A DUI is treated incredibly seriously in Georgia. This type of charge can involve a loss of license, potential jail time, and community service. The benefit of an attorney is that they can discover defenses, or identify problems or issues with state-administered chemical tests. Many times, an attorney can negotiate a deal on your behalf. The attorney is able to mitigate any license suspensions, walk you through the process of obtaining a limited permit or work permit or keep you out of jail. To avoid any potential penalties associated with your first DUI, it is pertinent that you contact an Atlanta first offense DUI lawyer as soon as possible. En Español.
Severity of a DUI Charge
A DUI often prevents an individual from being able to drive, and could possibly produce jail time. This sort of charge can create a permanent record and a loss of driving privileges, which is significant because in today’s society people often must be able to drive to get to their job or to pick up their children from school. Atlanta requires 24 hours of jail time for the first DUI. For the second DUI, many courts will put an individual in jail for several days, if not weeks. To avoid such severe charges, it is important that an individual contact an Atlanta first offense DUI lawyer immediately, to begin preparing a strong defense on behalf of the person accused.
The penalties for a first time DUI vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The least amount of penalties an individual may receive when they are under the State of Georgia limit is a $300 fine, 40 hours of community service, DUI school, alcohol and drug evaluation, and 24 hours in jail. Very often, prosecutors may be willing to work with an individual to reduce the charge to a non-DUI. However, there are some jurisdictions where the minimum charges are not offered.
Some counties and municipalities increase the penalties with random tests every week and other processes to determine if an individual is drinking alcohol. There are places that can put an individual in jail for some period of time with a minimum, even on a first lifetime DUI. These penalties can be properly defended through the use of an Atlanta first offense DUI lawyer.
Possibility of a Diversion Program
Georgia does not have anything like a diversion program or probation for first-time offenders. In fact, the law specifically mandates that an individual cannot plead to a DUI under the First Offender Act. If a case is reduced from a DUI to a non-DUI, quite often the state requires the individual to perform similar types of conditions that a DUI penalty imposes, even if the case is reduced to something different. In Atlanta Municipal Court and Fulton County State Court, if the case is reduced to a reckless driving, they may still make an individual do community service, alcohol and drug evaluation, and pay fines. In some jurisdictions, an individual could be put in jail.
An Atlanta first offense DUI lawyer can defend an individual’s rights in court. They can abdicate and file certain motions to argue that certain evidence is not admissible against the individual accused. Further, the lawyer can challenge the accuracy of how the field sobriety test was administered. Other factors the Atlanta first offense DUI lawyer can address are the constitutionality of whether the traffic stop was lawful, whether the officer had probable cause to arrest the individual, and whether the warnings given were in compliance with the state-mandated warnings under the implied consent law. Also, a lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and may get the case reduced to a lesser offense, keep an individual out of jail, or minimize the amount of significant penalties involving jail time in the case.
Benefits of an Attorney
Having an Atlanta first offense DUI lawyer who is familiar with the procedures, the courts, and the judges is very important. It does not have to be someone who specifically has an office near the courthouse, that may help, but that does not mean everything. An individual will want to be with a lawyer who is well-versed with that particular court system, prosecutor, and judge.
Further, an attorney can identify a problem or weakness in the state’s case. They may be able to have the charge reduced from a DUI to a non-DUI offense such as reckless driving or a minimal moving offense. They can keep an individual on the roadway, oftentimes with a work permit. The proper attorney can give different explanations as to how to properly navigate the legal process.