If you've been charged with a DUI, one of the most important steps you can take is finding a trusted Cleveland, Georgia DUI attorney. At Brett Willis Law, we are committed to being your advocate every step of the way. If you weren't released after posting bail or you don't want your license to get suspended, we can help you right after you're charged. We can also defend you in court before a prosecutor or jury. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Is a DUI in Cleveland?
DUI is an abbreviation for “driving under the influence.” Getting charged with a DUI means that an officer believes you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which impaired your driving abilities. This may be determined through a combination of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, a breathalyzer test, and a set of sobriety tests. They will also note any behaviors you exhibited at the time of your arrest, such as slurred speech.
What You Should Do After Being Accused of a DUI
Have you been accused of a DUI and you aren't sure what to do next? Follow these two steps to get ready for your court case:
1. Take a Breath
If you're charged with a DUI in Cleveland, the very first thing that you need to do is take a breath. You've likely been through a very traumatic experience. Most people who call us have never been arrested before, so going to jail can be terrifying.
2 . Reach Out to a Cleveland, Georgia DUI Attorney
The second thing you need to do is reach out to a Cleveland, Georgia, DUI attorney. Get some recommendations from friends and family and contact a DUI attorney for a consultation. Look for someone who is trained and someone you can trust. They should be able to walk you through the process. You should feel comfortable handing over the wheel and saying, “You're driving, you handle this,” so you don't have to worry about your case anymore.
If you need a lawyer who specializes in DUI law and you don't know where to turn, contact Brett Willis Law today for a free consultation.
What If You Don't Get the Right Cleveland, Georgia DUI Attorney?
If you don't get the right DUI lawyer on your Cleveland DUI, you will likely have some issues as your case goes forward. One of the most common calls we get is from people who have hired a lawyer early on in the process. As the court date gets closer, they start to feel uncomfortable. They don't feel like the lawyer is giving them the attention they need or truly has their best interests at heart.
When you make the decision to hire a lawyer, if something's telling you, “I don't feel quite right about this,” then listen to yourself. Look for someone you can trust, someone who clearly knows the law, and someone who can take your case to a jury trial. Not all cases are tried before a jury, but you still have the right to a jury trial. If it ever comes to that, you'll want a lawyer who can clearly make your arguments for you. You should feel confident that they can convince members of your local community that you were not guilty.
What to Look for in a DUI Lawyer
One of the most important aspects to look for in a DUI lawyer is someone who knows the law. DUI law is incredibly intricate, as are Department of Driver Services (DDS) regulations. Some people think that you should get a lawyer that knows the judge. While this can be helpful in some instances, above all you should be looking for someone experienced who can advocate for you to a prosecutor or jury.
Cost of a DUI Conviction
What could you end up paying for a DUI? If you get convicted of a DUI, you'll get charged a ton. For the first offense, you're going to face:
- At least 24 hours in jail
- Up to a $1000 fine
- 12 months of probation
- Probation fees (around $40 a month)
- A DUI school (about 20 hours that you have to pay for)
- 40 hours of community service
Along with that, you have something that will go on your record and stay on there for the rest of your natural life. There is no way to take it off by expunging it or having your records restricted. This can come with all kinds of additional consequences. Insurance will increase your premiums, and you might find that you can't get certain jobs, especially if there's driving involved in the job. We're talking about lifetime costs. If you don't want to face these, contact a Cleveland, Georgia DUI attorney like Brett Willis today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does a DUI Affect My Car Insurance Rates?
DUIs will always affect car insurance negatively. You will experience much higher premiums with a DUI charge than without.
What Are the Consequences of a Second or Third DUI Conviction?
Naturally, the consequences for a second or third DUI conviction are greater than what you'd get for the first offense. You'll have to go to jail for longer, for example — 72 hours for a second DUI and 15 days for a third, at a minimum. The minimum amount for fines will go up, as well. You'll have to pay at least $600 for a second DUI and $1,000 for a third DUI. Then the amount of community service you have will go up to 30 days, and your license will be suspended for over a year.
Can I Get a Restricted License After a DUI Conviction?
Yes, you can get a restricted license after a DUI conviction. This is known as a work permit. Contrary to the name, work permits are not only used for work. They are used for things you have to drive to, such as DUI school, doctor's visits, community service, and college. However, there are still many limitations to a work permit that can hinder your life. For example, you won't be able to go to the grocery store, go to meet friends, or go on vacations with a work permit.
Will I Have To Go to Jail if I Am Convicted of a DUI?
Yes. Even for a first offense, you'll have to go to jail for a DUI conviction. The minimum sentence for a first DUI is 24 hours, including any time you spent in jail following your arrest. If you had stayed in jail for seven hours already, you'd have to return and serve the remaining 17 hours.