Why do prior DUI offenses matter?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 05, 2018 | 0 Comments

Many people wonder why the fact that they have been arrested in the past matters in their current situation. It is a valid question that needs to be addressed.

In fairness, people should be judged on the facts and circumstances of their current case, not the fact that they have been previously arrested. However, judgment about a case is two separate exercises. 

The first part of judging a case is determining whether a person has violated the law. To commit a crime there must be a joint 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 may find them guilty. 

For purposes of determining guilt or innocence, there is no question that a person should be judged on the facts and circumstances of the case at hand, and whether a person has been previously arrested should have absolutely no barring at all. 

However, the second part about judging a case is applying an appropriate punishment in the event of a conviction. In that situation, the fact that someone has previously violated the law must apply.

Georgia DUI Penalties require additional consequences based on the number of DUI convictions a person has within a ten-year period. That being said, any court may consider a person's entire criminal history when fashioning an appropriate sentence, and that fact that a DUI conviction may have occurred outside of the ten-year period does not preclude it from being considered. In fact, most judges consider both the number of DUI's a person has had in a ten-year period as well as the number of DUI arrests they have had in their lifetime.

Our job as Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys is to present mitigating evidence to help a court more fairly view our clients. Our job is to also show the court the flaws in the case pending against our clients, to better show that there are potential defenses in the case. Only then can a fair sentence or outcome be achieved. 

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Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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