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If you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or another drug (DUI), you can face a variety of legal penalties. These penalties can cost you a significant amount of money in fines and fees imposed by the state as well as increased car insurance costs and legal fees for the lawyer you hire to handle your case. Although you might be tempted to skip the lawyer to save yourself money, this choice can actually cost you more money in the long run. By working with an attorney, you can defend your case to potentially have your charge lowered or dismissed. This can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars in fines, registration surcharges, and increased insurance costs. But to have your charge lowered or dismissed, you need to work with an experienced lawyer who can effectively defend your case.
Georgia has fairly strict DUI laws and steep penalties for drivers convicted of this charge. First-time DUI offenders whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 percent or higher must serve at least 24 hours in jail by law, but may be required to serve up to one year.
Other penalties that a first-time DUI offender may face in Georgia include:
An individual can be charged with DUI if he or she is impaired by any type of drug, not just alcohol. This includes legally-prescribed medication. The penalties for an individual's second or subsequent DUI charge are more severe than those for his or her first. However, a DUI charge that an individual faces five years or more after a previous DUI is subject only to the penalties that accompany a first-time charge. In other words, the penalties that an individual may face for a DUI “reset” after five years pass since the successful completion of the terms of a DUI conviction.
If you have been charged with DUI in Georgia, work with a DUI law firm in the area where your charge occurred. For example, if you were charged in Athens, Georgia, seek DUI help in Athens. In Georgia, DUI charges are filed with the municipal court where the DUI occurred. By working with a lawyer who is local to the area where your arrest occurred, you are working with somebody who is familiar with the local law enforcement and the local courthouse.