Penalties For DUI Charges in Cobb County
When charged with a DUI in Georgia, there are several different consequences that vary depending on the degree of intoxication, damage caused by the impaired individual, and the number of offenses that this person has been charged with. In general, a first DUI offense may warrant the following consequences:
- 10 days to 12 months of jail time with 24 hours mandatory
- $300-$1000 in fines
- Minimum 20 hours of community service
With every reoccurring offense, these consequences increase. A second-time offender may serve anywhere from 90 days to 12 months in jail, pay fines of up to $1000, and participate in a minimum of 30 hours of community service. Second-time offenders will be required to serve 72 hours of jail time and third-time offenders 15 days. Offenders will also be placed on at least 12 months of probation and will be required to complete any substance abuse program assigned by the courts.
In general, a first-time DUI conviction is classified as a misdemeanor, but charges may be increased to a felony depending on several factors. If a person has been charged with four or more DUI’s within 10 years, if the driver runs from law enforcement to avoid being charged with a DUI, or if the drunk driving causes harm or death to other individuals, the impaired person will be charged with a felony. When a DUI arrest is upgraded to a felony, the consequences are much more severe and the individual will be required to complete a minimum of one year in jail.
In many cases, if a person is charged with a DUI, they may lose their license along with the other consequences imposed. For a first offense, the courts may decide to impose a 12-month suspension of their driver’s license with the possibility that if an education program is completed within 120 days, the license may be reinstated.
A second-time offender may suffer up to 18 months of suspension, with the possibility of reinstating after 18 months with the completion of an education program. A third-time offense will result in permanent revocation of the individual’s license, to which they may only apply for a probationary license after three full years of suspension.
If a person other than the impaired Georgia driver is injured or killed because of the operation of a vehicle while under the influence, regardless of the number of offenses, the individual will have their license revoked for three years minimum without the ability to reinstate their license early.
Implied Consent Laws
The implied consent law in Georgia indicates that all individuals who possess a driver’s license or who drive give their implied consent to take a chemical test that looks at the person’s breath, blood, or urine to indicate if there is alcohol present within their system at the time of operating a vehicle. If the driver denies consent to test, they will be subject to a variety of consequences depending on their criminal record, past DUIs, and any other factors.
When a person is pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, they may be asked to undergo a field sobriety test by the police officer. This may include:
- One-Leg Stand
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
- Walk and Turn
- Finger to Nose, Counting Backwards
- Rhomberg Test
Though an individual may be able to refuse a field sobriety test as these are not scientifically proven to be able to determine the actual BAC of the person, failing of these tests or refusal may cause police to use a chemical test, blood test, or breath test (which falls under the implied consent law).
What To Do When Convicted
If you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence, getting into contact with a DUI defense attorney is a critical first step. Though a DUI is an extremely serious matter and cannot be erased completely, working with a DUI lawyer may help decrease the impact of jail time, fines, or community service.
Georgia law states that a person convicted of a DUI must request a hearing within 30 days of the arrest in order to fight the charges and try not to have their license suspended. Contacting a DUI attorney may be the determining factor in whether you get a decreased sentence or have to suffer the maximum sentence decided upon by the criminal court.
Cobb County DUI Lawyer
Rick Christian is a criminal law defense lawyer in Cobb County that has worked thousands of DUI cases in his 23 years of experience. His law firm provides consultations to men and women who have been convicted of a DUI in the following areas:
- Sandy Springs
With his help and legal advice, the consequences suffered by your criminal case may be lessened. Traffic offenses as severe as a DUI can leave permanent marks on your record, impeding your ability to drive or even get a job in the future. The best thing you can do for yourself or a loved one is meet with Rick Christian, discuss the specifics of your case, and work to create a defense that will decrease these consequences.
Call Rick Christian’s law office today at 404-316-7355 to get help for your DUI charges.
If you or a loved one is being charged with a DUI, it is likely that there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. Struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction is an isolating disease, one that can feel endless and untreatable. But there is help out there, and help might prevent further consequences from happening.
There is no shame in seeking help, especially from an accredited substance abuse treatment facility. Below is a list of reliable resources in Georgia that can help you or your loved one get the help you deserve.