Georgia is known for having some of the strictest DUI laws and penalties in the country. Even with the severe consequences, DUI is still one of the most common offenses in the state. It is extremely risky to drink and drive in Carrollton, LaGrange or Columbus. If you are charged with DUI, you will face some severe and potentially life-changing consequences if you are convicted. An experienced Carrollton DUI attorney will assist you in defending the charges and help you resolve the situation in the best possible way. It is helpful to understand the DUI penalties in Georgia.
DUI Penalties for First-Time Offenders
DUI penalties are severe, even for those who are guilty of DUI for the first time. It is critical to realize that you will likely not be allowed an expungement, so if you are found guilty, it will remain on your record indefinitely. Penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include fines that range from $300 to $1,000, suspension of your driver’s license for one year, a jail sentence that ranges from 10 days to one year, and community service. You may also be required to attend DUI school and counseling at your own expense. The penalties depend on the severity of your particular case.
In addition to court-ordered penalties, you could have difficulties getting a job, obtaining an apartment, or getting into school because of your DUI record. You’ll also have to handle humiliation from family members, friends, and others in the community. DUI arrests are often published in the local newspapers.
Subsequent DUI Penalties
DUI penalties increase significantly if you are a repeat offender or if you caused bodily harm or property damage as a result. A second DUI conviction within five years increases the time behind bars and the fines. You will also have your license revoked for two years, and you might be ordered to get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle when you get your driving privileges back.
A third DUI in five years increases the jail time, and the fines increase to up to $5,000 — not to mention will lose your license for five years. The amount of time you need for community service will increase as well, sometimes up to 240 hours, and you will likely have to complete an alcohol education program. You will need to pay for any surcharges as well as the costs for attending classes and for getting an ignition interlock device installed in your car. In the meantime, you will likely have trouble getting to and from work, and might even lose your job. It is worth the time, effort, and expense to hire a skilled DUI attorney as soon as possible.
How to Hire a DUI Attorney in Georgia
A DUI conviction can be expensive and have long-term consequences. DUI charges are hard to drop; however, there are things that your attorney can do to try to minimize the problem. For example, the DUI test could have been faulty or might not have been administered properly. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was only slightly elevated, there might be some options available to reduce the charges. Additionally, your attorney will provide the court with mitigating factors that can help get you a sentence on the low end of the recommended guidelines.
DUI charges are terrifying and stressful. Get the legal help you need to guide you through the process and help you resolve the case in the most beneficial way possible. The sooner you contact a DUI attorney, the better. Call Moffitt Law, LLC to request a free initial consultation.