If you are facing charges of driving under the influence, you’re probably scared. It may be your first DUI or criminal charge of any kind in Georgia, and you may be worried that you’ll end up in jail. Even though you’ll be facing misdemeanor charges, the penalties can be hard to deal with. They can affect several aspects of your life. However, many first-time offenders are able to escape the more severe penalties with help from their attorneys. If you’ve recently been charged with a DUI, stay calm. Read about the possible criminal and administrative penalties below and contact a lawyer that handles DUI charges for specific advice about your case.
Administrative Penalties for First DUI in Georgia
Unsurprisingly, one of the punishments for driving under the influence is the suspension of your driver’s license. If you are 21 or older, the Department of Driver Services will suspend your license for 12 months for alcohol-related DUIs. However, if you had a previously clean driving record, your attorney may be able to help you get a limited permit. This allows you to drive for specific purposes such as:
- Going to work
- Going for medical attention or to get prescription drugs
- Going to school
- Attending programs and sessions associated with your DUI
- Taking unlicensed family members to work, school or doctor’s appointments
If you want to get back your license, you will have to complete an approved risk reduction program. You’ll also have to pay a reinstatement fee. You may be able to get your driver’s license reinstated early.
The administrative penalties are different if your DUI was drug-related. Your license will be suspended for 180 days and there is no option of getting a limited permit or early reinstatement. However, you will need to go through the same process to get your license reinstated.
Drivers between the ages of 16 and 20 also face different penalties. If the driver’s BAC was under .08 percent, a first offense usually results in a six-month license suspension. However, if their BAC was over this limit, the license will be suspended for 12 months. Even young drivers need to pay to attend a risk reduction program and get their license reinstated. If your teenager has been accused of DUI, you need to hire an Atlanta DUI attorney.
Criminal Penalties for a First DUI in Georgia
In addition to the administrative sanctions, there are criminal punishments to consider. Don’t assume that you will escape jail time because it’s your first DUI offense. A judge can impose a jail sentence of up to 12 months in a county facility. In some cases, victims can get probation or credit for time served after they were arrested. However, if your blood alcohol concentration was .08 percent or higher you must spend at least 24 hours in jail.
There are also financial costs connected to a DUI conviction. Fines vary between $300 and $1,000. You would also have to pay to attend an alcohol or drug use risk reduction program. This is a 20-hour course that costs in excess of $350. Even if you get probation, you could have to pay a supervision fee.
In addition to jail time, fines and fees, the court will also require 40 hours of community service. In addition, you will need to participate in a clinical evaluation and undergo counseling if the evaluation recommends it. Many people who confess or are found guilty of a first DUI avoid lengthy jail time. However, if you don’t adhere to the court’s requirements, the judge may revoke your probation. You, therefore, need to ensure you do everything you can to comply with the court’s orders.
Call Howard & Arca DUI Lawyers to Ensure the Best Outcome
At Howard & Arca DUI Lawyers, you’ll find a team with the necessary skills to defend you in court. We will assess your case, explain the penalties, and come up with a defense, if possible. We’ll explain what is happening throughout the process and do everything we can to get you a favorable outcome.
DUI cases are serious, and you stand to lose a lot if you get convicted. You may find it difficult to get a job or get into your preferred college. If you depend on a professional license to earn a living, your livelihood could be at stake. Furthermore, a DUI conviction will stay on your record for life. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to avoid conviction. In some cases, even an arrest without a conviction can have a negative impact on your life. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn how our Atlanta DUI attorneys can help you.