Getting charged with a DUI can be a frightening and chaotic experience, which is why it's always a good idea to contact a Dawson County, Georgia DUI attorney like Brett Willis. At Brett Willis Law, we specialize in DUI law and have been working on getting clients acquitted of DUIs since 2005. From the very first phone call to questions you have after the case is resolved, we're the advocates you need. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.
What Is a DUI in Dawson County?
A DUI is short for “driving under the influence.” While it's most often associated with drunk driving, you can get charged with a DUI if you're suspected of driving under the influence of any controlled substance. In Georgia, this is even true for prescription drugs — a valid prescription isn't a defense if the drug can make driving less safe.
What to Do After Getting Charged with a DUI
What you should do if you're charged with a DUI is reach out to a Dawson County DUI lawyer. They'll be there to help reassure you and prepare for your next steps. When it comes to your DUI case, it's critical that you make moves quickly. The reason is that there are time limits on your ability to challenge the suspension of your license. If the officer has seized your license from you and given you a temporary permit, you only have 30 days to act.
If you do nothing, you will have a license suspension for a full calendar year without a work permit, and that is an utter nightmare for most people who live in this country. It will impact your ability to go to work, run errands, and do anything else you need to do. It's very important you reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. If you need an expert lawyer to reach out to, contact Brett Willis Law today.
What to Look For in a Dawson County, Georgia DUI Attorney
If you don't get a Dawson County DUI lawyer, you may get someone who isn't familiar with the court system, prosecution, and court personnel. You don't want someone who is too cozy with these relevant parties, just someone who knows how they work. They should also be someone who has been working in DUI law long enough to know what they're doing. They should have a clear past record of case wins and can use that experience for your benefit.
The best Dawson County DUI lawyers are the lawyers that are focusing on DUI law that have a large portion of their practice, or even all of their practice, dedicated to DUI law. That way, you know they can put forth the effort that it takes to become skilled at defending people who are accused of driving under the influence. If you need an experienced Dawson County, Georgia DUI attorney who will fight for your every step of the way, contact Brett Willis Law today for assistance.
Costs Associated with DUI Convictions
One common misconception about DUIs in Georgia is that because most are considered misdemeanors, the punishments aren't that severe. This is not the case. Here are some of the punishments you'll face for being convicted of a DUI in Georgia:
- 12 months of probation
- 24 hours of jail time
- Paying a license reinstatement fee ($200)
- Taking a DUI risk reduction course
- Fines up to $1,000
- 40 hours of community service
Many of these punishments are just mandatory minimums, so you could have more than 12 months of probation or spend a few days in prison, just as some examples. These are also only the amounts for first-time DUI offenders — subsequent DUI convictions lead to more serious consequences. The best way to avoid this is to find an experienced Dawson County, Georgia DUI attorney right away — contact us today for assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limit for a DUI in Georgia?
The legal BAC limit in Georgia is 0.08%, just as it is in every U.S. state.
Will I Lose My Driver's License if I'm Charged With a DUI in Georgia?
Yes, your license will automatically be suspended when you're charged with a DUI. However, there are ways to remedy this issue, depending on your situation. If you contact a lawyer within 30 days of your arrest, then you can get your lawyer to send an appeal letter to the Department of Driver Services (DDS). The DDS will conduct a hearing and determine whether to stop the suspension of your license. Another option is that once you wait a certain number of days (at least 120, with the exact amount depending on the established terms of your license suspension), you can pay a $200 license reinstatement fee. Before this point, you may be able to get a limited work permit, which may or may not require you to install an ignition interlock device.
Can I Represent Myself in a DUI Case in Georgia, or Do I Need an Attorney?
In any case, you always have the option of representing yourself. The real question here is not whether you can self-represent but whether you should. DUI law is complex and intricate. Lawyers who specialize in it had to spend time in law school studying Georgia laws, and they also have years of experience representing clients in DUI cases. They have the expert knowledge to pick out the defensible points and build a strong case to give you the best chance of winning.
Are There Enhanced Penalties for Multiple DUI Offenses in Georgia?
Yes, there are enhanced penalties for multiple DUI offenses in Georgia. The hours of community service, fines, mandatory minimum jail sentences, and other punishments all increase with each subsequent DUI conviction you have within a five-year period. In addition, fourth and subsequent DUIs are considered felonies instead of misdemeanors.
How Many Drinks Does it Take to Surpass the Legal Limit?
If you're trying to avoid a DUI, then this is an understandable question. However, it is impossible to answer because every individual's response and tolerance level to alcohol is different. The important thing to keep in mind is that the 0.08% limit is much lower than you think it is. Some people only have two drinks and are surprised to learn they surpassed the limit. The best way to avoid a DUI is to ensure you have a ride home after going out for drinks, whether that's a designated driver or a ridesharing service.
Should I Accept or Refuse Field Sobriety Tests?
We always recommend refusing field sobriety tests. You have the legal right to refuse, and refusal just means there's one less piece of evidence against you. Field sobriety tests are also unreliable to the extent that some people can fail even if they're sober. For example, you might be so nervous after getting pulled over that you get confused about the officer's instructions, or you might have a medical condition that causes balance issues.