Out of State Drivers in Georgia
Millions of out of state residents visit Georgia every year. This includes many visitors and tourists who seek to take advantage of popular restaurants, sporting events, and vineyards. Unfortunately for some of those drivers, they may be pulled over by Georgia State Patrol, and if the officers suspect the driver may be intoxicated, they may find themselves facing criminal charges for a DUI. An out of state driver with a Georgia DUI charge will face serious consequences both in the state, and in their home state.
Georgia Driver's License Suspension
Upon arrest for a charge of driving under the influence, the Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend the driver's license unless the driver acts quickly to request a hearing. For out of state drivers, the Department of Driver Services will administratively suspend their right to drive in Georgia. After a DUI arrest, a driver only has 30 days to request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing or to request an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. If a driver does not request a hearing or install the device within 30 days, their license will be automatically suspended for up to 1 full year. It is important to act quickly after a DUI arrest, and contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer to represent the driver before their ALS hearing and any criminal proceeding.
Home State License Suspension
Even if a driver's home state license cannot be suspended by the Georgia Department of Driver Services, their home state may take action to suspend their in-state license. Many states share driving violation information, and if a driver's home state motor vehicles division is informed of an administrative license suspension (ALS) in Georgia, they may administratively suspend their license at home. Not only will the driver be suspended from driving in and through the state of Georgia, they may not be able to drive anywhere without a valid license.
Georgia Criminal Court Appearance
After a criminal arrest for a DUI, the driver will be expected to be present at any court hearings and proceedings. This can be extremely difficult for out of state residents. However, hiring a Georgia DUI defense lawyer will make the process much more simple. A local DUI lawyer will be able to handle most proceedings without the out-of-state resident ever having to come back to Georgia. This can save the driver countless time, money and hassle by avoiding travel back and forth for court proceedings. An experienced DUI lawyer will also be able to represent their clients in absentia before ALS proceedings.
Georgia DUI Penalties for Out of State Drivers
Once a driver is arrested for a DUI, the prosecutors and courts do not treat out-of-state defendants much differently than local defendants. Penalties will still apply to out-of-state drivers who got arrested in Georgia. Penalties for a DUI can include jail time, court imposed fines and fees, community service and mandatory drug or alcohol counseling.
Out of State Drivers with Georgia DUI Defense
A DUI arrest does not mean you have to plead guilty. Even if you live out of state, you can fight the charges against you, and keep your driver's license and your criminal record clean. Having a local Georgia lawyer with a practice devoted to DUI defense will allow an out of state resident to stay home, while knowing they have an experienced lawyer fighting for their rights in court and before any administrative hearings. If you or a loved one have an out of state license, and were arrested for driving under the influence in the Atlanta area, you need the courtroom experience of a DUI defense lawyer who understands what a DUI can mean for your future. Call my office, anytime day or night, so we can fight the charges against you.