officer talking to someone through car window

Whether you didn’t plan on drinking at the bar or thought two drinks couldn’t hurt, finding yourself in handcuffs outside of your vehicle can be overwhelming. You may wonder how this can impact your life or how long a DUI can stay on your record. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to get more information and learn why you should contact a Cobb County DUI lawyer to discuss your circumstances.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI?

As a first-time offender, the penalties for a DUI in Georgia can be intense. Generally, this is done to discourage people from driving under the influence to begin with, but if convicted, to prevent them from committing this crime again. As such, you can face ten days to one year in jail, a license suspension of up to one year, and up to $1,000 in fines. However, the license suspension may be reduced to three months upon the completion of a DUI risk reduction program.

It’s also important to understand that to be charged as a second-time offender, your first offense must fall within a “look-back” period. In most states, this is five years. However, Georgia’s period is ten years, though a second conviction in five years will warrant much more intense penalties. As such, if your second offense falls within ten years of the first, you will face increased penalties as you will be treated as a repeat offender.

Will a DUI Stay on My Record Forever?

If you are convicted of a DUI, you must understand that this will remain on your record forever. This means it can inhibit your ability to secure housing and employment, your insurance will increase, and you’ll have additional freedoms restricted because you are a convicted criminal.

Additionally, unlike other crimes, you’ll find that this crime cannot be expunged from your record. The only instance in which this charge can be removed from your record is if you are found not guilty or your case is dismissed.

In the event you are arrested and convicted for a DUI in Georgia, you may qualify for a record restriction, which removes your information from public access. Instead, only law enforcement and judicial entities can access this information. However, getting your record sealed can be difficult and is not guaranteed.

What Can I Do To Prevent This?

As you can see, if you do not proceed with caution upon your arrest, you can face life-long penalties. As such, it’s in your best interest to take action from the moment you are arrested for DUI and contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

At the Miller Law Practice, we understand the impact a DUI charge can have on your life, which is why our team is dedicated to doing everything possible to help you navigate these circumstances. We will explore all potential defenses to see what the best option for your case is. Connect with our team today to learn how we will fight for you.