Numerous news outlets have reported that earlier this week, Rodney King pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. King, who is notably known for being attacked by four police officers in 1991, was arrested for DUI in July after he was pulled over in Moreno Valley, California. His blood-alcohol content was over the legal limit of 0.08.
According to reports, King already has a DUI conviction on his record. Because King has a prior conviction on his record, he could be sentenced to serve one year in prison if he is convicted of the alleged July incident. His next hearing is scheduled for later this month.
When an individual is convicted of a first-time DUI offense, the individual will face legal consequences in Georgia, but the punishment may not include serious jail time as long as there were no aggravating circumstances such as an accident resulting in a serious injury or death. However, a repeat offense will certainly result in severe punishment if the individual is convicted.
In Georgia, an individual is considered a repeat offender if he or she is convicted of two DUI offenses within five years of each offense. Similar to King's possible punishments in California for a repeat DUI offense, individuals who are charged as a repeat offender in Georgia do face mandatory jail time, but they also face a variety of other consequences including:
- Evaluations for drug and alcohol dependency
- Treatment for drug and alcohol dependency
- Long-term suspension of one's driver's license
Individuals who are charged and convicted of a third DUI offense within five years face being sentenced to jail for a minimum of 120 days.
A Georgia resident who has been charged with a repeat DUI offense may understand that his or her future is certainly at risk if convicted of the charge, but he or she should also understand that an aggressive defense attorney can be a valuable resource who will explore all options in order to attempt to minimize one's charges or penalties.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Rodney King DUI: Not Guilty Plea Entered for DUI Charge," Nov. 7, 2011