The state of Georgia has adopted a tough stance against drunk driving, which is reflected in the penalties for a first offense. Drivers charged with a first DUI in Atlanta find that the penalties they have are greater than in many other states. This may seem intimidating, but it only serves to highlight the importance of taking every possible measure to put forth the best defense to your DUI charge.
The Maximum Penalties For First Atlanta DUI
The maximum penalties for a first offense DUI include twelve months in jail, a fine of $1,000, completion of 40 hours of community service, clinical evaluation for alcohol and/or substance use dependency and completion of a treatment program, if deemed necessary after evaluation, completion of a risk reduction program (commonly known as DUI School) and suspension of your driver's license for one full year.
The Minimum Penalties For First Atlanta DUI
The minimum penalties for a first offense DUI include 24 hours in jail, a fine of $300, completion of 40 hours of community service, and suspension of your driver's license for a period up to (but often less than) a year. Local judges commonly impose a longer term of probation in lieu of significant jail time for the minimum penalty for a first offense DUI.
It is critical to remember that each particular case is unique. There are special circumstances that may change the penalties you could face for a first DUI in Atlanta. For example, if you were under age 21 when you were arrested and your BAC was under .08, or if you refused to take the state test, no jail time is required by law, though a judge can impose a jail sentence at his or her discretion. Other circumstances, including the presence of open containers, the type of intoxicant involved (alcohol and drugs have different implications for driver's license) and any prior offenses on your record can all impact the penalty you may face.
The law governing DUI is incredibly complex, and significantly affected by the particularities of individual cases. When we have an opportunity to speak, we will examine the circumstances of your case in detail, and from that conversation you will gain a clear understanding of the penalties you could face if convicted. We will then craft a legal strategy to maximize the potential that any penalties you may receive will be as close as possible to the statutory minimum. We will also discuss how to mitigate the effect these penalties will have on your life, such as applying for a limited driving permit to get to work, and setting up a payment plan to pay fines. If you are facing charges for a first offense DUI, please contact me as soon as possible so that we can make sure that no deadlines are missed, no rights are forfeited, and, if we choose to work together on your case I can immediately begin advocating for your best possible outcome.