This isn't my first DUI

Question: I ate dinner at a restaurant on Canton Street in Roswell and while I was driving home I went through a “stop sign” and the cop pulled me over. He said he saw me roll through the stop sign and asked me where I was coming from and if I had anything to drink. I didn’t want to lie so I said I had about 4 beers, 2 mixed drinks and 2 shots. But I hadn’t had anything to drink in almost an hour.

I totally cooperated and did all those tests that he wanted and finally he arrested me. I took a breath test at the jail and now I need a Roswell DUI attorney.

This isn’t my first DUI. I got a DWI charge in New York, but that was several years ago, when I was stationed there in the military. I was in the armed forces for about 5 years but then I was discharged, went to college and worked for a few zoos in Miami, San Diego, Cleveland and now Atlanta. Now I’m working for an insurance company in Sandy Springs.

I need to understand if that prior New York DUI, which the folks in New York call a DWI, will have any bearing on my present DUI charge in Roswell?

J.K. in Roswell, GA

Answer: If the solicitor (that’s the prosecutor) in Roswell finds out about the prior DWI/DUI, then, yes, it may very well impact how this Roswell DUI is treated. If the New York DUI is recent (and the prosecutor finds it), then it will likely mean enhanced punishments if you are convicted or plead guilty to this charge. The older the prior DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)/DUI, the better.

Under Georgia law, the “look back” period is 10 years. However, even if the DUI is older than that, a prosecutor can use it to increase your punishments. Obviously, it always looks better if you have a clean record, unblemished with a prior DUI charge or conviction. But that doesn’t mean that a good DUI lawyer can’t help to minimize your sentence.

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