William Ham was convicted of DUI manslaughter nearly ten years ago in the auto death of 36 year old Sandra Allen. Ham was 21 at the time. As reported here from Fox Tampa Bay, he was recently released from prison early and was just re-arrested for another DUI.
The victim’s family is outraged at his release and is demanding action by the court. Ham may see that action as this new arrest is a violation of his early release probation. Add to the violation a new DUI charge and it is possible that he will be back behind bars if convicted of the new charge.
A probation violation means Ham will go before the judge in a violation hearing. Because drinking and violating laws are both in direct violation of his early release, Hams probation will likely be revoked and he will serve what was remaining of his decade old conviction.
The new DUI charge, however, will be calculated by the courts as a first DUI. As you get more DUI charges, the penalties you face get bigger. These consecutive DUIs must be within 5 years of each other though and since Ham’s last DUI was nearly a decade ago, his penalty for this specific charge won’t be as strict as the family may want.
A first offense DUI in the state of Georgia carries a potential fine of up to $1,000, 10 days to 1 year in jail, 40 hours of community service, probation, driver’s license suspension and drug/alcohol abuse classes. For more information about DUI penalties, see this summary.
Even with a skilled attorney, Ham’s outlook isn’t so good. Violating probation with the same type of offense you were originally charged with is never a good way to prove to the court that you are reformed.
Facing DUI charges is scary regardless of if it’s your first or third offense. If you are up against the Georgia court system and seeking the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney, call today.