When someone has been charged with a DUI, understandably, one of the things they're most concerned about is, “What are the consequences of a DUI?” The consequences depend on how many DUIs you've been convicted of in a 10-year period. In this blog post, we'll look at some of them.
Consequences of a DUI for First-Time Offenders
A first-time DUI conviction is considered a misdemeanor. A common misconception is that misdemeanor punishments are nothing to worry about, but they can seriously affect your life.
Jail and Probation
If you get convicted of a DUI in Georgia, you'll have a 12-month mandatory probationary sentence. This means that your probation sentence will have to be at least 12 months and may be longer.
Along with probation, you'll have to serve at least 24 hours in jail. No judge is allowed to give you less than this amount. This includes the time you spent in jail following your arrest. If you went to jail and served eight hours on the night of your arrest, you are lawfully obligated to serve the remaining 16 hours.
In some cases, you may be able to halt the suspension of your license. A lawyer like Brett Willis can send a letter to the DDS within 30 days of your DUI charge requesting this.
Otherwise, you will have your license suspended following a DUI for at least 120 days. If you go to the Department of Driver Services (DDS) and pay a fee, you'll be able to get a work permit. Once the 120 days are over, you can get your license reinstated. You'll need to pay a $200 fee by mail or a $210 fee in person.
There are other consequences of a DUI conviction, including:
- Taking a DUI risk reduction course, more commonly known as “DUI school”
- A minimum fine of $300, maximum $1,000
A minimum of 40 hours of community service
Second and Third DUI Consequences
Second and third DUIs are still considered misdemeanors, but the penalties are still greater than they are for first-time offenders. In particular, the minimum amounts for jail time, fines, and community service go up.
- Jail time: Minimum 72 hours for 2nd offense and 15 days for 3rd offense
- Fines: Minimum $600 for 2nd offense and $1000 for 3rd offense
- Community service: 30 days minimum for both 2nd and 3rd offenses
Your license will also be suspended for longer, but in some cases you may be able to get a limited driving permit if you install an ignition interlock device.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
Ignition interlock devices are breathalyzer tests that you install in your car. It prevents you from using your car until your breathalyzer test shows that your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is under the limit.
Consequences of a DUI for Four or More Convictions
Fourth and subsequent DUIs are considered felonies, so they naturally come with even more serious punishments. These include:
- $1,000-5,000 fines
- 60 days of community service minimum
- DUI school
- 5 years of probation (minus jail time served)
- And more
Georgia is a state that disenfranchises some convicted felons while they are serving their sentence. Along with this, you'll keep the status of a convicted felon for life, which can affect your chances of finding employment or getting into certain schools. While DUI defense lawyers are necessary for all DUI charges, they're particularly vital if you're on your fourth one to avoid all of these life-changing outcomes.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your DUI Case?
Considering how much the consequences of a DUI conviction can affect your life, you need to seek out an experienced DUI lawyer. One example of a DUI case was where we found video footage that showed our client had performed all the sobriety tests well despite the officer's accusation.
The charges were dropped completely, allowing him to return to school. At Brett Willis Law, we will fight on your behalf to give you the best chance of getting acquitted. Whether you need a lawyer for your case or you just want to find out more about the consequences of a DUI,