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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33752
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I need to see what the law states that penalties were in

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Hi. I need to see what the law states that penalties were in 1987 for a first offense DUI with a plea of NOLO. I haven't been able to find this online.
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: Georgia
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, but my attorney is in Maine.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, I think that's it. Thanks!

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today.

Are you looking for a way to find that information? I can point you in the right direction if that's sufficient, but it's not going to be online. Or I can opt out and open it back up to other experts if you prefer.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am being asked in an interrogatory to list any convictions that require one year or more of jail time. By answering this question, I am opening myself up to other issues. I got a DUI in GA in 1987, and seem to remember that by pleading NOLO at that time that I would avoid a conviction on my record. Sure enough, it does not appear on my criminal record. I answered a job application for my current job 'no' to convictions, thinking that I am okay. But the person suing me knows about the DUI and I am very frightened about how to answer this question. I know the laws have changed since then.... How can I find the answer?

To find out whether or not it would have had more than a one year sentence in 1987 you would have to go to a local law library and look through old copies of a book called the Georgia Penal Code. The law libraries, particularly the ones at law schools, keep the statutes books from each year.

I have heard Lexis/Nexis has the old statutes on their website but I have never been able to find them and they are extremely expensive.

You can also go and look through your file at the courthouse where you were sentenced. The Judgement will tell you whether it was a conviction or not.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I believe it was a conviction that never appeared on my record. But what I want to find out is whether, at that time, it carried a potential sentence of one year. Currently it's one day to one year in jail. Would any law school have the GA penal code, or do I need to be at a law school in GA? So, if this person pursues the issue and contacts my employer about this conviction (that I really did think 'went away'), is there ANYthing I can say to defend myself and not look like a liar? I am losing sleep over this! The person suing me has pledged to 'ruin me'. Furthermore, I received a note in my mailbox threatening to reveal this mistake if the 'issue needs to be pursued' - but the note was from an individual connected with the lawsuit, not the actual person trying to sue me. I appreciate your time today -- this is my only real skeleton -- not the DUI, but the fact that I didn't admit it on my job application or my fingerprinting application. I was fingerprinted and it didn't come up.

It would almost certainly need to be a law school in GA. Very few law schools carry the penal codes from other states.

As to how to defend yourself, again it would be a copy of the judgment in your case. THat, along with the docket sheet, provides the information on whether it went away. There are a number of ways that it could have been handled. The most likely is a "deferred adjudication" where you do probation and after a certain period of time the judge just dismisses the case. This isn't unusual for a first offense although not every state allows it for this charge.

Also, in most states a first DUI carried a sentence of "up to one year", so it is likely that you answered everything correctly.

If you know who is sending you the note then you may want to get a local lawyer to write them a cease and desist letter and a letter threatening them if they say anything to anybody.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks for your help. Final question: Can anyone get a copy of my judgment, or do I have to give permission? I am very afraid, as if I get a copy of the judgment and it shows that I was convicted, I am in big trouble. Sorry to trouble you with so many questions.

Anyone can get a copy unless the judge specifically sealed the file, which is very unusual in a criminal case.

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