Here in Georgia, we see millions of visitors every year, coming from across the country, and around the world. The Atlanta-area convention centers bring countless attendees. The city also hosts year round sporting events including bowl games at the Georgia Dome, or Braves and Falcons games. While here, those visiting from out of state enjoy our local bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Many of them may not realize they had one too many drinks before driving back to their hotels, and find flashing lights in their rear view mirrors.
The State Patrol and Atlanta Police Department take driving while intoxicated very seriously. They will pull over a driver with local license plates, just as they will pull over a rental car, or vehicle with out of state plates. The results of this brief lapse of judgment will have serious consequences for drivers, not only while driving in Georgia, but can follow them back to their home state. Even out of state drivers can end up with a suspended license as the result of a Georgia DUI. This is why it is important to take a Georgia DUI seriously, and make sure you get the help you need to see that you are treated fairly in court and before any administrative proceedings. As an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, I will fight for your rights, no matter where you live.
Georgia Driving Privilege Suspension
Most people don't know that after a DUI arrest, they will be subjected to separate criminal and administrative procedures, with separate penalties. The criminal charge will be handled by the prosecutor and the courts. However, a separate administrative process will be handled by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The administrative process is known as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). It goes into place automatically, and unless the driver acts quickly, their Georgia driver's license will be suspended for up to a year.
Even if an out of state driver can't have their home state driver's license suspended, they will not be able to drive in Georgia for the length of that suspension. To make matters worse, the driver only has 10 days from the date of their arrest to challenge the suspension through requesting an ALS hearing. A local DUI defense lawyer will be able to represent you at an ALS hearing in addition to defending criminal charges. Remember, that you only have 10 days to challenge the suspension.
Resident State Driver's License Suspension
Some drivers may think that a Georgia driver's license suspension will have no impact on their out of state driver's license. However, in most cases, Georgia will share information about the ALS suspension with the driver's home state. As a result, the driver's home state may impose a driver's license suspension on their license as well. This is why it is so important to fight the administrative suspension, which you only have 10 days to request. A Georgia DUI lawyer can represent an out of state driver before the ALS hearing without the driver having to appear in person.
Out of State Court Appearance
One of the biggest problems facing an out of state driver who is arrested for a Georgia DUI, is how to get to court from their out of state residence. They may have to take time off of work or school, buy an expensive plane ticket, and find lodgings in order to attend an initial hearing, only to be told if they want to fight the charges, they may have to come back at another date, costing them more days, expenses and inconvenience. The good news is that by hiring a local DUI lawyer, the defendant may not have to come back at all. In most cases a defense lawyer can represent their client without them having to appear in person from out of state. For out of state drivers, it can be less expensive for them to hire a lawyer, than to represent themselves in court with all the time and costs associated with travelling to and from the criminal and administrative proceedings.
Lawyer for Non-State Residents with a DUI in Georgia
Driving under the influence is a crime in all 50 states, and just because someone gets a DUI in Georgia does not mean it won't follow them back home. The good news is that a DUI arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. A DUI defense lawyer will understand the available defense, and investigate their client's case to fight the charges against them, saving them from the costs, fees, and penalties associated with a DUI conviction. If you or a loved one have been charged with driving under the influence in Georgia, please call me as soon as you can. I will make sure you are treated fairly, whatever state you live in.