If you are caught, charged and convicted of a DUI in Peachtree City, you could end up in jail. The penalties for conviction are high, and even a first timer might face jail-time, if only for a day. For this reason, it’s best to consult an experienced DUI attorney if you are facing charges.
Of course, it depends whether you’ve been convicted of DUI before, but in many instances, a Peachtree City criminal defense attorney will be able to prevent you from being jailed.
Know Your Rights
Georgia, like many other American states, has an implied consent law. This means that if you are caught driving under the influence, you automatically consent to breath, urine or blood tests that are necessary to ascertain your blood alcohol (or drug) content. But if you are arrested for DUI, the officer must inform you of your implied consent rights and advise how test results and refusal to be tested could be used against you.
Anyone suspected of DUI who refuses to be tested faces the likelihood that restrictions will be placed on driving. Their driver’s license may also be suspended if they are from Georgia. Out-of-state licenses may not be suspended under implied consent legislation.
What you need to know is that if officers don’t follow the law to the last letter, a Peachtree City criminal defense attorney could have the case dismissed. Presuming you do agree to be tested, you can also undergo additional tests at your own cost, and if these results are different, they could be an advantage in court. Further, if you are arrested, you have 10 days to appeal via the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Your attorney will do this for you.
Be Aware of the Consequences of DUI
The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determined by various types of testing will determine (partly) the sentence a court will impose. For instance, a first offender with a BAC of less than .08 percent will be ordered to do 20 hours of community service. If the BAC is more than .08 percent community service will be doubled. First offenders also face fines of between $300 and $1,200 and a jail sentence of 10 days to 12 months, though the jail sentence might be suspended. Nevertheless, 24 hours in jail is mandatory.
Convicted first offenders must be clinically evaluated to decide whether alcohol or drug treatment is needed. They will also often be placed on probation for 12 months (less any jail time served). Driving privileges will be suspended for 12 months, though it is possible to apply for reinstatement of these after 120 days if an approved DUI alcohol- or drug-use risk reduction program has been completed. A $210 reinstatement fee is also payable.
Minors under 21 who are convicted of DUI in the state of Georgia face a mandatory license suspension of 12 months as well as community service.
Second and subsequent DUI convictions carry increasingly heavier penalties. For instance, if a second offense is committed within five years of the first offense, conviction carries a minimum fine of $600, possible imprisonment of 90 days to 12 months plus a mandatory 48-hour period in jail, and at least 30 days of community service.
A third conviction carries a fine of $1,000 to $5,000 and a mandatory 15 days in jail. While a Peachtree City criminal defense attorney won’t be able to revoke that part of the jail sentence, he or she will know how to approach the additional possibility of 120 days to 12 months in jail and minimize it in terms of the circumstances.
Of course, the best advice is not to drive if you have been drinking or have consumed any form of drugs. But if you do and you are stopped and charged with DUI, contact an experienced DUI firm of attorneys immediately.
Slepian, Schwarz & Landgaard is a Peachtree City firm with experienced criminal defense attorneys ready to help. If there is any chance of preventing you being jailed, we will do it.