I have prior DUIs from other states

Question: I want to know about prior DUIs. I'm new to Georgia. I've only lived here two years. But I got a DUI last week in Forsyth County, so I need a great Forsyth DUI lawyer. I was pulled over by a Cumming police officer. He said that I was driving on the wrong side of the street but I don't think I was or if I was it was for just a second or two when I was trying to make a turn. I took a breath test and it was .096. I know that's not super high, but it is over the limit. So maybe I shouldn't have taken the test.

My question is about other DUI charges in my past. This is my first DUI in Georgia, but I have had two other DUIs. Both were from other states. I got a DUI in Florida and I got a DUI in Ohio. They are both over 5 years old.

I used to drink a lot of booze but then I went to rehab and I stopped for a while. But I recently started to have some wine and beer again. After my arrest I started going to AA meetings. I think I have the drinking under control now. This last DUI was a wake-up call. My wife said I had to join AA or she'd leave me.

I need to figure out if those old drunken driving charges from other states will be an issue here in Georgia. And I need to know what to expect. I'm working in Roswell at a good job and I live in Alpharetta.

R.S. in Alpharetta, GA

Answer: If found by the prosecutors, prior DUI charges can be used to enhance your DUI sentence. In your case, if your two prior DUIs are discovered, the latest DUI will be considered a third DUI charge. And under Georgia law, you can be sentenced for a third DUI. Of course, the punishments for each subsequent DUI are increased. The Georgia "look back" period is 10 years. So you are facing increased jail time, more community service and enhanced fines, among other things.

However, if the prior DUIs are not discovered, it is likely that you will be sentenced in accordance with a first DUI. We would like to know if the two prior out-of-state DUIs resulted in convictions, were reduced or were dropped. The outcomes, certainly, could have a major impact on how they will affect your sentence for this DUI.

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