You only have 30 days from the date of your arrest to file for an appeal of the administrative suspension of your driver's license if you are arrested for DUI in Duluth. As of July of 2017 Georgia gives you a new option if you refused a blood or breath test after being arrested for DUI. You may now apply for an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Driving Permit while your DUI case proceeds through the courts. To request a hearing on the administrative suspension of your license, you must send in a letter to the Georgia Department of Drivers Servicesdds.georgia.gov/along with a payment of $150. This is a separate case from your criminal case! This case will be heard in the Office of State Administrative Hearings Court. The main issue or consequence at this hearing is that your Georgia Driver's license may be suspended for a period of one year. The important fact is that under any Implied Consent suspension, you will not be eligible for a limited driving permit or a work permit. If you want to request the Ignition Interlock Device Limited Driving Permit, you must it installed and show proof of that at a Georgia DDS location within 30 days. You only have two options if you received a Form 1205 (temporary driving permit): request the hearing OR get the ignition interlock device permit. You want to speak with your lawyer to make sure that you are aware of the possible consequences of your decision before you decide what to do.
You should receive a court date in the mail that will let you know when your hearing on the administrative license suspension will be held. This is a crucial part of every DUI case because it allows your attorney to meet with the officer who arrested you in your case to see whether there may be a resolution to your administrative case without a license suspension. Your attorney will also be able to better understand the arresting officer's position in your criminal case as well as determine what some of the evidence may be.
First Court Date in Dekalb County State Court
Your first court appearance will usually be your arraignment hearing. At this hearing, you will have the right to have your charges formally read aloud in court or you may waive the reading of your charges. At this time you also will either plead guilty, not guilty, nolo, and demand either a bench or jury trial.
Motions cover a broad variety of issues in any case. When you or your attorney file motions, you are asking or "motioning" the court to do something that you would like for it to do. A common example is a motion to suppress in which you are asking the court to suppress some or all of the evidence. Examples of reason why you would file a motion to suppress is that the arresting officer did not have reasonable articulable suspicion to stop your client or did not have probable cause for arrest. Other motions include motions in limine-to include or exclude certain evidence in a trial. The Georgia Supreme Court has held that prior DUI convictions may be introduced at trial under certain circumstances so often the State will file pre-trial motions to attempt to introduce evidence of "prior bad acts." Your attorney must decide whether there are any legal challenges where a motion may benefit your case.
Bench or Jury Trial
You may only have a bench trial in the Duluth Municipal Court. If you want to have a jury trial, you will have to bind your case over to Gwinnett County State Court. County County State Court has jury trials jurisdiction over all misdemeanor criminal offenses in Gwinnett County. If you have a bench trial, then the Judge determines the facts and the law. If you have a jury trial in Gwinnett County State Court, a jury of 6 people will hear your case and determine the facts. A jury trial is one of the most important rights of being an American citizen. The 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees your right to a speedy and public trial by jury in the district where you have been charged with the crime. It also guarantees that you are able to confront the witnesses against you, call witnesses in your favor and have the right to the assistance of a lawyer in your case. Your trial is your opportunity to challenge the field sobriety tests, any statements made by any witnesses against you, any statements or reports made by the arresting officer, or any other evidence against you. Certain evidence may or may not be admissible in your trial so it is important that you have an experienced Georgia DUI attorney represent you in your case.
It is important that you speak with a licensed Georgia attorney about your DUI case as soon as possible after your arrest to make sure that you are doing everything to challenge your DUI charge and combat any potential effect on your Georgia Driver's License and your criminal record.
Common penalties for a DUI conviction in the State of Georgia For a 1st DUI conviction in lifetime (if over 21 years old): A fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 (plus court costs and fees which can double this amount) 10 days - 12 months in jail, of which not less than 24 hours may be served on probation Not less than 40 hours of community service, unless your Blood Alcohol Level was less than 0.08, where you may complete no less than 20 hours of community service Completion of a state-certified risk reduction course/DUI School Completion of a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation and compliance with any recommended treatment
Further, your Georgia Driver's License will be suspended as well. Typically if it is your first DUI conviction within the previous 5-year period, you may be eligible for a Affidavit For First Conviction within Five Years. If you have obtained this affidavit from the court and have completed your Risk Reduction Course, then you may be eligible to obtain a limited driving permit so that you can drive to work, school, church, and required probation and community service facilities. Obtaining this permit is also contingent on whether or not you are subject to an administrative suspension of your license based on the Georgia Implied Consent law. If so, you may not be eligible for a limited driving permit. After 120 days, you will be eligible to have your regular license reinstated by paying a $210 reinstatement fee. For a 2nd DUI conviction within the previous 5 year period (if over 21 years old): A fine of not less than $600 nor more than $1000 (plus court costs and fees which can double this amount) 90-12 months in jail, of which not less than 72 hours may be served on probation Not less than 30 days of community service Completion of a state-certified risk reduction course/DUI School Completion of a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation and compliance with any recommended treatment Additional items may also be required such as attending AA meetings, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panels (MADD VIP), or additional community service hours. Your Georgia Driver's License will be also be suspended. The period of suspension will be 18 months with a limited driving permit available after 4 months (with the court's permission) if an Interlock Device installed in your vehicle. Eligibility for this permit is again contingent on whether or not you are subject to other administrative suspensions under the Georgia Implied Consent law. Commercial Driver's Licenses Commercial driver's licenses involve a completely separate set of rules and regulations that pertain to DUI related offense. Please give our office a call to discuss potential penalties if you have a commercial driver's license. DUI Under 21 years old If you are under 21 years of age, a completely separate set of rules and regulations will apply to your case
William S. Hardman, Jr., P.C. 210 Washington Street, NW, Suite 104 P. O. Box 438 Gainesville, GA 30503 Phone 770-530-1164 Fax 844-894-2462 No information contained on this website is to be construed as legal advice in your case. Please consult with a licensed Georgia attorney before making any legal decisions in your case.