Being arrested and charged with a DUI can be an incredibly stressful experience. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alleges that 1.5 million Americans are arrested on DUI charges each year. To counter this statistic, most states – including Georgia – have enacted laws and zero-tolerance policies to discourage drinking and driving.
While drunk-driving fatalities have dropped in recent years, there has also been an unfortunate epidemic of Georgia officers making false DUI arrests. In 2017, CBS 11 Alive in Atlanta released a video showcasing officers arresting people based on subjective opinions and false allegations. One negligent officer arrested a man for “signs of marijuana,” even though the driver passed the field sobriety tests and offered to complete a drug test.
In Georgia, a driver can be charged with a DUI if they record a 0.8% BAC on a field sobriety test. A first-time DUI conviction can lead to the following penalties:
- Up to 12 months in jail
- Fines ranging between $300-$1,000
- License suspension for 12 months
- 40 hours of community service
- Substance abuse counseling
There is another factor to consider: A DUI conviction can never be removed or expunged from your criminal record.
Your Criminal Record
There is a common misconception that a conviction disappears from a person’s criminal record after a set number of years. A criminal record is essentially a running log that lists a person’s arrests, case dismissals, sentences, convictions, and parole violations. In a DUI case, a driver’s criminal record will be updated twice to reflect both the arrest and the outcome of the case.
A criminal record can affect your career plans, housing opportunities, credit options, immigration status, and more. A verdict remains on a driver’s criminal record unless their case is eligible for record restriction. Unfortunately, this method of expungement is only available if the defendant was acquitted or the prosecutor dismissed the case.
Retain Legal Representation & Protect Your Future Prospects
The best way to fight a DUI conviction is to retain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney. The trial-tested DUI defense lawyers at Ross & Pines have a comprehensive understanding of Georgia’s criminal justice system, as well as the laws that define and influence DUI litigation. We can investigate your case, collect evidence, determine if the police followed proper arrest procedures, and negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf. With our assistance, you can obtain a favorable case result that safeguards your quality of life.
Contact Ross & Pinesat (888) 838-4858 to schedule a free consultation.