Facing your second DUI offense

The stakes are high when you are charged with a second DUI in Georgia, but the consequences can vary wildly, including jail time that can range from only 3 days to up to 1 year. Where you are likely to fall on that spectrum will depend on the specifics of your case, and the strategy of your defense.

Atlanta DUI Lawyer Erin Gerstenzang

Second DUI charge consequences in Georgia

Naturally, a second (or subsequent) DUI conviction is going to come with harsher consequences than the first. But in Georgia, the law also considers the length of time between the first and second offenses in determining punishment; if it has been at least 10 years since the date of your first arrest and that of your most recent, it will be treated legally as your first DUI in terms of the statutory fines and jail times applied, even though it’s technically your second. (Be aware that a judge may still consider the previous DUI as evidence when determining the severity of your sentence, albeit within the statutory limitations.) If convicted of a second DUI within 10 years, however, the minimum and maximum penalties go up.

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Jail time is generally required for a second DUI, and a conviction can carry anywhere from a 72-hour to 1-year sentence. This can depend on the details of your case, but it can also be affected by the usual practice of the court in which you are charged; one court may typically sentence individuals to the minimum jail sentence (3 days), while a neighboring city may begin the negotiation process with an offer of 6 months in jail. Regardless of jail time, a supervised probation period of at least 12 months typically follows, and you will be required to perform at least 240 hours of community service within the probationary timeframe. Fines also fall within a range: between $600 to $1000, plus court costs.

Timeline stipulations come into play again in regards to license suspension following a second DUI arrest. If this is your second offense within 5 years, then you are facing a 1-year hard license suspension. You may be eligible for a limited permit after the first 120 days of your hard (no permit) suspension if you had a Georgia license at the time of your DUI conviction, and you are in a recognized, 17-week drug and alcohol treatment program. You’ll also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car. This device prevents your car from starting until you have blown into a box that measures your breath for your blood alcohol level. You will have to pay for the installation of the Ignition Interlock Device, along with associated service fees.

Additional consequences include having to surrender the tags (license plates) of any and all vehicles in your name. You will also have your photo published in the local paper, announcing that you have been arrested more than once for DUI. Increasingly you will be strongly encouraged to enter your county’s DUI Court Program, which is a 2-year court-supervised treatment program. The DUI Courts are very successful at helping people stop drinking and start taking control of their lives, but many people struggle with the rigorous and inflexible program requirements. It’s important to understand at the start that these programs can be costly, and generally prohibit any type of travel (without prior permission — which is not given freely) which can make them difficult to get to without a license.

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Attorney Erin H. Gerstenzang

Criminal defense for second DUI in Georgia

It can be misleading for people who are not accustomed to the court process to rely upon stories they have heard about the experiences of a friend or relative when they were arrested for their second Driving Under the Influence charge. One court may typically sentence individuals to the minimum jail sentence (3 days) while a neighboring court may begin the negotiation process with an offer of 6 months in jail. When you go to court without qualified representation, you will find yourself feeling not only unprepared, but pressured to make a decision about your case without having all the relevant information.

 Because the consequences can be so severe, it is important to take the time at the beginning of your case to find an experienced criminal defense attorney to challenge the prosecutor’s case every step of the way. Attorney Erin Gerstenzang will help you understand your options, and start working immediately to achieve the best outcomes for your case. Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your pending charges.

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What it's like to work with Erin

Highly recommended!

Erin is confident, competent, knowledgeable, responsive and proactive. These are the key qualities I was looking for in an attorney. She was able to answer all of my questions and managed my expectations – while I was weighing my options. I ultimately decided to take my DUI case to trial and the ruling was in my favor, icing on the cake! If you are looking for legal representation, I strongly recommend consulting/hiring Erin.


If you are definitely looking for a lawyer that would represent you because they have your best interest at heart, Erin is the right person for the task. Not only would she explore and exhaust all options for your case, but she would guide you and give you feedback. She is excellent , knowledgeable, experienced and friendly. I was facing DUI and I had priors before, Erin was able to fight on my behalf and secure a favorable outcome in my case.

Best Attorney – who can empathize, understand your problems & finds best way to get you out of it – got all my charges dismissed

I was looking for an attorney who could understand my case, who will be able to effectively fight for me and get the best outcome. That’s exactly what Ms. Erin did. She got to drop all the charges including reckless driving and also got my arrest to be restricted. I highly Recommend Ms. Erin.

Great Lawyer!

Erin was amazing to deal with from start to finish. She really knew what she was doing and knew her way around the courthouse and prosecutors so that we could get the best result possible. She was very professional and communicated things to me very quickly and easily. She helped me out of a somewhat major traffic violation with only a fine. I would highly recommend her to anyone.

Stellar Lawyer

I hired Attorney Erin regarding traffic; I was so impressed with her thoroughness engagement and professionalism. She was able to get the largest charge dismissed and I paid a fine for the lesser charge. She was engaged and caring. I always knew what was going on and her prices were very reasonable. This is the lawyer to trust!

Erin saved me time, money and a whole lotta tears

Erin is top notch and made everything easy + seamless when I was feeling very frustrated and upset. I got a speeding ticket in Brookhaven and was not only thrilled with the result she achieved, but also how quickly she helped me.

As an attorney myself, I thought about handling the ticket on my own. I’m so glad I didn’t! She got me a better result than I ever could have imagined in no time. Get off the fence and contact her if you want this weight lifted off your shoulders.

Pleasant, effective and efficient – thanks Erin!

I wanted the best possible legal outcome and Erin also came highly recommended through another lawyer. She was 100% worth it. Without getting into specifics, I would not have managed the same outcome if I appeared in court on my own. She knew the system, the judges, the court, etc and was extremely timely in her communications and follow-up in the lead up to my court date. Hiring was simple (electronic documents and payment); we communicated over calls and texts, without me having to meet her till the morning of my court date. She was patient in answering all of our questions and explained the legal scenarios clearly. So glad we hired her given the peace of mind and result. Thank you Erin!

Absolutely the best, kindest, most upfront and caring attorney I have come across!

I called Erin for a simple consultation, and WOW, the wealth of knowledge the gave me was enough for me to go into court and represent myself effectively! She is not a crook or a scam artist out to take advantage of you, she genuinely cares about you and wants you to come out victorious, whether you do or do not use her. I highly recommend her, because not only is she sweet, kind and caring, she is upfront, honesty and to the point – exactly what a lawyer should be! She is definitely an asset to the Atlanta area attorneys and to any client who should choose to use her! There is no better option.

Great Traffic Lawyer

I’ve been a lawyer long enough to know that traffic court, especially in the City of Atlanta, is a very specialized practice. Accordingly, when our son was involved in a minor traffic accident, and we did not want to have to submit to the Atlanta Traffic Court’s “Pre-Trial Intervention-Traffic” scam, we reached out to Erin to handle it. Through her knowledge of the system, the solicitors, and the judges, she got us a great result, which was certainly much better than we could have achieved on our own.

I highly recommend her.

Fantastic lawyer, best possible outcome for the case

Erin was hired for a DUI case involving prescription medication. What made the case difficult was because of certain medical issues the client was not able to participate in his own defense. Erin had to think outside the box in representing the client, which she did with great compassion and success. She did a wonderful job of keeping us informed of her plans for representation and was always available to speak to us when necessary.

In our experience Erin really went to bat for her client. If you need legal representation in this area she is the best.

Very Impressed

I was referred to Erin through my older cousin who had used her in the past for a DUI case. This was my second DUI so he recommended her as one of the best in Dekalb county. My case was a very peculiar one and there were a lot of factors involved because it involved DUI, Hit and Run and Equipment violation. Erin was able to get all my charges dropped and only have the Equipment violation. I am THOROUGHLY pleased with the gracefulness and professionalism that Erin upheld throughout the entire process. She never seemed defeated or became flustered no matter what new evidence presented itself. She was very knowledgable and I Would definitely recommend her to anyone dealing with DUI or any other criminal offense.

Really Really Great Attorney

Let’s start by saying I was charged with D.U.I ; Marijuana possession; Single car accident on a major highway here in Atlanta; & Refused sobriety test. It didn’t matter Mrs.Gerstenzang went to work had charges reduced to Wreckless Driving with a reduced fine. No headaches of D.U.I classes, no drug evaluation; no probation.

She was Awesome! I would recommend her to represent you. Trust me.

Erin Saved My License!!!

I was arrested for DUI in July, and it was a very scary and stressful time. Erin was able to turn all of that around for me.

The video of my arrest was terrible…after watching what I could stomach, it was apparent that Erin had her work cut out for her. My case was very complicated, and there were several factors that made it difficult to win. In court, it was very clear that Erin is highly respected among her peers. Erin was able to guide me through this tough time, while keeping my driving status in tact, not to mention avoiding jail time! I appreciate Erin’s hard work and dedication.

Amazing Lawyer Hands Down!

Erin deserves nothing less than five stars for her intelligence, commitment, passion, and success as a lawyer. With such an abundance of passion for her practice, Erin is one of the best lawyers in town. She is caring, and can move mountains for clients. Whether I needed help day or night, she was always there for me. Law is not just a job for Erin, but it is a passion and a part of her life. Her success in her cases shows her dedication to her clients. I would recommend Erin in a heart beat to anyone who is looking for a lawyer who not only cares about winning a case, but cares about the clients future. I don’t know what I would of done without Erin by my side supporting and representing me.

The best call I ever made

I found myself in a bit of a bind and needed someone that knew the system and could respond quickly. Erin turned on a dime to get me out of the immediate situation I was in and then worked with me to resolve the larger issues with in a month. I have her number in my cell phone and gave it to my family and friends so they know who to call if something goes wrong.