One of the questions most new clients ask is whether a DUI is a crime of moral turpitude? In other words, does being arrested for a DUI means that a person has bad character?
The simple answer is “no.” DUI is not considered to be a crime of bad character. In Georgia, it is considered to be a traffic-misdemeanor.
Crimes of moral turpitude always have an element of malicious intent. A person must intend to violate a statute. Examples include, but are not limited to, fraud, theft, violent crimes, property crimes, and obstruction.
A person can be arrested for a DUI whether they intended to drink and drive, or not. Intent to commit a crime is not an element of the offense.
As a result, receiving a DUI does not prevent a person from taking on a position of trust in a business or a government job. In fact, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney both had DUI arrest, and both men reached the highest offices in the land.
That all being said, DUI is so unpopular, being arrested seems to have a similar effect on people as if it were a crime of moral turpitude. For some of my clients, a DUI arrest seems like a scarlet letter that is branded on their forehead.
I have had clients lose jobs, lose promotions at work, lose clients, lose scholarships, and suffer scorn in the community. As with other crimes, people often do not wait until my clients have their cases adjudicated. In spite of the legal principle of being innocent until proven guilty, many people assume guilt when it involves a DUI arrest.
As a result, legally, DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude. However, for all practical purposes, it sure seems like it is one.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, do not suffer severe Georgia DUI Penalties. Call now to begin your defense. We are here to help.
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