First DUI Penalties in Georgia
Have you been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Georgia? DUIs carry harsh penalties, even for a first-time offense. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer at Yeargan & Kert, LLC for immediate legal assistance.
A strong defense can make all the difference in the world as you fight your first-time DUI charges.
You Risk Losing Your License 30 Days After Your First DUI Arrest
Georgia has some of the most aggressive DUI laws in the country. If you fail or refuse to take a breathalyzer, the police can take your license. In return, they’ll give you a driving permit. This limited permit will allow you to drive for 45 days.
You’ll only have 30 days from the date of your DUI arrest to install an ignition interlock device or request a special administrative hearing. If you don’t request this hearing, you will lose your license for 12 months.
At your administrative hearing, a judge will consider evidence against you and decide if Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is appropriate for your case.
This administrative proceeding is separate from your criminal DUI case. You can lose your license before you’ve even set foot in a courtroom to defend the criminal DUI charges. It’s important to not only request this hearing, but to show up and aggressively defend yourself, as well.
At the hearing, there are three possible outcomes:
- First, the judge can rescind or dismiss the ALS if the officer who arrested you doesn’t show up to court.
- Second, you can negotiate an agreement with the court to reinstate your license and toss the ALS.
- Or, third, a judge can determine if the state has enough evidence to warrant suspending your license after your arrest.
Don’t underestimate the seriousness of your administrative hearing. You deserve an Atlanta DUI lawyer who will not only help you fight criminal DUI charges, but who also knows how to handle the administrative aspects of your case, as well. At Yeargan & Kert, we know Georgia DUI law. Contact DUI Jim and our experienced legal team to discuss your case today.
Criminal Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Georgia
The first time you’re arrested for DUI in Georgia, you’ll probably be charged with a misdemeanor offense. Criminal penalties you can face after a conviction include:
- Mandatory jail time (24 hours if your BAC was above the legal limit of .08 percent)
- Between 10 days and 12 months in jail
- 12 months probation
- 40 hours of community service
- $300 in fines
- Substance abuse treatment and counseling
- DUI School (also known as DUI Risk Reduction School), and
- License suspension.
You may not have to return to jail to serve your mandatory sentence after a conviction. A judge has the discretion to credit the time served after your arrest.
Collateral Consequences of a First Time DUI in Georgia
Once you’re convicted for driving under the influence, you’ll have a criminal record. Your record will reflect that you’ve been arrested for, charged with, and convicted of DUI. It’s important to note that there will still be a record of your arrest and charges, even if you’re never convicted. It’s important to discuss expungement with a qualified criminal defense lawyer.
When you’re convicted of a crime, you don’t just have to worry about administrative and criminal penalties. There will also be collateral consequences after your first DUI offense. Collateral consequences are civil and social penalties you can experience because you have a record.
Collateral consequences of a DUI in Georgia might include:
- Job loss or difficulty finding a job
- Inability to work in certain fields, such as education or government
- Loss of professional licenses
- Difficulty leasing or renting an apartment
- Disqualified for loans and financial assistance
- Increased car insurance premiums
- Deportation if not a U.S. citizen
- Loss of certain college scholarships, including the H.O.P.E. Scholarship, or
- Loss of child custody or visitation rights.
You risk these consequence – and others – if you’re convicted on DUI charges. Fortunately, you have the right to defend yourself. Protect yourself and your future by trusting DUI Jim and the experienced legal team at Yeargan & Kert. We’ll do everything we can to help you beat your first-time DUI charges. We know your future depends on it.
How Can I Defend First-Time DUI Charges?
Remember, the burden is on the state. Prosecutors have to prove that you’re guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And, they have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a high burden of proof. You can make their job even more difficult by asserting a strong defense.
At Yeargan & Kert, we’ve been successfully handling DUI cases in and around Atlanta for more than x years. Our attorneys know your future is on the line and we’ll do whatever we can to protect it. We’ll carefully review the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest and identify the best defenses for your particular case. This might include:
- Challenging the validity of the traffic stop
- Challenge the legality of a search and seizure
- Argue that breathalyzer or blood test results are unreliable, or
- Identify issues with the field sobriety test you were asked to complete.
If evidence has been obtained in violation of your rights, we’ll fight to get it thrown out in court. Without evidence, prosecutors might be forced to offer a plea or drop the charges in their entirety.
You Deserve an Experienced DUI Team On Your Side
Don’t underestimate the impact of a DUI conviction. It can affect your life for years to come. Don’t be afraid to assert your rights and defend yourself. If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, DUI Jim and the skilled attorneys at Yeargan & Kert are here to help.
Contact our Atlanta law office to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys will review your case and explain your legal rights. We’ll stand by your side throughout the entire process and help you fight to protect your future. Call to discuss your administrative and criminal DUI cases today.