Will You Get Thrown Behind Bars For Your First Atlanta DUI?

Most people only think you will end up in jail after a 2nd or 3rd DUI in Georgia. But as a matter of fact, any DUI conviction carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence, even for a first-time offender. Even if you've never had any arrest before, and never recieved anything more than a parking ticket, one simple mistake could mean you have to spend time behind bars, and end up with a criminal record.

An arrest for driving under the influence in Georgia will land your case in a criminal court. But even before your case gets to court, the penalties will begin. Even before you get convicted, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will automatically suspend your license even before you had your chance to defend your case in court. The only way to stop this is by requesting an administrative license hearing to keep your license. On top of that, you only have 10 days after your arrest to request the hearing. Contact a Georgia DUI lawyer to make sure your hearing request is filed in time so that you can keep your license.

However, the real penalties begin after you get convicted for a DUI or plead guilty. The penalties that come after a first time DUI are some of the strictest in the country. You can be fined up to $1,000; have to serve 40 hours of community service; complete a DUI Risk Reduction Program; undergo a clinical evaluation and possible substance abuse treatment; and even spend time in jail.

In most cases, the judge will give the driver a jail sentence of up to one year, but that time can be served on probation rather than behind bars. However, there is a minimum of 24 hours that must be spent in jail. No one wants to spend time in jail, and no one wants to see their loved ones in jail.

Even after serving whatever mandatory jail time the judge orders, probation is still nothing like the freedom you experienced before a DUI conviction. Being on probation carries a lot of requirements and conditions, and if you violate those conditions, it could mean you spend real time in jail. Probation will require you go to DUI school, undergo evaluations, attend any counselling sessions, pay supervisory fees, and they may dictate where and when you can be in certain places. You may even be required to submit to random alcohol tests during probation.

Lawyer in Atlanta Defending First-Time DUIs

If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, you don't want a criminal record or time in a jail cell. Remember, the law says that you are innocent until proven guilty. So just because the police made you feel guilty as soon as they pulled you over does not mean you need to plead guilty. You deserve to have someone fighting on your side, which is why you need a lawyer who has built their practice on DUI defense. Call me anytime, day or night, so we can get to work on your case, and have the charges against you dismissed or reduced.