Are you under the age of 21 and have received a DUI in Georgia?
Are you a teenager and have received a DUI in Georgia?
This website is designed to give you valuable information regarding DUI and the penalties one faces for even a first time DUI offense. These implications become even steeper for someone under the age of 21 who is charged with DUI. Georgia residents are aware that 21 is the legal drinking age in the state. No person under the age of 21 should be drinking at all, and no teenager should be drinking and driving. Drivers under the age of 21 face a much lower legal BAC limit. You can read weekly updates on DUI Law on the Georgia DUI Information Blog.
Georgia DUI Attorney Richard Lawson has been helping teenager and people under the age of 21 with their DUI cases for more than 25 years. He started his career as a Georgia DUI Prosecutor and now devotes his life to defending people under the age of 21 with their DUI cases. Your defense begins with a 30 Day Letter or you will lose your drivers license. The 30 day letter is essential, it requests your Georgia ALS Hearing.
30 Day Warning!!
The legal limit for someone under the age of 21 is .02 in Georgia. You only have 30 days for the date of your arrest for your Georgia DUI Lawyer to file an appeal of your drivers license suspension. Your Georgia DUI Attorney will file it for you as well as the $150 filing fee. If the hearing request is not filed, your license will be suspended. In the case of a refusal, the suspension can be for as much as a year. Act now and have your hearing request filed. Otherwise you will not qualify for a permit to drive for even attending school or going to work.
Whereas for over 21 the limit is .08, for persons under 21 years of age, the limit is .02. Lawmakers have had to factor in some leeway for variables like mouthwash or gum which can occasionally show up on an alcohol breath test. The driver's license suspension penalties are very stringent for underage drivers and such drivers are facing the same or greater possible consequences in regard to jail time, fines, probation, community service, and rehabilitation classes than do over 21 drivers in Georgia.
The consequences can also include having a criminal record for the rest of your life. The stakes are high an the law can be stacked against you. You may not have even been under the influence of alcohol but are still charged with DUI in Georgia. This is why these cases need special attention. It's easy to recommend a guilty plea, as most lawyer do. It's hard work to find defenses to cases where our clients many not actually be impaired yet are charged with technical violations of the DUI laws. You can be charged with DUI, as an under 21 driver, while not being impaired or drunk.
What if I was not actually drunk?
The biggest challenge in DUI cases involving people under the age of 21 is the fact that many young people charged are not actually impaired. Since the legal limit is only .02, we find many young people charged with DUI without the "UI," without being under the influence. This is a tremendous challenge because these young people are charged with a crime that can potentially stay with them for the rest of their lives. Quite frankly, its not fair. Our Georgia DUI Lawyers are trained to look for defenses. Our Georgia DUI Attorneys are trained to look for alternatives.
We have had many cases where the driver under the age of 21 was just over .02 and completely sober, yet they are charged with DUI. Has then been just a few months older they never would have been charged. It is truly a technical violation of the Georgia DUI Law. Worse yet, some of those drivers were charged with Felony Vehicular Homicide or Felony Serious Injury by Vehicle because of a technical violation of the Georgia DUI Law. It's hard to imagine or legislature making someone a convicted felon for life while not being impaired. Yet, that is what we have in Georgia today.
The challenge is they are technically guilty of the DUI Laws in Georgia while not actually impaired in any way. A more fair charge would be minor in possession of alcohol ( MIP ). The key is to not give up, and show the prosecutor that our clients deserve an alternative punishment. Sometimes it means taking a case to trial and asking a jury to disregard the law because it is simply not fair to make someone a criminal for the rest of their life when they were actually not under the influence of alcohol.
The Stakes Are High When Charged With DUI and You are Under the Age of 21:
An even greater challenge is that when young, you are most likely unsure of your career and educational goals. A DUI conviction may serve as an eliminator for many options that you may not even have considered. A DUI conviction on your record can also harm your chances of obtaining opportunities at certain prestigious graduate and professional schools. Also, employers are more likely to hire someone without a DUI versus an equally qualified person with a DUI on their record.
We are living in a time where no one seems to get a second chance. I get calls every day from people in their 20s and 30s who want me to re-open or look at cases that were closed years ago. They ask me about expunging their records or sealing their records. Their prior DUI's are preventing them from getting a job or seeking an opportunity. I have to unfortunately tell those callers that there is nothing that can be done now.
If you are charged with DUI or DUI as a person under the age of 21, you must fight your case now. You must hire the best DUI lawyer now. You must defend your Georgia DUI case now. You need to seek the best counsel and fight your case while it's still pending. Your case will not defend itself. Time is of the essence and your case needs attention today, not years later when you cannot be helped.
There is Hope if You are Under the Age of 21 and Charged with DUI in Georgia:
Our team of DUI lawyers can help you work through your charges and understand what you are facing. We can help you build a defense and bring your case through the trial process as well as filing motions on your behalf aimed to dismiss or reduce charges. If you are under 21 and are facing DUI charges, or if you are the parent or guardian of a young person facing DUI charges, let our Georgia DUI lawyers help make sense of it all. Call us anytime and we'll answer your questions. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including nights and weekends.