The DUI Process in Georgia
Let an Experienced Atlanta DUI Attorney Be Your Guide
Driving under the influence is a serious offense in the state of Georgia, and law enforcement agencies in our state are always trying to crack down on drunk drivers. Any person who violates the drinking and driving laws in Georgia will be subjected to lengthy criminal and civil prosecution.
Statistics show that even though Atlanta police officers are not always in attendance at DUI hearings, Georgia State Patrol Troopers are very likely to show up for DUI hearings. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Atlanta, it's to your advantage to have an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer working on your behalf.
Contact our firm to get the strategic defense you need!
Georgia DUI Laws
In the state of Georgia, it is illegal to drive or operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more. Many people do not realize that a driver can also be charged with DUI for being "less safe." Under these provisions, the prosecution must prove the driver is "less safe" to drive to due alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants. Most drivers who are arrested under the premises of being "less safe" are tested and found to have a BAC of between .05% and .07%.
In some cases, however, the prosecutors will try to collect enough evidence to arrest drivers with a BAC of less than .05% and charge them for being "less safe". Georgia DUI laws also state that it is illegal for people under 21 to drive or operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of .02% or more.
Two Part Process
Once you have been arrested your driver's license will automatically be suspended, and it is up to you in order to contest the suspension.
If you have been booked on DUI charges, you will face penalties from two separate legal processes:
License Suspension Hearing
First and foremost, you must take action to schedule an administrative hearing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services. During this hearing, you will have your only opportunity to contest the evidence against you and fight to keep your driver's license. Keep in mind that you only have 10 days to schedule this hearing, and if you fail to do so your driver's license will automatically be suspended for one year. If you are successful at the hearing, your driver's license will be reinstated.
You will also be required to attend a criminal court hearing and it is at this hearing where you will plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to your DUI charges. If your case moves to trial, a jury will be selected to hear your case. Many cases are resolved without going to trial, and the judge will impose a sentence if you are found guilty of your charges. If you are successful in fighting the blood test, breath test or other evidence brought against you and are found not guilty, then the charges against you will be dropped and you will not face any penalties.
Contact an Experienced Atlanta DUI Lawyer Today!
If you are found guilty of DUI in Georgia, the specific penalties you face will depend on the circumstances of your arrest, your previous criminal history, your BAC, and other factors. The penalty that you face may include fines, community service, driver's license suspension, and a possible short-term jail sentence. For multiple DUI offenders, the penalties may include mandatory registration in DUI school and the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Those who are accused of DUI are also likely to be subject to higher insurance premiums.
If you have been arrested for DUI, do not leave yourself unprotected. Attorney Matthew T. McNally is very experienced in DUI defense law, and has the legal skills and dedication to help you overcome your charges. Our legal team is committed to providing you with exceptional legal services across the board, and will work tirelessly to help you avoid a criminal conviction.
Contact the firm today to learn more about your rights.