Georgia DUI 1st Offense
Unlike other criminal offenses, the courts are not lenient on driving under the influence offenders—even if this is their first time breaking the law. Because of public pressure and media attention, judges are likely to deal harshly with those who drink and drive. If you are facing a Georgia DUI 1st offense, speaking with an experienced defense lawyer is strongly advised. Your lawyer will make sure your rights are protected at all times and develop a defense strategy that will increase your chances of avoiding a conviction.
Pleading guilty may seem like the easy way out, but when you consider the penalties you may face if found guilty, you will see that fighting your charges is the best option. A skilled attorney will determine if the evidence against you is accurate and challenge the field sobriety tests or chemical tests if any errors were made.
The jail sentence for a Georgia DUI 1st offense can range between 10 days to 12 months; however, the judge can suspend all but 24 hours. You will also be sentenced to probation for a period of 12 months, though this will be reduced by any actual time served.
The fines for a first offense can range from $300-$1000, with a statutory surcharge between 15-25%. The mandatory minimum sentence for community service is 40 hours. Fortunately, first-time offenders are often allowed to select the community service they want to perform if they can explain to the judge its importance to them.
You will also face a one-year administrative license suspension imposed by the Department of Driver Services (DDS). After 120 days, you may be eligible for license reinstatement after paying the appropriate fee and completing DUI School. To avoid a license suspension, you must submit an appeal letter to the DDS within 10 business days of your drunk-driving arrest.
A DUI conviction will also create a permanent criminal record. There is no way to expunge a drunk-driving offense, even if it is your first arrest, so the only way to avoid a record is to fight your charges.
Our law firm practices DUI defense exclusively, giving us the experience and training necessary to help you avoid a conviction. For a complimentary initial consultation, please contact our office today.
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