Prior DUI Convictions

Do you have prior DUI Convictions and are facing a new DUI charge in Georgia?

Georgia law does not favor individuals with prior DUI convictions. Even if your prior DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving or thrown out completely, it is common for Georgia prosecutors and judges to hold that charge against you when they consider your case and a plea offer. If you are considered a repeat DUI offender, your case will often be expedited and evaluated for eligibility of their stringent DUI Court treatment program.

Choosing DUI Court is a hefty decision plagued with many pitfalls. In addition to the above, if there are prior DUI convictions on your record they can lead to a felony consideration of new DUI charges and may result in significantly higher recommendations from Georgia prosecutors in regard to jail time and probation penalties. For more than 25 years Former DUI Prosecutor Richard Lawson has defended DUI cases throughout Georgia.  His experience makes all the difference.  His office is devoted to defended difficult DUI cases that involve clients with prior DUI convictions. Every case has potential Georgia DUI Defenses.

Prior Convictions are defined into the following categories explained in detail on the following full pages:

A Summary of Prior DUI Convictions can be found below:

First Georgia DUI:

If this is your first DUI in Georgia, you have the most options. Your Georgia DUI Attorney can investigate your case, enter into plea negotiations, argue motion hearings, or go to trial.  If this is your first DUI you are not likely to face severe additional consequences even if you go to trial and win your lose your case.

Second Georgia DUI:

A second DUI in Georgia is a serious matter.  You are facing increased punishment and loss of your drivers for at least a year.  You are also facing the prospect of having the stigma of being a multiple offender.  You may also be sentenced to attend a Georgia DUI Court Program. These programs are supervised treatment programs.  The programs are supervised by the Court and the sentencing judge.

Third Georgia DUI:

If you are convicted of a third DUI in Georgia the stakes are very high.  If convicted you will be declared an Habitual Violator and banned from driving for up to 5 years.  If you are caught driving you will be charged with Driving after being declared an Habitual Violator.  That charge is Felony in Georgia with the potential punishments including 1-5 years in prison.

Fourth Georgia DUI:

Since 2008, a fourth DUI in Georgia is considered a felony.  You will be facing up to 5 years in prison and various other consequences.  Even if your four DUI's are not since 2008, you will be facing an extremely serious misdemeanor office that will carry it's own serious consequences.  Many people have called my office confused, thinking that prior offenses come off their record.  If you are convicted on any DUI in Georgia, the case will be on your record for the rest of your life and can be used against you later if you get another DUI.

Habitual Violator:

If you have convicted of 3 major violations such as DUI or Hit and Run you will be declared a Habitual Violator. After being declared HV, if you are found driving at all (not just under the influence) you will be charged with a felony with punishments up to 5 years in prison.  Most people charged with HV will have some severe consequences.  The job of your Georgia DUI Attorney is to minimize the impact on you life as much as possible. Unless you act right away, you will lose the change to minimize your consequences and seek alternative punishments to jail or prison.

What happens to my Drivers License when I have had Prior DUI Convictions?

The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) also seeks more stringent license suspension measures for repeat DUI offenders. In order to reinstate a suspended license in these cases certain measures may be required including ignition interlock systems, clinical evaluations, and treatment options for alcohol or drug dependencies. In fact, if you have a second or more DUI in Georgia, you cannot reinstate your license until you have completed a 17 week treatment program as well as having the ignition interlock device placed on your car. 

If you are from another State, you may need to get an ignition interlock waiver in order to restore your drivers license in your home state.  If you get a Georgia DUI and you are an out of State Driver, there are different rules that apply to you.  Our Georgia DUI Lawyers are trained in dealing with out of State Drivers who are arrested for DUI in Georgia.  We are hear to help you any time you need, 365 days a year. 

Prior DUI convictions can also lead to “high and aggravated” treatment of misdemeanor charges which present other challenges. High and aggravated misdemeanor charges are generally ineligible for “good time” early release credit during jail sentences. ( no 2 for 1 credit ). That is why it's important to see if there is a way to keep the DUI off your record or get it reduced to a lessor offense such as reckless driving.  If the case cannot be reduced, it's important to have the best possible plea bargain negotiated in your caseContact our office now to begin your defense.

Our Attorneys

  • Richard Lawson

    Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Cri...

  • Kimberly A. Berry

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

Recent Case Results

  • This case was in Helen Municipal Court.  The client was charged with a DUI and four counts of DUI Child Endangerment.  In Georgia, for every child under the age of 14 in a vehicle it is considered a separate DUI offense.  The client would have been declared an habitual violator from one arrest an... Read On

  • Client was charged with a suspended license because he did not reinstate his privilege to drive after the expiration of his restricted license.  Per my advice, the client properly reinstated his license the day after he was charged.  Case Dismissed in Cobb County State Court.  Read On

  • Client was a resident of New York who was arrested while he was visiting Georgia for pleasure. He was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, and Speeding 37 MPH over the speed limit. We were able to get the client an unbelievable outcome in Hampton, Georgia. His DUI dismissed, his speeding ticket wa... Read On



    I initially contacted Mr. Lawson's firm about a terrible situation I was in. I was charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DUI Child Endangerment and Failure to Maintain Lane. This would have been my 5th life time DUI but with the Child Endangerment DUI this would have been my 5th and 6th... Read On

  • 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 wi... Read On

  • Outstanding Attorney

    Mr. Lawson was definitely an extraordinary attorney. He was very informative and professional. All calls/emails were answered immediately or within the hour. The DUI charge was reduced to reckless driving. Thank you, Mr. Lawson for making a difficult situation a lot less traumatic. 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!