Being pulled over for a suspected DUI can happen suddenly and unexpectedly. In many cases, it happens to people who have had no previous interactions with law enforcement, which can make the experience all the more frightening. The legal and financial consequences of a conviction may be significant, making it critical to obtain experienced legal representation. In many situations, there are ways to defend against these charges that may help individuals move on smoothly with their lives. At Schwartz Trial Law LLC, Atlanta DUI attorney Ryan Schwartz has helped defend many residents of Georgia against drunk driving charges. As a criminal defense lawyer with prior experience as a prosecutor, he can use insights gained earlier in his career to anticipate the other side’s strategies and fight back against them on your behalf.DUI Laws in Georgia
The state of Georgia has strict DUI laws. Intoxication is measured by evaluating a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If the BAC is higher than .08%, a driver is considered legally intoxicated and may be arrested for driving under the influence. However, that is not the only basis for a DUI arrest or charge. Under Georgia’s drunk driving law, a driver may also be arrested if they have any type of illegal drugs in their system or if the arresting officer believes that, regardless of their BAC, the driver presents a safety risk and should not be allowed to drive. This adds an element of subjective assessment into an arrest for a DUI and sometimes may result in unfounded or inaccurate charges.Penalties for a Conviction
Whether it is your first offense or your sixth, Georgia law imposes a mandatory 24 hours of jail time upon a conviction for a DUI. Likewise, the law also requires that all individuals convicted of a DUI have their license suspended for at least one year, although it may be possible to have the license reinstated after several months if the conviction was not based on illegal drug use. Additional punishments for a first-time DUI may include extended jail time of up to a year, and fines of $300-$1,000.
Punishments typically increase with additional DUI convictions. They may depend on the city or county where you reside. Repeat offenses can potentially result in extended mandatory jail time, including an initial 72-hour hold and the possibility of a further 90-day to one-year period in jail. Community service requirements, mandatory drug and alcohol evaluation, and probation may also be imposed.The Possibility of Reduced Charges
Georgia law allows individuals charged with drunk driving to seek reduced charges for their offense as one defense strategy for dealing with a DUI. The reduced charge of reckless driving may result in lesser penalties. This requires a criminal defendant to enter a plea of not guilty and convince the court of their eligibility for a reduced charge. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate this route if you decide that it is an appropriate option for you.Discuss Your Case with a DUI Attorney in the Atlanta Area
If you have recently been arrested on suspicion of DUI and may be facing criminal charges, you need an experienced advocate to fight on your behalf before a Georgia judge. Ryan Schwartz is an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer who is committed to protecting the rights of individuals, whether they are first-time or repeat offenders. Schwartz Trial Law LLC can help you determine whether you may be eligible for an alternative charge of reckless driving or whether you should argue that your charges should be dropped entirely. If you need a traffic ticket attorney to fight other automobile-related charges, moreover, Ryan Schwartz can assist you in that area as well. Contact our office to set up a free consultation through our online form or by calling (678) 460-7568. Schwartz Trial Law LLC represents residents of many cities throughout the Atlanta metro area, including Woodstock, Decatur, Lawrenceville, Gainesville, Jonesboro, Kennesaw, and Smyrna, as well as other Georgia communities.