per seriously injured person or fatality victim.

In Georgia, When Does a DUI Become a Felony?

Once again, each state's laws determine this legal question, about how many DUIs is a felony? A secondary question is whether that state "starts over" after a certain number of years have passed since prior convictions occurred.

Referred to as a "washout" period or "look back" rule, the current trend is for states to do away with such "do over" laws, to count a person's lifetime convictions. This change is a state's law make all drunk driving or drugged driving convictions "priorable.”

Call today and speak to a law partner on our 24 hour hotline. This is a free lawyer consultation where attorneys fee payment plans can be discussed. Our DUI law firm near me has experienced DUI trial lawyers ready to analyze and defend your felony DUI cases. Contact us at 404-567-5515

In Michigan, when is an OWI a felony? In addition, many states (e.g., Michigan and South Carolina) have moved the number (of DUI criminal offense convictions) down, from a 4th DUI being a felony to making an OWI-DUI 3rd offense their felony standard.

Also, various states have done away with the traditional "washout" periods, such as a 3rd DUI within 10 years, and adopted laws that eliminate "lookback" periods, so that a third offense DUI in that driver's lifetime constitutes a felony. Pennsylvania, Illinois, Vermont, Colorado, Massachusetts, Texas, Delaware and Michigan are some of these 3rd or 4th DWI-DUI "lifetime record" states.

In addition, Under GA DUI laws, is a DUI a criminal offense? Under Georgia law, you can be charged with the crime of driving under the influence (DUI) if a law enforcement officer believes that your ability to drive has been impaired because of alcohol or drug use. By far, blood alcohol impaired driving cases represent all but 1 in 10 cases in most states.

Infographic chart summarizing Georgia DUI Laws and related DUI Penalties and DUI Consequences. Our three Atlanta Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers are known nationally for their decades of criminal defense for clients in Georgia.

Different types of DUI charges exist in Georgia, meaning that some cases involve misdemeanor offense, some involve high and aggravated misdemeanor punishment, and other cases are DUI felony prosecutions. This article focuses on highlighting DUI felony penalties in Georgia, including DUI consequences beyond mere jail time and fines.

What to Do If Charged With Felony DUI But Have Not Been Convicted

It is important to contact a Georgia DUI defense attorney who not only knows the law but can effectively represent you in the defense of your serious motor vehicle crime case. Obtain a FREE lawyer consultation when you call today at 404-567-5515. Learn the difference between our approach to legal services in felony DUI (driving under the influence) cases.

A drunk or drugged driving conviction can wreak havoc on your future if a conviction is part of your criminal record. However, being arrested and charged with a DUI in Georgia does not mean that you will be found guilty in court. Contact us for your free consultation lawyer interview.

Client Reviews
Great lawyer helped me out a lot. Very attentive, made me feel comfortable and at ease!! Really knows his stuff - would use him anytime. M.L.
Mr. Larry Kohn could not have been more helpful. I sent him a message for a free consultation, and unfortunately my case had to be handled in another state. But he completely walked me through everything I needed to do, and even offered to assist the lawyer I did find in Virginia should they need help with my case. Jamie V.
Mr. Kohn is just amazing. He is truthful and realistic when explaining potential outcomes of your case and doesn’t force you to hire him or anything. When I met him, he went through everything about the case and ways to fight it off first before even telling me about his services. He got my case dismissed and kept me out of a lot of potential problems with school applications and future job opportunities. I highly recommend him to anyone. Anurag G.