If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in Georgia, it is important to understand that this is a very serious offense. Georgia courts issue harsh penalties to all who are convicted of this crime, which is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney fighting on your behalf.
Those convicted of a DUI for the first time can face stiff penalties, including jail time ranging from 24 hours to a full year. This is in addition to fines that can range anywhere from $300 to $1000 and having your license suspended for up to a year. In Georgia, the specifics of the penalties issued will depend on a number of factors related to your arrest. Each of the following things can cause your penalties to become very harsh, very quickly.
Repeat DUI Offender
If you have been convicted of a DUI anytime in the last ten years, you will be subjected to much more severe penalties. Those with just one previous offense will face a minimum of three days of jail time, $600 in fines, and a suspended license for up to three years. With four or more DUIs on your record, you will be facing 1-5 years behind bars, $1000-$5000 in fines, and an indefinite suspension of your license.
Extraordinarily High BAC
No matter how many DUIs you have had in the past, the judge is also going to look at your blood alcohol content, or BAC. This is the measurement used to determine how much alcohol was in your system at the time of the test. For the average driver, anything over .08% is illegal. When a judge sees someone whose BAC is just slightly over .08%, they are likely to issue penalties near the lower end of the spectrum. For extremely high BACs, on the other hand, the judge will be more likely to issue the harshest of penalties permitted by law.
Children in the Vehicle
If you had children in the vehicle with you at the time of your arrest, the judge will have a variety of very serious penalties at their disposal. In addition to issuing the most severe penalties for the DUI, prosecutors may also introduce charges of child endangerment.
Serious Property Damage
Those who were arrested for a DUI after causing serious property damage will be more likely to get stronger penalties. In addition to the DUI itself, you could be charged with a variety of offenses related to the property damage.
Injuring or Killing Someone
A worst case scenario with driving while intoxicated is that you cause an accident that results in serious injuries or even the death of another party. Should this occur, you could be charged with something as serious as manslaughter. Of course, the judge will also be far more likely to issue the strongest of penalties for the DUI itself in situations like this.
Seek Effective Representation
No matter the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, it is important to make sure you have the best possible legal representation fighting for your interests. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a DUI, contact Greathouse Trial Law right away. We’ll quickly schedule a consultation with you and work on your behalf to get you the best possible results.