If you or a loved one gets arrested for a DUI, the state makes it difficult for you to keep your license, even if you are innocent. Even before you have a chance to defend your case in a criminal court, the Department of Driver Services will automatically suspend your license. It is even difficult to request a hearing so your license won't get suspended. Because it can be confusing and difficult to fight both the administrative suspension and the criminal case, I highly recommend consulting an experienced Atlanta DUI defense lawyer. A lawyer who handles only DUI cases will understand how these different processes are handled, and make sure you get treated fairly.
Georgia ALS Hearings
The Department of Driver Service (DDS) will administratively suspend or revoke your Georgia driver's license automatically after 30 days from the date of your arrest. The problem is, that you don't have 30 days to challenge the suspension, you only have 10 days to act to make sure you can present your case during an administrative hearing. To challenge an automatic license suspension (ALS), you must formally request a hearing in writing, pay $150 in fees, and then you will be able to raise issues before the judge as to why your license should not be suspended. If you lose the hearing, or don't request a hearing within 10 business days, your license will get suspended for a year.
When requesting a hearing, the licensee must also include the name and address of all interested parties who may testify, a clear and concise statement of facts upon which the case arises, the relief sought, and contact information if represented by a lawyer. If you contact a DUI defense lawyer to handle your ALS hearing, they will be able to file the 10 day letter, and include the necessary information to fight a suspended license.
ALS hearings are not the same as the criminal court hearing, although some of the same issues may be raised. It is an entirely different procedure, which a DUI defense lawyer can explain. The administrative law judge in an ALS hearing is not interested in hearing why you think the process isn't fair, or that you will lose your job if you lose your license. The judge is only interested certain arguments which could lead to a decision in your favor. This includes whether the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to believe the driver was under the influence, and was lawfully placed under arrest, or whether tests were properly administered. These can involve complex legal issues and understanding or field sobriety and chemical testing.
Atlanta DUI ALS Hearing Lawyer
It isn't fair that you should have to give up your driver's license even before you had your day in court. Unfortunately, you only have 10 days to request an ALS hearing. If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, speak with an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer who can represent you at the ALS hearing, so that you get to keep your license. I have successfully represented hundreds of clients, including defending their licenses before ALS hearings. Call me anytime, day or night, and I will make sure you are treated fairly by the courts and the state.