First Atlanta DUI Driver's License Suspension
A DUI will have important repercussions on your ability to drive. For most crimes, a conviction is required before a defendant will face penalties, but in Atlanta, the arrest is enough to trigger penalties. This is because a DUI in Georgia results in both criminal and administrative consequences. The criminal process may result in jail time, fines, fees, and drug or alcohol counseling and education. However, it is the administrative process which will take away your right to drive.
Administrative Process After Georgia DUI
If you are pulled over by the State Patrol or local police department, and are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, after being arrested, the officers will have you take a chemical test. If you refuse to submit to the chemical test, your license will be automatically suspended, regardless of if you are intoxicated or not. If you submit to the chemical test, and analysis of the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit, then your license may be suspended.
License Suspension Notification
For anyone arrested for their first DUI, it may be their first encounter on the wrong side of law enforcement. They will be unfamiliar with the process of arrest, booking, and unsure what to do after they are released. When an individual is arrested for a DUI, and refuses a chemical test, or exceeds the legal BAC limit, the police will issue the driver a DS 1205 form, which serves as notice of an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). The form will contain a lot of information, and may be difficult to understand for someone unfamiliar with the notice.
After arrest, the police will confiscate your driver's license. In exchange, the police will provide the Department of Driver Services (DDS) 1205 form, which will act as a temporary driver's permit for 30 days from the date of arrest. It is also a notice that DDS will suspend your driver's license after those 30 days. It may appear that a driver has 30 days to contest the suspension, but if you look on the back of the form, you will discover a request for a hearing has to be made in 30 days.
You only have 30 days to request an ALS hearing, or your license will be automatically suspended, for up to one year.
If you DO request a hearing within 30 days, there will be an administrative license hearing with DDS. An experienced Georgia DUI lawyer will be able to represent you before the ALS hearing as well as any criminal proceedings. The ALS hearing is different from the criminal process. This is why it is important to have the legal representation of an experienced DUI lawyer, who is familiar with the specifics of an ALS hearing. Additionally, with a DUI lawyer attending the ALS hearing, you will not have to appear in person, as your lawyer will be able to represent you at the hearing, saving you time and inconvenience, and giving you the best chance at keeping your driver's license.
If you DO NOT request an ALS hearing within 30 days, the suspension automatically goes into effect after 30 days. You will not legally be allowed to drive. The length of your suspension will depend on the circumstances. If you submitted to a chemical test for a first-time DUI, and your BAC was over the limit, your license will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days. During this time, it is possible to obtain a limited driving permit, which allows an individual to drive to and from work and school. After the 30 day suspension, a driver can have their license reinstated upon completion of DUI school, paying all court fees, and paying the DDS reinstatement fee. Alternatively, if you refused a chemical test on a first DUI, in most cases your license will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year.
Atlanta First DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Atlanta, your license will be suspended, unless you act within 30 days. Your ability to drive will impact your work, personal life, and possibly your livelihood. An administrative suspension can be just as damaging as a criminal conviction. Call me today, so we can immediately file a 30-day hearing letter. We can discuss what happened in your case, and how we will fight to keep your license and defend your rights in court.