It doesn't seem fair that you can lose your driver's license after a DUI arrest even when you haven't been convicted. However, in Georgia, the state takes action against your driver's license before any criminal court decision. If you plan to plead guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere, the Department of Driver services will still suspend your license automatically, unless you request a hearing.
You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request hearing to prevent automatic driver's license suspension.
After a DUI arrest, there are criminal proceedings as well as administrative actions. The administrative process is handled by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If you refused to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine after a DUI arrest, you license will be automatically suspended. If you did submit to a chemical test, and failed the blood alcohol limits (above 0.08% BAC, or over 0.02% BAC for drivers under 21), your license will still be automatically suspended. This is known as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS).
After an arrest, the police officer will usually take your driver's license, and give you a form that will temporarily allow you to drive. This form has some information about how to challenge an automatic suspension, but can be very confusing, and does not make it clear that you must act within 10 days. the DDS form 1205 allows you to drive for 30 days after your arrest. After those 30 days are up, you license will be suspended for a year. If you have had more than one DUI, the suspension or revocation may be much longer, up to 5 years.
In order to prevent the license suspension, you will need to request a hearing, provide information about yourself and the basis for your hearing request, and submit an administrative fee of $150. Then, you will have to present a case for challenging the suspension at the ALS hearing. Arguing that you need to drive for your job or school, or that you are sorry is not going to win an ALS hearing. This is different from presenting your criminal defense, and has different procedures. It is highly recommended to use an experienced DUI defense lawyer to handle both the ALS hearing, and the criminal charge.
Atlanta DUI 10 Day Rule Lawyer
One mistake should not mean the end of your driver's license and leave you with a permanent criminal record. You should not have to give up your license even before you had your court trial to challenge your conviction. Unfortunately, you only have 10 days to act. So consider carefully whether you want to risk losing your license without getting the chance to have an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer represent you at the ALS hearing, challenging the arrest so that you get to keep your license. The ability to drive can impact your job, education, family and social life. If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, call me anytime, and I will make sure you are treated fairly by the courts and the state.