What happens after a DUI arrest in Georgia?
IT is not only a mistake but criminal offense to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drug. You have to pay fine and may also go to jail. It is not good for your employment and health. I hope you never do it again.
But you have legal right to fight the DUI ticket. To know about those legal rights and how to legally fight and challenge your DUI ticket, you need knowledge and experience of DUI attorney.
There are many legal reasons your DUI ticket may be incorrect, wrong, faulty and illegal. Officer may have made a mistake by not telling you about your legal rights, or acted illegally, or performed the tests incorrectly.
You must get an attorney’s services without wasting time. Delay is dangerous to your case.
To preserve your right to drive in Georgia, you must request an administrative hearing within 10 business days after your license has been taken from you by an officer. This is for all drivers under 21 who registered a .02 or more, all drivers over 21 who registered a .08 or more, and all drivers of a commercial vehicle who register .04 or more.
10 Day Rule – Administrative License Suspensions (ALS) Hearings
If you have been arrested on an officer’s suspicion that you were driving under the influence, you have ten (10) days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing or risk losing your driver’s license for twelve (12) months, without a limited or temporary permit. Your notification of this was the yellow piece of paper the arresting officer handed you (Form DS-1205). Form DS-1205 is a thirty (30) day temporary driving permit and notice of intent to suspend your driver’s license.
Georgia officers are authorized to provide you the Form DS-1205 temporary license if you:
- Refused to provide a blood, breath or urine sample;
- Attempted the tests but could not perform and the officer determined that you refused;
- Exhibited a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more;
- Exhibited a BAC of 0.04 or more if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL); or
- Exhibited a BAC of 0.02 or more if you were under the age of 21 at the time of arrest.
Before the 10-Day period passes, get my legal services to preserve your rights under the State of Georgia’s Administrative License Suspension System.
DUI License Suspension Hearings
If you file an appeal of the of the State’s intention to suspend your license, your case will be set for an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing. The Georgia Department of Driver’s Services only has to prove that, more likely than not, you were driving under the influence – a low standard for the State to meet. Nonetheless, a skilled attorney versed in the DUI laws of Georgia increases your chances of winning your case greatly. The arresting officer may not have had a valid reason for stopping your vehicle, for arresting you or you may have a legitimate reason why you could not perform certain tests requested.
It is very important to have a experienced DUI Attorney represent you at your ALS hearing is an invaluable asset. Please remember ALS hearing is an opportunity for your Attorney to get more facts about your DUI case by questioning the arresting officer under oath prior to your criminal trial, thus locking officer’s testimony.
Contact our firm before the 10-Day period passes.
Call for a free consultation and to answer questions you may have about your Administrative License Suspensions (ALS) Hearing.
How do my services help you and your DUI (Driving Under the Influence) Defense
Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty.
DUI means that a person is driving under the influence. There are six different kinds of DUIs in the State of Georgia – two involving alcohol, three involving drugs and one involving inhalants.
To be found guilty, the prosecution must convince every juror beyond a reasonable doubt that: (1) you were in the county of offense; (2) you were in actual physical control of a moving vehicle; and (3) you were under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an inhalant.
You could win your case if I can show jurors there is doubt about:
- No probable cause for arrest;
- Your Miranda rights were violated;
- Faulty testing equipment;
- A refusal is not indicative of guilt; and
- Other facts…
TWO types of DUI offenses
DUI Per Se
Driving with an unlawful alcohol concentration (“DUI Per Se”) does not require proof of impairment, as with a DUI Less Safe. The prosecution must show that a person was driving a motor vehicle within the State and had an alcohol concentration above one of the three limits for Georgia:
- A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more;
- A BAC of 0.04 or more if you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL); or
- A BAC of 0.02 or more if you were under the age of 21 at the time of arrest.
DUI Less Safe
If you are over the age of 21 and have a blood alcohol content less than 0.08, you can be charged with a “less-safe” DUI when you are considered to be less safe to drive due to the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol before or while driving. The prosecution will seek to prove the “less safe” DUI through (1) direct evidence of impaired driving and motor functions, and (2) circumstantial evidence of impairment (i.e., odor of alcohol, flushed face, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness, staggered walk, field sobriety evaluations and portable breath test results).
ALL DRIVERS REGARDLESS OF AGE WHO REFUSE THE STATE TEST.
If you had a valid license when stopped, you are qualified for a temporary license to drive until the hearing. You will be mailed a notice of the hearing about three weeks after your request. If you lose at the hearing, you cannot drive after the hearing. In some cases you may qualify for a work permit and may be able to reinstate the license within 30 days.
Crucial defenses can be developed at the hearing. Arraignment: This is the date on your ticket, about 30 to 60 days after your arrest. In some cases you will not have to appear. However, many courts will require your presence at arraignment.
ALL MOTIONS TO EXCLUDE EVIDENCE MUST BE FILED AT ARRAIGNMENT OR THEY ARE WAIVED.
Arraignment is an important hearing and the attorney must be aware of all issues that are relevant in order to get harmful evidence against you excluded.
Pretrial Conference/Plea Negotiations: Your attorney will discuss your case with the prosecutor and attempt to work out the best disposition possible. This is an on going process. Many cases do not get resolved until the eve of trial.
Suppression Hearing: The Court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you if your constitutional rights have been violated. Your attorney will file motions to suppress. In some courts there will be a separate hearing date. In other courts, motions will be heard right before trial.
Trial: In Georgia we have the right to a jury trial. This is held before six people who will determine innocence or guilt. In some cases, you may opt for a bench trial where a judge will decide innocence or guilt.
Sentencing: The Court imposes a sentence after a conviction at trial or after a plea bargain is accepted and a plea entered. Sentences may include jail time, in home detention, public service, alcohol classes and fines.
What are the penalties for a DUI conviction in Georgia?
The penalties for a 1st DUI conviction in Georgia include:
- Jail time ranging from 1 day to 1 year,
- Fines ranging from $300 – $1000, plus surcharges,
- Driver’s license suspension up to 1 year,
- 40 Hours of Community service,
- $210 Set license reinstatement fee, and
- Possible Probation.
Penalties for a 2nd DUI conviction in Georgia include:
- A Minimum mandatory 48 hours in jail, possible 90 days to 1 year,
- Fine of $600-$1,000,
- License suspension of 3 years,
- Minimum 30 days community service
- $210 Set license reinstatement fee,
- A mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of a substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense.
Penalties for a 3rd DUI Conviction in Georgia include:
- Minimum mandatory 15 days jail time,
- Fine of $1,000-$5,000,
- License revocation for five years,
- Minimum mandatory 30 days community service
- Violator’s name, photo, and address published in local newspaper at violator’s expense,
- Declared as habitual violator, the license plate for his/her vehicle will be seized by the court and forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety,
- Face a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense.