After an arrest for a DUI, you probably want to put the whole terrible incident behind you and move on as soon as possible. However, before you even begin thinking about whether or not you want to fight the charges, and keep your criminal record clean, you have to know that you only have 10 days after the arrest to stop your license from being automatically suspended.
What Will Happen to Your Driver's License After Your First DUI?
If you want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible, a suspended license is not going to help. Atlanta does have some public transportation options, but most of us still use our cars on a daily basis, to go to and from work or school, shopping for groceries, visits to the doctor, taking our kids to and from school, and visiting friends and family. If all that is taken away, our jobs may be at risk, and our lives are practically turned upside down.
The Administrative “ALS” Process With a First DUI
In addition to the criminal court process, risking a criminal conviction and permanent record after a DUI, the state Department of Driver Services will go through a separate administrative process to suspend your license. This administrative process, known as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is not even dependant on a criminal conviction, it is automatic. The only way to fight administrative suspension is by requesting a hearing.
Administrative License Suspension Notification Form
The Georgia Department of Driver Services and the police sure don't make it clear that you only have 10 days to act. When you are arrested for a first time DUI in Georgia, the police will take away your driver's license, and give you a yellow piece of paper. This paper serves multiple purposes, but you must read the document very closely, because it can be unfairly confusing.
The form, known as a DS 1205 report, is actually your temporary driver's license, since the police took yours away. It is a 30 day temporary license. The form is also a notice that after 30 days, your driving privileges will be suspended. What isn't so clear from the form, is that you only have 10 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension. That information is on the back of the DS 1205 form. If a hearing isn't requested within 10 days, that's it! Your license will automatically be suspended for as long as a year.
The minimum suspension time is 30 days, after which you can pay a $210 reinstatement fee to DDS, provided you have enrolled in and successfully completed DUI school. During the suspension, it may be possible to get a limited driving privilege, to and from work, during work, and to and from DUI school. However, for driver's who refused to submit to a chemical test after they were arrested, their suspension will last for an entire year.
On the other hand, by requesting a hearing with DDS, your lawyer can fight the administrative suspension, and keep your license. That will mean no license suspension, no limited driving permit, and no reinstatement fees. An Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, with experience representing clients before ALS hearings, will even be able to take care of the hearing without you having to be there. However, the only way you can stop an automatic suspension is by requesting a hearing within ten days. Contact my offices today, so we can file for a hearing, and fight the suspension.
First DUI Lawyer in Atlanta
If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, don't let the state automatically take away your license to drive. I will make sure you are treated fairly by the courts and the state. Make the call today, so we can stop your license from being automatically suspended. We will fight the charges against you, to make sure the DUI remains in the past. Call me anytime, day or night.