Knowledgeable DUI Law Firm Protects Your License in GA
Aggressive defense to minimize the consequences to your future
An arrest for DUI in Georgia threatens your liberty, your savings, your career, and your reputation. There are effective defense strategies that can defeat the charges or at least minimize the consequences, but you benefit most from an attorney with experience and proven ability who will fight for your rights. When you retain the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash to manage your defense, you get insight that comes from more than 40 years of legal practice, as a criminal prosecutor and judge. You also get our utmost determination to deliver the best possible results in your case.
Types of DUI and penalties in Georgia
There are two ways you can be convicted of driving under the influence in Georgia. The first is a standard DUI, which depends on the observations an officer made that you were driving while impaired. This can include any erratic maneuvers and the results of a field sobriety test. For this type of DUI, you can show a blood alcohol content of less than 0.08 percent and still be convicted. The second type is DUI per se, which is proved by a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater.
The penalties for DUI in Georgia are as follows:
- First offense DUI — Possible jail time up to one year, minimum fine of $300 up to $1,000 maximum, license suspension of up to one year, mandatory minimum 40 hours of community service, and a $210 license reinstatement fee.
- Second offense within five years — Mandatory minimum of 48 hours in jail with up to one year possible, minimum fine of $600 up to $1,000 maximum, license suspension of three years, mandatory minimum 30 days of community service, a $210 license reinstatement fee, and a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of a substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense.
- Third offense within five years of second — Mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail, minimum fine of $1,000 up to $5,000 maximum, license revocation for five years, mandatory minimum 30 days of community service; name, photo, and address published in local newspaper at violator’s expense; declared as habitual violator; vehicle license plate seized and sent by the court to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety; and a mandatory clinical evaluation and, if indicated, completion of a substance abuse treatment program at the offender’s expense.
There are also additional costs to the convicted offender: loss of reputation, additional expenses and inconvenience commuting to work or school, and much higher insurance premiums once your license is reinstated. For all these reasons, you cannot treat a DUI like a minor traffic violation. It is imperative that you retain an accomplished criminal defense attorney to fight the DUI charges aggressively.
How Georgia’s implied consent law threatens your license
According to O.C.G.A. 40-5-55, the State of Georgia deems anyone “who operates a motor vehicle upon the highways or elsewhere” to have granted consent for a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol if arrested or involved in an auto accident resulting in serious personal injury or wrongful death. Your refusal to submit to a test under those circumstances means the state will automatically suspend your driver’s license.
So, if you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, does that mean you must submit to a Breathalyzer test or lose your license? No! You haven’t been arrested. Of course, if you refuse the roadside test, the officer may decide to arrest you anyway. Then you will be taken to the station where an officer will read you the implied consent notice required under O.C.G.A. 40-5-67.1. At that point, you must submit to a test or face a license suspension of at least one year.
If you lose your license due to a refusal and are later cleared of the DUI charge, you may still face a costly administrative process to restore your driving privileges. That’s why with any DUI stop, it’s important to seek skilled counsel dedicated to protecting your rights.
Contact a highly professional DUI defense attorney serving Marietta and metro Atlanta
Severe penalties, loss of liberty, and loss of driving privileges are all reasons to seek aggressive DUI defense representation. For determined advocacy throughout the legal process, call the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash at 770.422.0878 or contact our office online to schedule a free initial consultation. We have six locations throughout metro Atlanta to serve your needs.