If you’ve had DUIs in your past, whether it be one year, or five years, or 20 years, that’s an important thing for us to know and talk about because I can tell you the prosecution does know about it. They’re going to try to use those against you.
There are two different ways the prosecution can try to use previous DUI arrests, DUI convictions, DUI guilty pleas against you. The first is actually in enhanced sentencing. That’s what’s called a look-back period, that they’re confined to a certain amount of time to increase the sentence. Oftentimes in Georgia, it’s a five-year look back. It could be extended to 10 in some circumstances, but it’s normally five years.
If you’ve gotten multiple DUIs within five years, the fines can go up, the minimum jail time goes up, the community service goes up. We need to know about those things. There are also ways that we can fight those things going up. There are ways that we can fight the prosecution using previous cases against you because that’s the second way in which the prosecution can use these previous old cases against you. It’s called 404B evidence. They can try to admit the fact that you have been charged with, found guilty of, or even pled guilty to DUIs in the past to say that the jury should find you guilty this time.
What we can do in prosecuting your defense is fight that. There are certain things that the prosecutor has to show about why it’s irrelevant, why it goes to a specific point that the trying to prove, why it does matter, versus just trying to show you as a bad person that gets DUIs over and over and over. It’s important to have someone that understands that distinction and understands how to fight that, to keep out any of that evidence that the prosecution wants to use as a sledgehammer against you.