Habitual Violator in Forsyth County, Georgia
To be designated as a habitual violator, one must have received convictions for three major offenses within a span of five years. An example of such a serious violation is driving under the influence (DUI). Habitual Violator is a status, not a crime on its own. In the state of Georgia, if you've been labeled a Habitual Violator (referred to as HV), you're prohibited from driving for a duration of up to five years. However, after two years, you might be eligible for a specialized HV permit. Different penalties may apply depending on whether the violation pertains to the Habitual Violator Permit or HV as a whole. Both types of penalties are detailed below.
At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, our Forsyth County DUI Lawyers have over 50 combined years of experience in criminal defense. We possess a deep understanding of Habitual Violator cases in Georgia and are skilled at resolving the underlying charges to avoid you becoming a habitual violator. Our commitment is to assist you in achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Don't hesitate to reach out for a free, no obligation case evaluation.
Typical Consequences for Habitual Violators in Georgia
Following the commission of three major offenses within five years, your driver's license will be suspended for a period of five years. However, you might have the opportunity to acquire a restricted permit after two years, contingent upon satisfying certain conditions, including completing a treatment program. Other penalties associated with habitual violators encompass:
- Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
- Requirement for an ignition interlock device.
- Potential imprisonment for up to five years.
- A minimum of 30 days of community service.
- Mandatory participation in a DUI course.
- Five years of probation minus time served.
- Compulsory completion of a clinical evaluation.
- Fulfillment of a treatment program if advised by the evaluator (this cannot be waived by a judge).
Georgia's Habitual Violator Criminal Offense is categorized into four different levels:
- The initial and less severe Habitual Violator offense involves violating the limitations of the HV limited permit. If you operate a vehicle outside of the designated permit parameters, you will be charged with Misdemeanor Habitual Violator. This could result in the revocation of your permit for the remainder of the five-year suspension period. The HV limited permit allows driving under specific circumstances, including:
- Commuting to your workplace or performing your job duties.
- Receiving scheduled medical care or collecting prescription medications.
- Attending college or school.
- Participating in treatment sessions for individuals with addiction or substance abuse issues.
- Attending court-mandated driver education, improvement schools, or approved alcohol/drug treatment programs.
The second level of HV offense pertains to driving after being designated a Habitual Violator without possessing a limited permit. Even if not driving under the influence, this action constitutes a felony, punishable by one to five years of imprisonment. A felony in Georgia bears serious consequences, including loss of voting rights and firearm ownership. Given this, an HV charge must be treated with utmost seriousness.
The third and gravest level of Habitual Violator involves being caught driving under the influence (or committing another serious offense) while holding HV status. In this scenario, you face the potential for a felony conviction, along with additional penalties for the DUI and related charges. The DUI itself might be classified as a fourth DUI in Georgia, which is a felony charge. These penalties can be cumulative, leading to more than five years of imprisonment. Swift action is vital; seek assistance from top DUI attorneys in Forsyth County. Furthermore, enrolling in a treatment program can demonstrate to the court that you're not a threat to society.
The least severe HV charge in Georgia is operating a vehicle after the expiration of your five-year license suspension period without reinstating your Georgia Driver's license. Essentially, you could have restored your license but failed to do so. This constitutes a Misdemeanor Habitual Violator offense in Georgia. Consequences include penalties for committing a misdemeanor in Georgia, involving potential jail time of up to 12 months and fines up to $1,000.
Contact Us Today
Being designated a habitual violator in Georgia carries substantial implications for your daily life. Contact our Forsyth County DUI Lawyers today to receive a complimentary case evaluation and to explore how we can aid your situation. Many individuals assume their cases are hopeless, which is far from accurate. Our 50 years of experience in criminal defense equips us to achieve great results for your case! Call now for a free case evaluation.