If you've been charged with a DUI, you'll need a Gainesville, Georgia DUI attorney you can count on. At Brett Willis Law, we understand that there may be many worries running through your mind, such as, “What if I lose my license?”
We are here to ease your fears. Brett Willis has been working on cases since 2005 and has been named one of the best attorneys in Georgia. With his expert knowledge, you can be sure that your case is in good hands. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is a DUI in Gainesville?
The term DUI is short for “driving under the influence.” In Georgia, it can refer to driving under the influence of:
- Toxic vapors (e.g. aerosol)
- A combination of substances listed above
Types of DUI Charges
There are two main types of DUI charges, a per se DUI and a less safe DUI.
A per se DUI means that the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is greater than 0.08%. This also applies to drugs, but with a different threshold. Any amount of a controlled substance or marijuana found in a blood or urine test could lead to a per se DUI.
A less safe DUI, meanwhile, does not require a specific BAC level. The only requirement is that the driver must be impaired to the point that driving is risky.
What About Prescription Drugs?
In Georgia, even prescription drugs can lead to a DUI charge. As long as driving is less safe under the drug, then the driver's valid prescription doesn't matter. This is also true if the driver has a combination of substances, such as prescription drugs and alcohol, that make driving less safe.
What to Do After Getting Charged with a DUI
If you've been charged with a DUI in Gainesville, GA, you might start to panic. At Brett Willis Law, we understand that it can be frightening to get accused of a crime by the government, especially if you've never been arrested before. Follow these steps to successfully navigate your DUI charge:
1. Take a Breath
Before you do anything else, it's important to take a breath and relax. While the situation is scary, taking a breath will allow you to look at the situation rationally. Then, you'll be able to take the needed steps before your court date.
2. Find Out Where Your Case Will Be
The second thing you need to do is find out where the case will be first. About halfway down your citation, you'll see a first court date. This will tell you when and where the trial will be first. Examples of courts it may list include:
- Hall County State Court
- Gainesville Municipal Court
- Oakwood Municipal Court
- Flowery Branch Municipal Court
It may also list multiple court locations. For example, the citation may say to go to the Gainesville Municipal Court and then to the Hall County State Court. For now, though, the only location you need to concentrate on is the first one.
3. Reach Out to a Gainesville, Georgia DUI Attorney
Now that you've found out where you're going, reach out to a lawyer. A Gainesville, Georgia DUI attorney will help walk you through the many things that you need to know, including:
- The trial
- Your driver's license
- The court system
If you need a lawyer to handle your DUI case, we're here to help. Contact Brett Willis Law today for a free consultation.
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Why Getting the Right Gainesville, Georgia DUI Attorney Matters
When you're hiring a Gainesville, Georgia DUI attorney, you'll naturally want someone who's skilled and experienced enough to take on your case. Still, there is a factor you may not consider when finding a lawyer: your personal connection with them.
At Brett Willis Law, we have spoken to many people who hired a lawyer based on someone else's recommendation. They didn't have a good feeling about the lawyer, but they hired them anyway. Down the road, they begin to regret their decision.
How to Find the Right DUI Attorney
We always tell people to go with their gut. You'll know right away if there's an issue between you and the lawyer. This doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with the lawyer, it just means the two of you don't mesh. You want to find someone you feel safe around and can trust. You should feel confident turning your case over to them, so you don't have to worry about anything.
If you need a lawyer you can trust, contact Brett Willis Law today for a free consultation.
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The True Cost of a DUI Conviction
The most common questions we get at Brett Willis Law are related to how much DUI attorneys cost. However, this is really the wrong question. The right question is, “How much does it cost to have a DUI conviction?” Consider these factors:
- What would it cost for you if you were to lose your license?
- How would having a DUI charge on your permanent record affect you?
It's very expensive to have a criminal record. You'll face higher insurance costs, problems finding jobs, and difficulties getting into school. In nearly every area of your life, it'll follow you forever — that is the true cost of a DUI. Before asking about upfront costs of a Gainesville, Georgia DUI attorney, think about how a DUI conviction may negatively affect your life.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Will a DUI Stay on Your Record in Georgia?
A DUI will stay on your record permanently. You won't be able to expunge this case if you were convicted. You'll only be able to request expungement if your case has been dismissed.
How Likely Is Jail Time for a DUI in Georgia?
If this DUI is your first offense, you may or may not go to jail. There is no minimum amount of jail time for first offenders, it just depends on the case. However, if you are a repeat offender within five years of the first DUI, you will go to jail. The minimum mandatory sentence for a second-time offender is 48 hours, and this increases to 15 days for third-time offenders.
Do You Lose Your License for Your First DUI in Georgia?
Your license will be suspended for 12 months if it's your first DUI. After 120 days, you can apply for reinstatement. You'll need to pay a reinstatement fee and take a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program that's approved by the Department of Driver Services (DDS).
Is a DUI Considered a Felony in Georgia?
Most of the time, DUIs are considered misdemeanors. The only time when a DUI counts as a felony is when it's a driver's fourth or subsequent offense within five years.