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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.
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I am in the state of Georgia. Unfortunately I received 2 DUIs

Customer Question

I am in the state of Georgia. Unfortunately I received 2 DUIs within 2 1/2 weeks of each other in September of 2011. Other than those occurrences, I had a clean driving record.

The State of Georgia has passed "Senate Bill 236, which was signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal on April 16, modifies Article 3, Chapter 5 of Title 40 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) as well as Article 7 of Chapter 8 of Title 42. These articles reference punishment for drivers arrested for DUI and govern ignition interlock devices, which prevent offenders from driving while drunk."

For 2 time offenders within the past 5 years (me) it reads:

"Starting on Jan. 1, 2013 these offenders will automatically serve a 120 day hard suspension of their driving priviliges, followed by permission to get a ignition interlock limited permit provided the offender can show proof of the following:

1. That he or she has completed a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction program;
2. That he or she has completed a clinical evaluation and enrolled in a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Department of Human Services or is enrolled in a drug court program;
3. That he or she has installed an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that he or she will be operating; and
4. That he or she obtains a certificate of eligibility for an ignition interlock limited driving permit or probationary license from the court that sentenced the person for the conviction that resulted in the suspension."

I have so far had my license suspended for the 120 days and have a court paper saying I can get my license back on September 25th, 2013; a year to the day after my sentencing and plea. This date is because it was before this new law went into effect. I was hoping under this new law to get that date changed to be able to drive with an ignition-interlock license ASAP. However, I called the DDS and was told since I received my DUI before the law was signed into effect, July 1, I was not eligible for this law.

My question is this; I did not plead guilty nor was sentenced until September 25th, 2012. What is the case? You have to be merely ARRESTED for DUI (which I was in Sept, 2011) or found GUILTY of DUI after that July 1, 2012 date? I need help understanding the technicalities of this new law.

Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Samuel-II :

Hi

Samuel-II :

New laws, unless they are retroactive, will not apply to incidents of the past. They only apply to incidents that happen from the "effective date" forward.

Samuel-II :

In this new law, it is clear the effective date is "starting Jan 1, 2013"

Samuel-II :

Therefore, you cannot use this new law and apply it to your situation.

Samuel-II :

It is pro active as opposed to retroactive

Customer :

The a person from DDS said "the new law will apply to anyone after the date of signing the law by the Gov.." My question is does this particular law apply from date of arrest or from date of conviction?

Samuel-II :

That is not correct information

Samuel-II :

It will only apply after the Effective Date which is Jan 1, 2013

Samuel-II :

It is not when the law is signed. Otherwise there would be no need for it to say Effective or Starting on...

Customer :

Are you basing this on laws in-general or this law in particular?

Samuel-II :

All laws in all states and in the Federal Congress are the same

Samuel-II :

It is the way laws are made and how they are applied for legal purposes

Samuel-II :

It is the one continuity within the states that remains the same throughout the country when it comes to new laws being made and how they are applied

Samuel-II :

If you want you can verify the information with the Georgia General Assembly where those laws are made

Samuel-II :

and speak to your elected representive to the State Legislature or someone in the General Assembly who can help further explain how laws are made and why they are effective with pro active or retroactive

Samuel-II :

and very few are ever retroactive

Samuel-II :

I can get you that contact information if you want to verify my information as true and correct

Samuel-II :

the information you are getting from that other person is not true or correct. They are wrong and have no idea what they are talking aout

Samuel-II :

about

Customer :

If I was arrested in December of 2012 and Convicted in January 2013 after the law went into effect, would it apply to me then?

Customer :

I am just trying to understand if arrest dates or conviction dates make a difference.

Samuel-II :

It would apply if you were not sentenced after Jan 1, 2013. Yes.

Samuel-II :

Because an arrest is not a guilty finding

Samuel-II :

And so you would have to be convicted and then sentenced after the Effective or Starting on date

Samuel-II :

It is not about an arrest after Jan 1, 2013. Though if you were arrested after Jan 1, 2013, it would apply too - but only if you were convicted and then only because such conviction took place after Jan 1, 2013

Customer :

Thank you very much for the info. Have a great new year.

Samuel-II :

I suggest you can contact the Chief Counsel and have it further explained to you

Samuel-II :

Do not hesitate to call. You are a taxpayer and have a right to have your questions answered

Samuel-II :

by these members and their staff

Samuel-II :

They are paid with your tax dollars

Samuel-II :

It is not an easy concept to understand. So do not hesitate to call them

Samuel-II :

If you have other questions, you may reply here and I will continue to assist you. Otherwise, please rate "good to excellent" below so that I may get credit for my time and information to you in this regard. Thanks

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.
Hi

If you have other questions, you may reply here and I will continue to assist you. Otherwise, please rate "good to excellent" below so that I may get credit for my time and information to you in this regard. Thanks

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Samuel II
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Handle criminal matters in both state and federal courts.