Had a Prior DUI Reduced? Yes, It Can Have a Real Effect on Your Case

A very recent vehicular homicide case in Atlanta illustrates the significance that even a DUI reduced to “reckless driving” can have upon a defendant. Darrin Murphy has been charged with DUI- Vehicular Homicide in connection with an accident that resulted in the tragic death of Liam Rattray. In his first appearance before a Fulton County Magistrate Court Judge, Mr. Murphy was denied a bond. Part of the basis for the Court’s decision to deny bond in this case was a prior DUI charge that had been reduced to reckless.

While many defendants believe that a prior DUI that was dismissed in exchange for a plea to reckless driving will have no future impact upon them, this case illustrates just how wrong that assumption is. Even a reckless driving conviction can have very serious ramifications in a subsequent DUI case in Georgia.

The Fox 5 report on this hearing stated:

During his first appearance in court on Wednesday, the magistrate judge said that Murphy was arrested for DUI in Atlanta in 2009. He recently pleaded guilty to reckless driving in that case.

Authorities say Murphy lives in Buckhead, and he is a manager at FedEx in international corporation sales. They say he manages a team of about 10 people.

Murphy is charged with DUI, following too closely, and homicide by vehicle in the first degree. He is being held without bond pending another hearing in front of a superior court judge.


Ben Sessions is an Atlanta DUI lawyer and partner in the firm of McIlhinney & Sessions. His practice is focused on the defense of clients charged with DUI and other drug and alcohol-related offenses. Ben has co-authored articles and participated in seminars before the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council, and other organizations. He is certified as both a Practitioner and Instructor of the National Highway Safety Traffic Safety’s Standardized Field Sobriety Testing procedures. He has received extensive training in forensic breath, blood, and urine testing. He is a member of the National College for DUI Defense, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Ben Sessions graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law. In 2010 and 2011, he was named a “Rising Star” in the area of DUI defense by the Super Lawyers Magazine, and he was recognized for the “Greatest Trial Victory of the Year” by the Georgia Defense of Drinking Drivers Group.

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