Allegations of driving under the influence in Georgia are among the most common ways in which people who have never had any previous criminal charge against them to find themselves facing the prospect of criminal penalties. It is understandably worrisome when they are in this position.
People of any age, education, employment and position in society might find themselves confronted by DUI charges for alcohol or drugs. When it is first offense, they will inevitably wonder what the aftermath will be like.
Not only might a conviction have a negative impact on their freedom and ability to drive, but it can be a financial problem and hinder them as they strive to achieve various objectives personally and professionally. Fortunately, there are options available to fight the charges.
Understanding a first-offense DUI in Georgia
According to state law, drivers may be charged with DUI if they are operating a vehicle when they are under the influence and it is unsafe to drive; they have come under the influence of household items like aerosols or glue and it renders them unsafe to drive; they used a combination of substances making it unsafe; they register a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 within three hours of driving or being in control of a vehicle; or had marijuana in their system as tested by blood or urine.
Those who are convicted for a first offense can face a litany of punishments. There can be a fine of at least $300 and as much as $1,000. They can be imprisoned for at least 10 days and up to 12 months. The court has the right to suspend, stay or probate the sentence unless the BAC registers at least 0.08.
The person could be ordered to perform at least 40 hours of community service except in cases where they register less than 0.08. In these instances, it will be up to 20 hours. There could be an order to take part in a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. When there is a 12-month prison sentence, they could be placed on probation for 12 months minus the days they spend incarcerated.
Even a first DUI conviction can be serious and a strong defense is needed
Forging a viable defense is imperative when charged with DUI. There might have been issues with the way the case was investigated, testing was done or for other reasons. Treatment programs can be used instead of being penalized. To explore the potential avenues to deal with DUI charges in Georgia, it is wise to have experienced and professional help with a history of providing quality defense and reaching positive outcomes for an array of accusations.