1.1. A “Habitual Violator” is an individual who has been convicted of the following traffic offenses three or more times within a five-year period:
1.1.1. a DUI (driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol);
1.1.2. fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer;
1.1.3. impersonation of a police officer;
1.1.4. homicide or fetal homicide by vehicle;
1.1.5. or, driving with a suspended license.
1.2. After the State of Georgia designates a person as a Habitual Violator, that person faces higher penalties for traffic offenses than he would have faced if he were not a Habitual Violator. Typically, a person who has been designated a Habitual Violator by the State of Georgia will have his license suspended for five years. Occasionally, however, the State will issue a limited permit that allows a Habitual Violator to drive to places like work, school, medical treatment, or substance abuse rehab.
2. Felony or Misdemeanor
2.1. Misdemeanor Habitual Violator:
2.1.1. When a person designated as a Habitual Violator violates the parameters of his limited driving permit by driving to place not allowed by the permit, he has committed a misdemeanor punishable with up to 12 months in jail and/or up-to a $1,000.00 fine.
2.1.2 When a person designated as a Habitual Violator violates the parameters of his limited driving permit by driving to place not allowed by the permit, he has committed a misdemeanor punishable with up to 12 months in jail and/or up-to a $1,000.00 fine.
Felony Habitual Violator:
2.2.1. Driving as a Habitual Violator without a limited permit is a felony punishable with one to five years in prison. A felony conviction in Georgia means that the person convicted will lose his right to vote and his right to own a firearm.
2.2.2. A conviction of a DUI or another serious traffic offense as a Habitual Violator is a felony. The punishment for this offense can be made to run consecutive to the punishment for the DUI or other offense, which in and of itself can be a felony punishable for up to five years in jail.
To defend yourself on any Habitual Violator charge, you will need a competent DUI or criminal law attorney. If the underlying offenses are DUI-related, then showing that you are enrolled in a legitimate treatment program can show the Court that you are not a danger to society. Defending against the underlying offense by getting it dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor charge will also help someone charged with a Habitual Violator offense make the consequences less severe.