A DWI is a serious charge with heavy consequences. Though a first-time offense may not seem like a big deal, the penalties you can face can change your life and leave a permanent stain on your criminal record. When facing a first-offense DUI, understanding the penalties you can face is crucial. Keep reading to learn about the potential for jail time and whether or not a Cobb County DUI lawyer can help you navigate the charges.
Does a First-Offense DUI Warrant Jail Time?
In Georgia, you can face a slew of severe consequences. One of the most prevalent is jail time. Unlike other states where a first-time DUI results in a fine and points on your license, Georgia does impose a minimum jail sentence for those who are charged for the first time if their BAC is high enough.
Those facing a DUI charge can expect a minimum of 24 hours in jail and a maximum of ten days. However, it is not uncommon for a judge to waive the mandatory sentence depending on the BAC of the driver. If you have a BAC of or over 0.08%, you must spend at least 24 hours in jail.
What Are the Other Penalties I Can Face in Georgia?
Aside from the possibility of time spent in jail, you can face numerous other charges. If you are convicted, you will face a mandatory twelve-month probationary period, along with a minimum fine of $300 and a minimum license suspension of twelve months.
You will also need to participate in community service, enroll in an alcohol risk reduction program, and submit to a clinical substance abuse evaluation. In some circumstances, these may be waived depending on your BAC, whether or not you show remorse, and any other specifics surrounding your arrest.
In Georgia, a judge must sentence you to the minimum charges under state law. However, when considering the circumstances surrounding your arrest, they could increase the charges to the maximum penalties.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
While a DUI charge may seem indefensible, there are options to help you avoid charges. For example, if the stop was illegal in nature, the charges against you may be thrown out. Similarly, if the officer conducting the stop wasn’t trained to conduct field sobriety tests, they may have done so improperly, skewing the results.
However, it can be hard to navigate these charges on your own, so you’ll need the assistance of an attorney. They can examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest in order to explore every possible defense.
At Miller Law Practice, we understand how one mistake can ruin your life. Whether you’re guilty or not, enlisting the assistance of a professional lawyer is crucial to doing what you can to protect yourself. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.