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Habitual Violator in Georgia

About Richard Lawson

Have You Been Arrested for Driving While Being Declared a Habitual Violator (Commonly called HV)?

Driving while being declared a habitual violator is a felony.  The issue is no longer being caught driving under the influence or drunk driving.  The issue is merely driving after being declared a Habitual Violator.  If you have been declared a Habitual Violator, or what is commonly called HV, you are not allowed to drive for up to 5 years.  After 2 years you may qualify for a special HV permit.  There are potentially different penalties if the violation is of the Habitual Violator Permit or HV overall.  Both penalties will be covered below.  As in any Georgia DUI case, under Georgia law, you only have 10 days to begin protecting your ability and privilege to drive.

Georgia DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson has been defending HV cases for almost 20 years.  He is a former DUI Prosecutor uniquely qualified to help you with your case.  No case is hopeless.  There are always defenses and alternatives. HV cases are serious matters that need serious attention.  Our office is dedicated to the defense of those charged with driving under the influence and habitual violator.

10 Day Warning!!

You only have 10 business days from the date of your arrest to have your Georgia DUI Lawyer file an appeal to keep your ability to drive.  This appeal has a $150 filing fee and must be done to keep your ability to drive, or in the situation of a Habitual Violator case, at least limit your license suspension.  If this appeal is not filed, you will have an additional administrative license suspension on top of any other suspension you may be serving.  Call now to limit the suspension of your license and get your license restored as quickly as possible.

Being a Habitual Violator in and of itself is not a crime.  You must have committed three major offenses such as DUI within a 5 Year period of time.  Once that happens, you will be declared an Habitual Violator.  If nothing else happens, you will not have committed an additional crime however, your license will be suspended for 5 years without the ability to get any permit to drive until you have been suspended at least 2 years.

There are 4 different levels of the HV criminal offense in Georgia

The first and less serious Habitual Violator offense is violating the HV limited permit.  In this situation, you are legally driving on the HV permit but driving outside the limitations of the permit.  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, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner

(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 found driving outside of these limitations while having the limited permit, you have committed the offense of Misdemeanor Habitual Violator and are subject to serious misdemeanor punishments as well as losing your HV permit for the remainder of the 5 year license suspension.

The second level of HV offense is being caught driving after being declared an Habitual Violator without a limited permit.  Even if you are not DUI but are simply caught driving in this situation, you have committed a felony punishable with 1 to 5 years in prison.  A felony in Georgia is a serious and life-changing charge.  It is very common that persons charged with an HV Felony in Georgia will be sentenced to prison.  Prison is not the county jail.  Prison means the State Penitentiary. In addition, you will lose your right to vote and your right to own a firearm.  As a result you must take a charge of HV very seriously.

The third and most serious level of Habitual Violator being caught DUI (or committing another serious offense) while being HV.  In that situation you are facing being made into a convicted felon, as well as facing additional consequences for the DUI and other charges.  The DUI itself may be a 4th DUI in Georgia, which in and of itself can be a felony DUI. All of these potential punishments can be made to run consecutive.  That means you can face more than 5 years in prison.  Time is of the essence.  You need the help of the best DUI lawyers in Georgia.  In addition, you will be well-advised to check yourself into a treatment program to show the court you are not a danger to society.

The fourth and least serious HV charge in Georgia is being found driving after your 5 year license suspension has expired but you have not reinstated your Georgia Driver's license.  Effectively, you could have gone and got your license back but failed to do it.  This is Misdemeanor Habitual Violator in Georgia.  You will be facing consequences for committing a misdemeanor in Georgia, including up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1000.

Common Punishment for Being Found Driving After Being Declared a Habitual Violator - Driving while HV

Drivers License suspended for 5 years or 2 years if completed treatment and other conditions.

The fine is not less than $1000 or more than $5000

Prison up to 5 years

No less than 30 days of community service unless the defendant is sentenced to serve 3 years in prison

Complete DUI School

Mandatory completion of Clinical Evaluation

Completion of a treatment program if recommended by the evaluator (this can't be waived by a judge)

Up to 5 years probation, less time served

Ignition interlock system required while on an HV Permit.

There is hope if you are charged with Habitual Violator in Georgia

If you are charged with HV in Georgia, you must act now.  There are alternative punishments.  There are defenses to a Georgia DUI case. Call now for immediate legal help.  We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our Attorneys

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    Richard Lawson

    Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He ex...

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    Kimberly A. Berry

    Kimberly Berry has devoted her career to defending people. She is ...


  • Kimberly Berry is a hard working, honest, future saving, SUPERIOR Attorney!

    Our teenager went off to College (August 2012) with a "You don't have to worry about me, I will not get into trouble, I know what I'm doing" attitude. Two MIP's within the first three months and a citation four months later, proved that attitude wrong. After we had a "come to Jesus" discussion with our "know it all" college student, took away pretty much all privileges, and issued a required repayment plan, we then had to find an attorney. Kimberly was a Godsend. We were contacted in less than five minutes of sending an SOS email and she gave us her cell phone number to call at anytime, day or night with any questions or concerns. I have never heard of an attorney that would give out their cell number or allow to you call them anytime. She promptly returned phone calls and emails. She took care of everything, explained all options, advised us, dealt with DA's, judges, clerks, and eased our worries. Kimberly went above and beyond what we expected, kept us constantly informed, delayed the cases to our benefit, and worked tirelessly to save our teen's future. All of which was included in her initial fee! There were no added fees, no minute by minute charges, no paperwork charges, no charges for phone conversations, etc., that most all other attorneys require. I find this miraculous, because we got so much more than our moneys worth - if we calculated all of her hard work, emails, phone calls, court dates, etc., I just do not see how she can charge so little for everything! She is worth so much more. Kimberly is truly amazing!! Our teen now has a clean, clear record for the future, thank God, learned some very hard life lessons, found out parents are right in most things, growing up is not easy, and now is on the right track for success. The bad choices that were made in the first year of college will be erased, and the future is bright again because of Kimberly's successful strategy. I never do reviews, but I had to in this situation, because we are SO thankful that Kimberly represented our teen. No one could have done any better. We have dealt with other attorneys in our business, paid outrageous, ridiculous, overpriced fees by the minute, and never, ever felt they were working for our best interest. Kimberly is so different than all other attorneys. She does care, she works hard, she is honest, always in touch, and absolutely the BEST attorney you could ever have. We are not exaggerating, we were not asked to do a recommendation, we are doing this with sincere gratitude from the bottom of our hearts. Read On

  • Exceptional experience

    Richard Lawson is by far the BEST Lawyer in Georgia. I was on my way home from Northern Georgia and heading to Central Florida. I was pulled over by the Georgia Highway Patrol for speeding and was eventually charged with DUI Refusal (2nd Time). After I was released from around 10pm, Richard answered his phone the first time I called. We spoke about what had transpired and he also told me my options with me possibly hiring him and he was hired by the end our conversation. During the course of my case I never had to return to Georgia and by the end of my case Richard had gotten my DUI Refusal (2nd time) dismissed and reduced to Reckless Driving. In addition to this whenever I called or emailed Richard he would respond within an hour or less. I now am confident to recommend Richard to anyone that needs similar help while in the state of Georgia and lives out of state. Read On

  • Richard Lawson Saved My Career

    When I totaled my vehicle off the side of a mountain in North Georgia, the last thing I was thinking about was getting a DUI. I was injured severely and spent over a week in the hospital. While in the hospital, I got a call informing me I was facing a DUI charge. If I would have gotten a DUI, I would have lost my job and not been able to get another position in the same industry. I had gotten a DUI in the past, so this would have been my second. Mr. Lawson got my charges reduced to reckless driving and saved my career. With my charges reduced, I was able to keep my job. It also meant that I was eligible for advancement in the company I work for. After my conviction, Mr. Lawson made sure to follow up to discuss any questions I had and to make sure I knew exactly what to do. Several months later I had some questions and he got back to me the same day. He made sure to go above and beyond what was required and I could not have been more satisfied with Mr. Lawson. If it weren't for him, I don't know where my life would be today. Read On

Recent Case Results

  • The client was charged with DUI for the second time in 5 years. The DUI charge was reduced to Reckless Driving saving his job. When facing a second DUI in 5 years in Georgia, there is no limited permit if convicted. As a result, the reckless driving saved the client's job and family income. Read On

  • The client was charged with two DUIs within a single month. One DUI was reduced to Reckless Driving because of insufficient evidence that he had been driving the vehicle and because of the officer’s failure to properly administer the field sobriety tests. Read On

  • The client was charged with DUI and submitted to a State blood test which showed a B.A.C. almost three times the legal limit. After submitting to the State blood test, the client requested her own blood test at a hospital that was nearby. The officer denied the client's independent test request. Case reduced to reckless driving. Read On

Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer


When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!