Refusing a Blood Test in Georgia
When you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, there are two separate processes that can dictate what penalties you are facing. The first is the criminal proceeding. This is what most people may be familiar with, where you are innocent until proven guilty. In a court of law, you can plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, you may face a trial where you try and get the judge or jury to find in your favor, and against the state prosecutors. If you are found not guilty, you will not have a criminal conviction on your record, you will not have to pay fines, do jail time or community service, and you will not have to attend DUI school.
However, the other proceeding does not offer you the same protections under the law. After an arrest you will also face an administrative license suspension of your Georgia Driver's License. This is handled by the Georgia Department of Drivers Services, and not by the criminal court. In fact, you only have 30 days after your arrest to challenge the automatic suspension. Even if you are later found not guilty of a DUI, if you did not request an ALS hearing or install an ignition interlock device, then you license will still be suspended.
Whether or not you submit to a blood test can affect both the criminal case, and your administrative license suspension. After an arrest, the Atlanta police officer will read you your implied consent rights. This includes notifying you that if you refuse to submit to a state administered chemical test, your license will be automatically suspended for 1 year. Even if you are completely sober, but refuse a blood test after an arrest for a DUI, your license suspension is automatic.
Implied Consent in Georgia
Under Georgia State law, simply by having a driver's license or driving on Georgia roads and highways, you have given your implied consent to chemical testing. This means that if you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, you are required to submit to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
It is up to the driver whether to submit to a blood test or not. However, refusal will not only result in an automatic suspension of your Georgia driver's license, but evidence of your refusal can be used against you in court. However, in either case, there are defenses available. For example, some police improperly read the implied consent notice, which means you have not been properly informed of your legal rights, and cannot consent to or refuse a blood test.
Atlanta Blood Test Refusal Defense Request Lawyer
If you were arrested for driving under the influence in the Atlanta area, make sure to contact your Atlanta DUI defense lawyer immediately after an arrest, so you can keep your license to drive, and fight the criminal charges. However, if you refused to submit to a blood test then your driver's license will be suspended. There may be valid reasons why your refusal was justified, and your refusal should not be held against you in court. Call me today, so we can discuss just what happened in your case, and I will fight for you to keep your license to drive, and keep your criminal record clear.