Columbus, GA DUI Attorney
Defense for Drunk Driving Charges serving Muscogee, Harris, Stewart, Troup & Meriwether Counties
If you have been arrested for DUI in Columbus, GA, you have 30 days to file a request for a hearing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or else your driver’s license is automatically suspended for one year. Ted Morgan Law is committed to one singular goal: to prevent a DUI conviction. If we can successfully defend your DUI case, then you can keep your driver’s license and avoid other costly ramifications. You deserve a second change, and we can help you obtain it.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Georgia?
To put it bluntly, a DUI conviction will have an immediate impact on your privilege to drive a motor vehicle. More importantly, it can have long-term effects on your daily life. Whether you are facing your first or fifth DUI conviction, the penalties can be very harsh.
In Georgia, the potential consequences for DUI include:
- Loss of driving privileges in the future
- Higher auto insurance rates
- Increased cost of credit
- Employment issues in a variety of occupations
- Professional licensing issues in a variety of professions
- Labeled as a habitual violator under state driving laws
- Disclosure issues when applying for college
- Money, money, money – as it continues to cost you
First Offense DUI in GA
First-time offenders in Georgia could face the following penalties for a DUI:
- a minimum $300 fine
- between 1 and 10 days in jail
- 12 months of probation
- 40 hours of community service
- driver’s license suspension
Second DUI in Georgia
A second DUI conviction can result in the following penalties:
- fines of between $600 and $1,000
- between 90 days and 12 months in jail
- 12 to 36 months of probation
- 30 days of community service
- DUI school
- license suspension
- installation of an ignition interlock device
Third DUI in Georgia
Meanwhile, third-time offenders could result in the following penalties for a DUI:
- fines of up to $5,000
- a five-year driver’s license suspension
- among other repercussions
What Happens if You Refuse to Submit a DUI Test in Georgia?
What is a “refusal” DUI? The biggest impact of the “refusal’ to submit to the police officer’s request to undergo testing is the immediate administrative suspension of your driver’s license. A Georgia driver has the right to “refuse” and not allow the officer to administer tests of the driver’s breath, blood or urine. However, the “refusal” can have a significant adverse impact on the administrative license suspension case as well as the criminal DUI case.
Refusal means an automatic twelve (12) month administrative suspension of one’s driving privileges in the State of Georgia by the Department of Driver Services without a right to a limited permit, barring a dismissal or acquittal from the charge of DUI in criminal court. Oftentimes, the “refusal” will be admitted into evidence in the trial of the DUI case. The key is whether the officer properly administered the implied consent warning and whether there are any legal challenges that will cause the trial judge to exclude the results of the test or the “refusal” from evidence in the trial.
What is Georgia’s Implied Consent Law?
Like all states, Georgia has an implied consent law, which means that by driving you are implying that you will consent to a chemical test if an officer requests it. Refusing is illegal, but may be still be in your best interests if you are arrested for a DUI.
Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §40-6-392(a)(4) requires that a person be advised of his implied consent warnings “at the time of the arrest.” As a general rule, an arrest for DUI must be made before the officer can give Implied Consent Advisements and test your breath, blood or urine. Current Georgia case law provides one exception: when there is a traffic accident resulting in a serious injury and there is probable cause to arrest the driver for DUI, the officer does not need to physically arrest you before reading the Implied Consent Advisement.
However, if there is no accident resulting in a serious injury, the need for implied consent is triggered at the point that a driver-suspect is not free to leave and a reasonable person in that position would not believe that the detention was temporary. In sum, while an arrest for DUI is mandatory before Implied Consent Advisements may be given and a test demanded, and while Implied Consent Advisements must be given at the time of arrest, Georgia case law provides many exceptions that relieve the officer from making the arrest prior to the Implied Consent Advisement and/or giving the advisement at the site of arrest.
We Are Ready to Help You Fight Your DUI Charges
With so much at stake, it is crucial to have a Columbus, GA DUI attorney on your side who knows how to fight for your rights. When you rely on Ted Morgan Law, we can work to minimize your penalties or have your charges dismissed altogether. Remember, you only have 30 days to enter your appeal, so act now by giving us a call. We serve clients across west central Georgia including the cities of Lumpkin, Richland, Manchester, Greenville, and LaGrange.
To schedule your free consultation, dial (706) 622-6255 today to speak with our Columbus, GA DUI lawyer.