Lauren Wilder, of Kingsland, Georgia, was arrested on November 15, 2018, after a suspected DUI turned into an attack. Wilder, a mother of two young children, crashed a white Honda sedan into a ditch at the corner of Woodhaven Drive and Windtree Lane. Her two children, ages 5 and 3, were in the car with her at the time of the accident.
After seeing the crash, two teenage girls went to the car to check if the occupants inside were hurt. One of the girls smelled alcohol on Wilder's breath, and then Wilder began to punch the teenager in the face. The girl called her mother, who rushed out to the scene.
When the teenager's mother arrived, Wilder's mother had already arrived. Wilder and her children were in her mother's car, and Wilder's mother was yelling at her to leave, telling her she would take the blame for the accident.
Based on court records, Wilder has multiple previous DUI convictions: 2011 conviction for DUI drugs and alcohol, an August 2017 DUI conviction, and a pending DUI case from September 2017.
In most circumstances, a charge for driving under the influence(DUI) of drugs or alcohol is a misdemeanor offense. Depending on the facts of the case, a DUI can be a felony charge instead.
4th DUI Offense in 10 Years
When a person racks up four or more DUI's within a ten-year period, the offense is now a felony rather than a misdemeanor. This only applies to DUI convictions which occurred on or after July 1, 2008.
A felony DUI is serious, not only because of the potential penalties but because you now wear the "felon" label, which may make it extremely difficult to find and maintain employment.
Penalties for Felony DUI
If convicted of a felony DUI charge, you face a minimum of one year in jail (all but 90 days may be probated), a maximum of five years in jail, and a maximum fine of $5,000 plus court fees.
Up to half of the jail time can be suspended if you attend and successfully complete a drug and alcohol treatment program which has been approved by the court. Other penalties you face as a part of your felony conviction include 480 hours of community service, DUI school, five years of probation, and a clinical evaluation and recommended substance abuse treatment.
The potential consequences of a felony DUI conviction are serious, and should not be taken lightly.
Defending Your Case
You can fight to defend your case with the help of an experienced attorney. Possible defenses include challenging the results of field sobriety tests, challenging the results of blood or breath tests; suppressing illegally obtained evidence, or proving that the reason for the initial traffic stop was unconstitutional.
Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for DUI, especially when that DUI raises to the level of a felony, you need to present the best possible defense to protect your constitutional rights.