A DUI conviction has serious and immediate consequences such as the suspension of someone’s driver’s license and active prison time. Someone can follow the traffic laws and still be susceptible to receiving a charge of DUI if, for example, they are stopped as part of a routine traffic checkpoint.
If you or someone you know is charged with a DUI, it is important to seek out a Johns Creek DUI lawyer to advocate for you. An adept criminal defense attorney can look at the existing evidence and use it to build your DUI case.
Understanding DUI Laws in Georgia
Driving under the influence of alcohol in Georgia is considered to be very serious. There are two ways in which someone can be charged with the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol. The first way happens if based on the results of a blood test, someone has a blood alcohol level over .08, they are considered to be driving under the influence per se.
Even without a blood test, someone can be convicted of a DUI. In this case, the state would need to prove that a person had consumed some combination of drugs and/or alcohol that made it unsafe for them to drive. This might be proved based on field sobriety tests, how someone was driving, or their mannerisms and appearance (such as slurred speech and bloodshot eyes) as observed by the arresting police officer. This charge is known as DUI Less Safe
This might be proved based on field sobriety tests, how someone was driving, or their mannerisms and appearance (such as slurred speech and bloodshot eyes) as observed by the arresting police officer. This charge is known as DUI Less Safe, A Johns Creek DUI attorney can attempt to prove that law enforcement’s observations were inaccurate and unfounded, as a defense.
Potential Penalties for DUI Conviction
For a first DUI conviction, the law requires that someone serve a minimum of 24 hours of active jail time. The rest of their sentence can be suspended as they serve probation.
It is important to note that there are some exceptions to the above rules. For commercial drivers, the permissible blood alcohol level is .04. For drivers under age 21, there is zero tolerance. Driving with a blood alcohol level between .02 and .08 will result in at least a six-month suspension of the driver’s license and fines.
In certain circumstances, people with DUI convictions may be eligible for a limited driving privilege. They may be allowed to drive in limited circumstances, such as to work, during the period when their license is suspended. This will require placing an ignition interlock (that requires a breathalyzer) on their car.
Penalties for Repeat Offenders
Consequences for a DUI conviction depend on whether it is a repeat offense. If someone is convicted of their first DUI (or their first within a ten-year period) they can face a sentence involving up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, 40 hours of community service, probation and a DUI education course.
People’s second, third and fourth DUI convictions within a ten-year period will result in increasingly serious consequences. A fourth DUI conviction is classified as a felony, with a minimum of one to five years in prison.
Possible Defenses Against DUI Charges
A DUI attorney will review someone’s case and look for possible defenses. These might include defects in the way that field sobriety or blood alcohol tests were conducted or other problems with the evidence in the case. An attorney may negotiate with the district attorney for a more lenient sentence or, in some circumstances, a plea to a less serious criminal offense.
A person may wonder what would happen if they refused to take a field sobriety or blood alcohol test and whether they can be convicted of a DUI without those tests. The law has an answer for this – refusing a sobriety test may result in an automatic one-year revocation of a person’s license.
Consulting a Johns Creek DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one are facing DUI charges, then do not hesitate to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable Johns Creek DUI attorney who can examine all of the aspects of your case and advise you of all your legal options. Early and continued involvement by an attorney can make all the difference.