Most drivers find getting arrested for a first drunk driving offense be an incredibly intimidating experience. If you find yourself a little confused and even frightened after being arrested, you are not alone. Many times when someone is arrested for their first DUI, it is the first time they have ever been a defendant in the criminal justice system.
I Was Arrested For DUI In Atlanta, What's Going To Happen To Me?
Once the arrest is over, the next step many people take is conducting their own online research into what consequence they will face if convicted of a DUI, which is often even more disheartening. The Georgia laws governing DUI, even a first offense, are harsh. Drivers charged with their first DUI face very serious consequences, including maximum penalties of twelve months of jail time, fines of $1,000, completion of 40 hours of community service, a clinical evaluation for alcohol and/or drug dependency and treatment if found to be necessary as a result of the evaluation, completion of DUI school, and driver's license suspension for a full year.
However, if you are in this situation, try not to feel completely overwhelmed. Do not assume that if convicted, you would be facing the maximum penalties. When I represent clients with a first offense DUI and no significant negative driving history or other complicating factors, the Municipal Courts of Atlanta are much more likely to hand down a sentence closer to the statutory minimum. The minimum penalty includes a reduced fine of $300, jail time for a period of 24 hours, elimination of the clinical evaluation/treatment, and a much shorter driver's license suspension. Depending on the circumstances of the particular case, some drivers also have a chance at getting a DUI charge dropped to a less serious offense, such as reckless driving.
Even the minimum consequences for a first offense DUI in Atlanta can have serious implications for everyday life. However, we can work together to implement the best possible strategy to keep any penalties as close as possible to the minimum (or even a lesser charge). We will also develop strategies for dealing with any sentence you do face, such as setting up a payment plan for fines and getting your limited driving permit for work, school and medical appointments.
Each case is unique. If you are currently dealing with your first DUI, please contact me as soon as possible. To begin with, we will discuss all the aspects of your arrest and the charges against you. We will also discuss all the aspects of your life, including your family responsibilities, your career, your education, and anything else that you feel would be relevant. This will give us a clear picture of how we want to develop an overall strategy to minimize the negative effects this DUI arrest will have and develop a plan for you to move forward with your life.