Most people will go through their entire lives and not know what it’s like to be arrested. Some people do make mistakes. If you get arrested for DUI in Atlanta, you’ll be facing some serious penalties. In fact, you could be facing some jail time.
If you’re arrested for DUI in Georgia, you’ll have to spend at least one night in jail. By the time they book you and process your arrest, you’ll be in there for a few hours at least. They can’t even set bail until they talk to a judge. And, chances are, they won’t see a judge until the next day. If you’re arrested on a weekend, you could end up in jail until Monday.
But once you get out, you’ll have some time before your first court appearance. Not a lot of time though. You need to call a DUI defense lawyer in Atlanta right away. You may be due in court in a week or so. You don’t want to go to this hearing yourself. You’re much better off having an experienced criminal defense lawyer with you.
At your first appearance, the judge will read the charges and ask you how you plead. Unless your lawyer has already negotiated a plea deal with the prosecutor, you’re going to want to plead not guilty.
You May Face Jail Time for a First Offense DUI in Atlanta
Most people don’t think they’ll face any jail time for a first offense DUI. For the most part, this is true. The penalties for first offense DUI in Atlanta are as follows:
- Up to 12-months probation
- $300 in fines plus additional surcharges
- 1 to 10 days in jail
- At least 40 hours of community service
- Substance abuse treatment or counseling
- Mandatory attendance of DUI Risk Reduction School
- Suspension of your driver’s license
For a first offense DUI, the judge has the option of waiving the jail time. Unless there are special circumstances, they will usually do this. For someone with a clean driving record, the court will often waive the requirement of 1-10 days in jail.
However, if the DUI involved unique circumstances, you may have to serve jail time. These circumstances could include:
- The DUI involved an accident where people were injured
- You were combative during the arrest and refused the breathalyzer or field sobriety test
- You were driving recklessly at the time of the arrest
Your DUI lawyer will work hard to get the jail time waived.
For Subsequent DUIs, You Will Face Actual Jail Time
If you get arrested for your second or third DUI, you should expect to serve some time in jail. Now, you’re only going to serve jail time if you’re convicted. If your Atlanta DUI lawyer is able to get your charges dismissed, you won’t have to worry about the penalties.
The penalties for a second DUI in Atlanta are:
- 1 to 3 years’ probation
- Fines anywhere from $600-$1,000
- 90 days to 1 year in jail
- DUI school
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device for 4 months
When you’re convicted of your second DUI, the prosecutor is probably going to recommend that you serve some jail time. Your attorney will try to avoid this. Worst case, they can ask for a suspended sentence.
It will be hard to convince a judge that you shouldn’t have to serve jail time. If you show the court that you have no regard for the law, they’re not going to go easy on you. Getting convicted of not one, but two DUI is not going to help your cause.
There is a Mandatory Jail Sentence for 3rd Offense DUI
If you’re charged with your third DUI, there’s nothing your Georgia DUI lawyer can do to get you out of jail time. Short of getting the charges dismissed or reduced, if you’re convicted of your third DUI, you will serve time in jail.
The law in Georgia requires that anyone convicted of their third DUI serve at least fifteen (15) days in jail. With a conviction for a third DUI, you’re no longer dealing with a misdemeanor. You’re dealing with an aggravated felony. You’re basically telling the judge that you have no intention of obeying the DUI laws.
Contact the Skilled Atlanta DUI Lawyers at Howard & Arca Today
If you’re charged with a DUI, you don’t want to go to jail. Your best chances of avoiding jail time are by hiring an experienced DUI attorney in Atlanta. They can negotiate with the prosecutor and try to get the charges dismissed or reduced.
Call Howard & Arca today and schedule your initial consultation with a skilled DUI defense lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia.