Case in point:
Jamal Anderson, Former Falcon, Arrested for DUI:
Former Atlanta Falcons running back Jamal Anderson was arrested Friday night in Gwinnett County.
According to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department, Anderson, 42, was arrested for DUI and improper stopping or slowing. He was arrested by the Georgia State Patrol.
Anderson was found in a car that was stopped on Interstate-85 south in Duluth. Records from the Gwinnett County Jail report that his bond was more than $2000. He was later released.
It was not Anderson's first time being arrested. He pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving in DeKalb County in December 2012 and was given a year of probation, sixty-four hours of community service, and a $700 fine. He was also required to complete a defensive driving class and attend a drunk driving impact panel.
An impact panel is a program that is used to get persons who have been arrested for DUI to understand the impact and sometimes life-long consequences and effects of drinking and driving. This was created in hopes that it will make them think twice before getting behind the wheel while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
For those of you who aren't die hard, long-suffering Falcons fans (like me), Anderson was a seventh-round draft pick in 1994. In 1996, he became a starter and later invented the now-famous “Dirty Bird” touchdown dance.
Although Anderson's first DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving, his most recent arrest would TECHNICALLY be his first DUI. Even so, the prosecution can take the reduced DUI charge and other previous charges into consideration when determining their position on the case.
Our office often gets calls from prospective clients who tell me they have been charged with their first DUI but had other offenses. They erroneously think the prosecutor must then give them a minimum sentence. This is not true. The prosecution and judge can view any factors they feel are relevant to your case.
The lesson of this blog posting is to advise never to assume you get first lifetime treatment if you have been arrested before. Anderson will need a top-rated Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer.