DUI in Georgia First Offense

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Trusted Lawyers for DUI in Georgia First Offense

A DUI in Georgia first offense can have serious consequences. Penalties can include monetary fines, probation, and even jail time. Talk to an attorney to get the best possible outcome if you have been pulled over for DUI.

Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti, Ledbetter & Archer

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on January 3, 2020, last updated on January 14, 2020.

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DUI in Georgia First Offense

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a serious crime in Georgia. This criminal offense has gotten comprehensive media coverage over the last few decades and is an extremely discussed subject in our society. In reaction to pressure from special interest groups, Georgia legislators have recently passed new DUI legislation, which includes compulsory jail time for all convicted offenders. These laws are incredibly harsh on drivers under the influence, even first-time offenders.

 

DUI First Offense GA

Even if it is your first driving under the influence charge in Georgia, the minimum penalties are much harsher than many other traffic tickets you might have experienced. Although the penalties for a first-time DUI offense are not as harsh as the charges for a driver without a prior conviction, they can still have a significant impact on a driver’s life. The severity of the influence on your life will fall on whether you make the right decisions when working with a team of dedicated and experienced Atlanta DUI attorneys. 

When charged with your first DUI in Georgia, even if you have a clean criminal record, you may still face a minimum fine, minimum prison time, and other penalties. The law is not forgiving to those who drive under the influence, and you need a knowledgeable advocate on your side who will tirelessly fight for your rights. That is why it is vital that you consult the award-winning Atlanta attorneys at Conoscienti, Ledbetter & Archer, LLC as soon as possible after being charged with a first offense of DUI in GA.

DUI in Georgia First Offense section

Georgia DUI Laws

Georgia DUI Laws

Under State of Georgia law, driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08% and above is a criminal offense for drivers aged 21 and over. For commercial drivers, the Georgia DUI limit is 0.04%, and for drivers under 21, the BAC limit is especially stringent at a mere 0.02%.

 

Georgia Law DUI First Offense

Additionally, it is illegal to drive while “under the influence” of any alcohol, drug, or controlled substance, or with any amount of illegal drugs in your blood or urine. A Georgia driver who is less safe to drive due to drugs or alcohol is also deemed “under the influence.” A driver can likewise be found guilty of a per se DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or more, regardless of whether they show signs of impairment. Your DUI attorney will examine the facts of your GA DUI first offense case to construct a detailed defense strategy that will be used both in and out of court to help reduce your sentence.

 

Georgia DUI Laws First Offense

A first DUI conviction in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor offense under the laws of Georgia. Normally, a DUI arrest in Georgia will be a misdemeanor until the fourth DUI conviction within a 10-year duration. A second DUI in Georgia is a felony offense if the offender has caused property damage or in some cases, severe physical injury and vehicular homicide GA. Likewise, if your intoxication led you to commit a hit and run in Georgia, your charges will only escalate.

 

DUI Laws in Georgia First Offense

After a DUI conviction, the judge will identify the appropriate jail sentences and fines within the statutory guidelines. These standards determine penalty ranges based upon the quantity of prior DUI convictions the transgressor has that took place within the last 10 years.

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Georgia DUI Penalties

Although the thought of being charged with a misdemeanor crime may not sound so bad, don’t let that thought get you too comfortable. A misdemeanor conviction can be life-changing, and you need a DUI attorney on your side who can help you navigate the law and fight for your rights to limit all possible DUI in Georgia first offense penalties. 

 

DUI Georgia First Offense Penalties

You may face jail time of 24 hours to 10 days for a DUI in Georgia first offense. You are most likely to deal with a fine of $300 to $1,000 depending upon the judge’s choice, in addition to having to pay the costs for Dekalb County traffic court or courts elsewhere in the Atlanta area. 

You might likewise be sentenced to at least 40 hours of community service. Depending upon the situations of your offense, a judge might order you to attend an alcohol education program and a substance abuse counseling program.

 

Can I Get Probation for My First DUI Offense in the State of Georgia?

In addition to the above penalties, you will most likely face at least one year of probation if you have been convicted of a DUI in Georgia first offense. The year of probation is an obligatory minimum penalty. If you spend 24 hours in jail, you will spend another 11 months and 29 days on probation with the possibility of additional jail time if you re-offend. Otherwise, your probation time will be exactly 12 months at a minimum. 

 

Other Georgia First DUI Penalties

The Georgia first DUI penalties set out above are serious. However, it does not end there. Your first DUI conviction can impact your life in other ways. They consist of having trouble renting a car, paying high insurance coverage rates, and jeopardizing existing or future career opportunities. 

Keep in mind that if you plead guilty to DUI, the judge has no option but to sentence you to prison under the new laws. Your criminal defense lawyer Atlanta will help you determine the best plea options for your DUI in Georgia first offense case.

Georgia DUI Penalties

License Suspension for DUI Charges in GA

License Suspension for DUI Charges in GA

Typically for first-time DUI offenders, the most severe penalty will be the suspension of your Georgia driver’s license. With a first DUI conviction in Georgia, your driver’s license will be taken by the court and held by your Department of Driver Services (DDS) office. You will instantly lose your right to drive unless you are qualified by submitting to the implied consent test.

 

Georgia DUI First Offense License Suspension

There are other ways to lose your license prior to a conviction in court. In Georgia, a police officer can petition the DDS to suspend your license under the Georgia implied consent statute after a positive blood/alcohol test. The officer can likewise petition for suspension if you decline a blood, breath or urine test when DUI is suspected. The officer should provide you with a DS-1205 form specifying why your license has been suspended. The form is a notification of driver’s license suspension and a temporary driving authorization. It notifies you of your right to appeal this suspension of your driver’s license based upon the Georgia implied consent law.

At this point, you have two options to continue. You can ask for a hearing or consent to having an ignition interlock device limited driving permit through the Department of Driver Services. If you do not do anything, your Georgia driver’s license will be suspended at the end of the period of 45 days.

 

DUI Drugs Georgia First Offense

Georgia DUI law does not only cover drunk driving. Drug laws Georgia and DUI laws often go hand-in-hand. If you get a first DUI-drugs conviction, you will not have the ability to receive a limited permit. DUI-drugs convictions lead to a hard suspension for a first offense. A second DUI-drugs conviction will cause a 1-year suspension.

A license suspension can put a significant hold on the life of a Georgia driver, and you should not leave your future up to chance. If you have been charged with a first DUI in Georgia for drugs or alcohol, please contact our firm today so we can discuss your options and begin developing a defense strategy to reduce your charges.

Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free DUI in Georgia first offense consultation today, for free.

Georgia First Offender Act Expungement

Although expungement is a possibility for many criminal convictions in Georgia under the First Offender Act, Georgia law does not have a First Offender Act for DUI convictions. 

 

DUI Expungement in GA

If you have been charged with your first DUI in GA, it’s important to note that you can not expunge or limit any charge to which you have either plead guilty or have been found guilty by a judge or jury. Our firm frequently receives calls asking what can be done about a DUI conviction. The response is always the same: absolutely nothing can be done. The outcome of your Georgia DUI case is permanent, and as an outcome, the case must be taken seriously from the very first day. 

 

Georgia DUI Expungement

If you have been charged with a DUI, it is essential that you do not just plead guilty to the charges without comprehending that it will permanently stay on your record. An Atlanta DUI Lawyer can deal with the prosecutor to get your DUI charges decreased to a lower offense so you can move on with your life.

Although the state has several opportunities for trying to acquire a conviction for an impaired driver, a reliable DUI attorney has his own toolbox for protecting the implicated. If there is a DUI in Georgia first offense case against you, it is possible that the state’s proof can stay out of your trial, or its trustworthiness contested in front of the judge or jury. An apprehending officer’s own event reports from previous and subsequent arrests can typically be utilized to cast doubt upon his or her story. At Conoscienti, Ledbetter & Archer, LLC, it is our task to guarantee that your side of the story is told in court in the most convincing way possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Georgia First Offender Act Expungement

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(404) 373-5800
315 W Ponce de Leon Ave. Suite 400 Decatur, GA 30030

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324 Broad Street, Rome, Georgia 30161

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