If you were charged with a DUI, you may want to consult with an experienced Dekalb County DUI lawyer, like Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. With each client, he spends a great deal of time investigating the case, discovering new evidence, and talking to witnesses who may be able to help. Even if you believe you have an open-and-closed case and that you will be found not guilty, it may still be a wise choice to speak with a Dekalb County DUI lawyer.

Getting a DUI conviction can come with several different consequences, such as jail time, fines, and a suspended license. The penalties you face can depend on several factors, like your criminal background and whether or not you injured someone while driving drunk. For example, if this is the first time you have been in trouble with the law and no one was severely hurt during the accident, your Dekalb County DUI lawyer may be able to negotiate probation instead of jail time.
Here are a few things you may want to know about DUI charges and convictions:

You Could Lose Your Driver’s License

If a police officer arrests you for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, be prepared to have your driver’s license taken away. You might receive a temporary license that you can use until your DMV hearing. If you miss your DMV hearing, your driver’s license will likely be suspended automatically and you won’t be able to drive your car. If you have a skilled DUI lawyer in Dekalb County GA help you successfully plead your case, you may be able to get your license back.

Georgia has some of the harshest drunk driving laws in the country. In fact, the state rates as number 2 in a recent survey of strictest DUI laws. In Georgia, if you your blood alcohol content is over the .08 legal limit, you face a mandatory 24 hours in jail, even if this is your first offense. Your Dekalb County DUI lawyer can explain to you the specifics of what type of penalty you are facing if convicted based on the circumstances of your situation, but in general, these are the current Georgia statutes:

First Offense:

If you are arrested for DUI and this is your first offense (or if it has been longer than five years since your last DUI arrest), it is a misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted, a Dekalb County DUI lawyer knows the penalties include:

  • One-year suspension of driver’s license;
  • In addition to the 24-hour mandatory jail time, there is a mandatory 10 days to one year, which the courts have the discretion to suspend or stay;
  • Probation of up to one year (this includes time served);
  • Minimum of 40 hours of community service;
  • Completion of the Risk Reduction Program; and
  • A fine of between $300 to $1,000.

Second Offense

If you are arrested for DUI and it is your second offense within the past five years, it is still classified as a misdemeanor charge. If convicted, a skilled Dekalb County DUI lawyer is aware that the penalties include:

  • Three-year suspension of driver’s license;
  • Mandatory jail time of 90 days to one year, which courts can suspend or stay. Defendant will serve minimum of 72 hours in jail;
  • Probation for 12 months, including time served;
  • Minimum 30 days of community service;
  • Completion of the Risk Reduction Program;
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation to determine if treatment program is necessary;
  • A fine of between $600 to $1,000;
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device when license is reinstated; and
  • Defendant’s photo will be published in local newspaper, classified as a DUI offender. The defendant will be charged a fee of $25 for the publication.

Third or Subsequent Offense

A third or subsequent DUI charge within a five-year period is classified as a “high and aggravated” misdemeanor charge. If convicted, penalties include:

  • Five-year suspension of driver’s license;
  • Mandatory jail time of 120 days to one year, which courts can suspend or stay. Defendant will serve a minimum of 15 days in jail;
  • Probation for 12 months, including time served;
  • Minimum of 30 days community service;
  • Completion of Risk Reduction Program;
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation to determine if treatment program is necessary;
  • A fine of between $1,000 to $5,000;
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device when license is reinstated; and
  • Defendant’s photo will be published in local newspaper, classified as a DUI offender. The defendant will be charged a fee of $25 for the publication.
  • If this is the defendant’s fourth or subsequent offense, a Dekalb County DUI lawyer can explain how the state can seize any and all vehicles the defendant owns.

In addition to the above penalties, there are also other factors which can extend the length of your license suspension if you are convicted. For example, in George, just like in other states, there is a presumption when you receive a driver’s license that you agree to submit to a breathalyzer test if you are stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence. Although there is a legal presumption, police cannot force you to submit to testing. If you are stopped by police and refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test and are later convicted, the court can extend the amount of time your license will be suspended by one year.

There are also different rules for drivers who are under the age of 21 when it comes to the legal blood alcohol limit allowed. Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to anyone under age 21 and the use of alcohol. Therefore, any driver between the ages of 16 to 20 who has a blood alcohol limit under .08 percent will still lose their license if they are found guilty.

Contact a Dekalb County DUI Lawyer Today

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, don’t wait to hire an experienced DUI lawyer in Dekalb County GA. The sooner your lawyer can begin preparing your defense, the better your chances are of obtaining the best possible outcome available.

For more information, or to speak with a Dekalb County DUI lawyer, contact Andrew. R. Lynch, P.C. at (404) 373-7735.