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Georgia DUI First Offense

The state of Georgia, like many other states, have enacted serious laws and penalties to punish those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Even if it’s a Georgia citizen’s first offense, the consequences are severe because this crime is considered a serious and dangerous violation. So if you or someone you know has recently been arrested for a DUI first offense, you must be made aware of the road that lies ahead.

First, it’s important to understand that being arrested for DUI is very different than being convicted of DUI. All citizens are innocent until proven guilty and it is the burden of the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were DUI. It is also the job of your defense attorney (and yes you do need one!) to expose any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you. That being said, it is imperative that you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney right away so that they can start building you a solid defense.

Now that you understand that you do have a fighting chance in court, you must now be made aware of the potential penalties you’ll face should you be convicted. In Georgia, it is mandatory to serve 24 hours in jail, which is the minimum sentence. The DMV will seek to suspend your license for up to one year whether you failed a breath test or refused to submit to a chemical test. You can request a hearing within a few days of your arrest; however, you may also have your license suspended in criminal court.

In addition to these penalties, you’ll also be required to attend a 24-hour class at DUI school in order to have your license reinstated. The judge may also impose a fine between $300 and $1000 depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. Other penalties include 40 hours of community service and 12 months of probation in which you will be required to have meetings with your probation officer and attend alcohol treatment sessions. A DUI first offense will also mean increased or even canceled insurance for your vehicle(s). Because you legally cannot drive without insurance, this is often another crippling effect of a DUI first offense conviction.

The only way to avoid these penalties is to contact an experienced Georgia DUI defense attorney. Your lawyer may be able to reduce your charge to a less serious offense or have your case dismissed.

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