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Defending People In Georgia Charged With DUI

DUI is a serious matter. Being convicted of a DUI charge has long-lasting effects, including staying on your record forever. Your insurance rates are likely to go through the roof if your company doesn’t drop you altogether. Even minor moving violations may have ripple effects with increased insurance rates if not handled properly.

DUI Laws In Georgia

The consequences of DUI charges in Georgia fall into one of two categories: DUI Per Se and DUI Less Safe. DUI Per Se is the traditional charge when the blood alcohol content reads at .08% or higher (for drivers under 21, the limit is .02%). If a blood alcohol concentration test is refused or not given, officers have the discretion to issue a DUI Less Safe charge, meaning they believe the driver is less safe due to consuming or using a controlled substance. Officers can also issue a DUI Less Safe when a blood alcohol test registers below .08% but the officer believes the driver is unsafe due to slurred speech, reckless behavior or other signs of inebriation.

Severe Penalties For DUI Convictions

Penalties for DUI convictions can be life-changing. First- and second-time DUI convictions include mandatory jail time, fines up to $1,000 plus court costs, mandatory community service and suspension of your driver’s license. Penalties for a third DUI conviction include even higher fines and increased jail time, suspension of your driver’s license for five years and being declared a habitual violator (HV). Simply driving with HV status in Georgia is a felony. A DUI arrest for a driver with HV status can result in prison time, substantial fines and lifelong status as a convicted felon.

DUI case law is ever-changing as are successful challenges to these cases. We have experience prosecuting and successfully defending DUI cases through challenges to an officer’s right to pull you over, the reasons they believe you were under the influence and to their testing procedures. It is not against the law to drink alcohol and drive. You must be impaired to the extent that you are a less-safe driver. Many road officers do not know the distinction nor do they care when they place you in handcuffs. Since penalties for a DUI conviction can be so severe, having us in your corner will help minimize the impact that the arrest will have on your life.

Frequently Asked Questions About DUIs In Georgia

These answers to commonly asked questions can help you understand the implications of a DUI in Georgia.

Can a DUI be expunged in Georgia?

The Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) and the individual court where the case was held cannot expunge DUI convictions from your record. However, it may be possible to restrict your record, meaning it will not be visible to the public.

What happens when you get a DUI in Georgia?

If this is your first offense, the minimum consequences are between 10 days (which can be waived) and a year in jail, a $300 to $1,000 fine, 20 to 40 hours of community service, evaluation for a substance abuse disorder, completion of a risk reduction program, up to 12 months of probation and the loss of your license for a year. This is why it is so important to have an experienced defense attorney.

Is DUI in Georgia a misdemeanor or a felony?

A first or second DUI offense in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor. However, a 3rd and subsequent DUI charge within 10 years is a felony.

Also, DUI involving aggravating factors, such as multiple DUI convictions, blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or higher, serious injury, or death, can get you charged with a felony.

What happens if I get a DUI in Georgia with an out-of-state license?

If you hold an out-of-state driver’s license and get charged with a DUI in Georgia, the state will report the arrest to your home state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Your home state may take action against your license, likely suspending it.

Will I go to jail for my first DUI in Georgia?

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above .08% when you were arrested, you must serve at least 24 hours in jail.

Contact Matt Crosby, An Experienced Attorney In Defending DUI

To discuss DUI with Mr. Crosby, call Crosby Law at 678-981-7184 or fill out our online form to set up a consultation.