If you were arrested for drunk driving, you might be concerned about the possibility of temporarily losing your driver’s license, spending time in jail, and having to pay fines. After all, these are the penalties for being convicted of a DUI in Georgia, even for your first offense. However, being charged with this crime doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted, especially if you hire a skilled DUI defense attorney to argue your case.
When you contact our Fayette County DUI defense lawyers, we’ll take the time to learn the details of your arrest before we recommend the legal steps to take to fight your DUI charge. If you’re interested in finding out the defense angle we’d take for your case, contact our law offices for your initial consultation with our compassionate, skilled attorneys.
Will You Go to Jail for a Georgia DUI?
The penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol include the possibility of jail time, in addition to fines, community service, and license suspension. Even a first-offense DUI can result in anywhere from one day to one year in jail, with the mandatory minimum being 24 hours. You can also expect a $300 fine.
For a second offense DUI within five years, the time in jail ranges from 90 days to 1 year, with the minimum mandatory jail time being 72 hours. In addition, the fine doubles to $600.
A third DUI within five years can lead to 120 days to 1 year in jail, with a mandatory minimum of 15 days. The fine can range from $1,000 to $5,000.
If you’re convicted of four or more DUIs within ten years, your jail time will range from one to five years, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days. The fine will typically be between $1,000 and $5,000.
If you’re trying to avoid spending time in jail, talk to experienced DUI defense lawyers who can work on getting your case dismissed or achieving a not-guilty verdict for you. Even if you’re ultimately convicted, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a sentence that doesn’t include jail time or features only the minimum amount. Contact our Fayette County law firm to start your case.
Will You Lose Your Driver’s License If Convicted?
The penalties for a DUI conviction include not only fines and jail time, but also a suspended driver’s license. The length of time your license remains suspended will depend on how many DUIs are on your criminal record.
For a first-offense DUI, your license could be suspended for up to 12 months. That increases to three years for a second DUI within five years of the first. If you get a third DUI within five years, your license may be revoked for five years.
Note that there are some ways to retain your driving privileges for at least a portion of your license suspension period. For example, if it’s your first DUI, you may be able to get your license reinstated after 120 days if you finish DUI school and pay a fee. You can also request a hardship license to drive to and from essential destinations, such as school, work, alcohol treatment classes, DUI school, court, or doctor’s appointments.
It’s important to talk to Fayette County DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. This is because if you don’t request a court hearing within 30 days of your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended. But if you hire a lawyer within that timeframe, they can request a hearing for you so you have a chance to keep your driving privileges for as long as possible.
Is a DUI a Misdemeanor or Felony in Fayette County?
You should take any DUI charge very seriously because you’re facing fines, jail, and driver’s license suspension if convicted. However, the more DUIs you have on your criminal record, the more severe the charge is considered.
In fact, a first or second DUI is a misdemeanor, while a third DUI within ten years is a high and aggravated misdemeanor that comes with elevated penalties. On the other hand, a fourth DUI in ten years is a felony, which means you face more time in prison and more expensive fines.
It’s possible to end up with a felony DUI, even if it’s your first offense. For instance, if you flee the police as they attempt to pull you over, you could get felony charges. Also, if you caused a serious accident that led to severe injuries or death to another person, you’ll likely be charged with a felony in Georgia. In this case, it’s critical that you get legal guidance from skilled criminal defense lawyers since you could end up with years in prison if you don’t fight your felony charges.
Should You Hire DUI Defense Lawyers in Fayette County?
At our Fayette County law offices, we understand that no one intends to cause harm to other drivers and passengers when they drive under the influence. But unfortunately, they have the potential to do so, which is why the penalties for drunk driving are so harsh. If you believe your arrest was made in error or want a chance to show that you made a one-time mistake by driving impaired, contact us for help.
We can create a legal defense strategy based on the details of your case, such as your blood alcohol content (BAC), the testing methods used before the arrest, and whether the arresting officer ignored your rights. Even if you think there is too much evidence against you to bother fighting the charge, we urge you to contact us for a free initial consultation. We can use our legal training and experience to find evidence that most people would miss, so call us at 770-501-7425 for a case evaluation.