It's no secret that there are many undesirable consequences of being convicted of a DUI. The financial, emotional, and psychological costs start accumulating from the moment you are pulled over by a police officer, and they certainly don't end there. A DUI charge occurs when a person is accused of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. DUI laws are constantly changing, and thousands of DUI cases go up for appeal across the nation every year. If you are facing a DUI conviction, your best defense begins with experienced Georgia DUI attorneys.
Most Immediate Consequence of a DUI in Georgia
One of the most immediate consequences of being arrested with a DUI offense is an automatic suspension of your driver's license. The arresting police officer confiscates your driver's license and in place of it, provides you with a DS-1205 form, which you can use to drive for 45 days. In the meantime, your driver's license is subject to an administrative license suspension (ALS), and you have 30 days to file an appeal if you wish to argue your case at an administrative hearing.
The problem, however, is a DS-1205 is good only for 45 days, and court dates are often months away. Many drivers mistakenly think they can drive up until their court date, so they drive on a permit that has expired after 45 days -- only to find out later they are in violation of the law. You can, however, waive the administrative hearing if you qualify for an “Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit.” This permit will allow you to drive up to 12 months, depending on your case, but you also only have 30 days to apply for it.
Long-term Consequence of a DUI in Georgia
The second way a DUI conviction can impact you is that in Georgia, a DUI conviction remains on your Georgia criminal record and can be used against you for up to ten years if you are convicted of a subsequent DUI. A prior DUI within ten years means harsher penalties for the second or subsequent DUI within that ten-year period.
On the other hand, minor traffic violations like speeding or running a red light only go on your Motor Vehicle report, and those violations come off your record after seven years.
Collateral Consequences of a DUI in Georgia
There may also be professional consequences for being arrested with a DUI. Many professions, such as nurses, lawyers, doctors, and pilots, require that any arrest is disclosed to their licensing or governing agency. Depending on your agency, there could also be professional sanctions. For example, pilots need to notify the FAA within 60 days of a DUI arrest or face a formal investigation.
The Most Obvious Consequence of a DUI Arrest in Georgia
The most obvious consequence of being convicted of any crime is the time and money you need to invest in hiring an attorney and going to court. But if you are arrested for a DUI, hiring an experienced Georgia attorney is a worthwhile investment. It can minimize the above-mentioned consequences of a DUI. If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia and are concerned about the consequences that you may be faced with, contact our office right away.