Aggressive Representation with a Passion for Helping People
McDonough DUI Lawyers
Representation for Drunk Driving Charges in Georgia
A DUI charge can result in license suspension and a variety of possible criminal penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, you need effective legal representation. The McDonough DUI attorneys at Miller & Key represent clients in courts throughout Georgia. Our attorneys have handled more than 100 jury trials on behalf of our clients.
Most people know that a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher can result in charges for driving under the influence. However, there are situations when a driver can be charged with DUI with a BAC of less than .08. The specific charges and potential penalties an individual may be facing depend on the driver’s classification.
Charges for driving under the influence include:
- DUI less safe – Can be charged with less safe DUI with a BAC of less than .05, if the state can show that driving ability was affected, or for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test
- DUI per se – A BAC of .08 or above for a driver over the age of 21, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs in more than the prescribed amount
- Underage drivers – A reading of .02 or above for a driver under the age of 21
- Commercial drivers – BAC of .04 for drivers of commercial vehicles
The complexities of Georgia DUI law require knowledgeable legal representation. Our McDonough DUI lawyers evaluate cases for issues involving inaccurate breath testing, the actions of the police officer prior and during your arrest, how evidence was collected, and other issues to ensure that your arrest was legal, and your Constitutional rights were not violated in the process. We assess possible defense strategies to develop the most effective defense for each client.
What Happens When You Get a DUI for the First Time in Georgia?
You can face jail time ranging from 24 hours or more to a year of probation for the first time drunk driving offense. You are likely to face fines of $300 to $1,000 depending on the judge’s decision. You may also face up to 40 hours community service. Depending on the circumstances of your offense, a judge may order you to complete an alcohol education program. A DUI can still be a felony for your first DUI in Georgia if someone was injured, someone died, a child was present in the vehicle during the DUI. The year of probation is a mandatory minimum punishment. If you spend 24 hours in jail you will spend another 11 months and 29 days on probation with the prospect of being locked up if you re-offend. Georgia law does not have a first offender act on DUI convictions. This means no expungement is available to hide the DUI from your criminal record. A first offense cannot be handled by diversion or withholding judgment.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Record in GA?
A DUI in Georgia will stay on your record for 10 years also known as the "lookback period". This means that if you got a DUI within the past 10 years, that could elevate a current DUI from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Is Your License Suspended Immediately After a DUI in Georgia?
After a DUI in Georgia, your license could be suspended depending on the ruling of an administrative proceeding. Other than having your license suspended after a DUI, the other consequence is that it can result in time behind bars, a fine up to $1,000, being ordered to an alcohol treatment program and being ordered to probation. If a person also has 0.08 percent blood alcohol content or if he or she refuses a state administered chemical test, the arresting officer must provide the defendant with a Form 1205 from the Georgia Department of Driver Services. This form will allow the defendant to drive for 30 days, but it also means that the state has the intention of suspending their license, The defendant only has ten business days to request a hearing to appeal the intended suspension. The defendant or his or her legal representative must send this request in writing to DDS. Once the letter is received, a hearing heard in front of the Georgia Office of Administrative Hearings will occur.
Can a DUI be Expunged in Georgia?
In Georgia, a DUI conviction can never be expunged or removed. If you were not convicted and the case was dismissed, you can apply for a record restriction. Record restrictions are not the same as expungements. In fact, record restrictions can still be seen by:
- Medical Boards
- Police Officers
- Board of realtors
- State bars
In addition to criminal penalties, your driver’s license is at risk after a DUI arrest. Your license may be immediately suspended if your BAC is above the legal limit for your classification or you refuse to comply with breath, urine, or blood testing. You only have 10 days to appeal this suspension and filing an appeal will allow you to continue to drive until a decision can be made in an administrative hearing.
Please call (770) 515-0951 to discuss your DUI defense in a free consultation.