Clients tend to wonder why we ask if they have been arrested in the past, and why it matters in their current case.
Today, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I'd like to clarify why this is so important. Yes, in a perfect world, people should only be judged based on the circumstances of the case at hand. However, judgment about a case is actually two separate exercises.
The first part of judging a case is determining whether or not the accused person has violated the law. In order to commit a criminal offense, there must be both an action and intention to violate the law. If there is sufficient evidence that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then a jury or judge will most likely find them guilty.
The previous arrests and convictions does not aid or deter in determining guilt or innocence. There is no question that a person should be judged on the facts and circumstances of the case at hand.
The second part of judging a case is applying an appropriate punishment in the event of a conviction. This subsequent part does include bringing previous offenses and convictions into the picture. The mere fact that someone has previously violated the law must apply.
Practice Note: How does this apply to DUI in Georgia?
There are additional penalties and consequences to the common Georgia DUI Penalties based on the number of DUI convictions a person has within both a five-year as well as a ten-year period. With each previous conviction, there are more consequences.
Moreover, a court may also consider a person's entire criminal history when determining what they deem as an appropriate sentence. Unfortunately, the fact that a DUI conviction happened longer than five to ten years ago doesn't mean that it won't be brought to the attention of the judge or that it won't be considered because it will be.
In fact, most judges in Georgia consider not only the number of DUI's a person has had in a five-year and ten-year period, but also the number of DUI arrests they have had in their lifetime.
As Georgia DUI Attorneys, we aim to present mitigating evidence to help a court more fairly view our clients. We show the court the flaws in the case pending against our clients and utilize the most applicable Georgia DUI Defenses.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today.