Georgia has stringent laws against drunk driving. Even first-time offenders risk jail time if convicted, although it depends on the specifics of the alleged offense.
Under the state’s DUI laws, you are considered a first offender if you have never been convicted or pled guilty to a drunk driving charge within the past ten years. If it’s the case for you, here is what you need to know.
The potential penalties of a conviction
A first DUI is a misdemeanor in Georgia. If convicted, you could face the following penalties:
- A minimum fine of $300 and not more than $1000
- A minimum of 10 days and up to 12 months in prison
- At least 40 hours of community service
- A period of probation of up to 12 months
- Substance abuse counseling
- Completion of a DUI alcohol or drug program
It is worth noting that the period of imprisonment above can be suspended, probated or stayed at the discretion of the judge. It means the judge can decide whether you will spend time in jail after evaluating your case. However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was above 0.08% when you were arrested for drunk driving, there is a mandatory jail sentence of 24 hours.
Are you facing drunk driving charges?
If you have been charged with DUI as a first or repeat offender, you are likely aware of what is at stake beyond losing your freedom. You must also deal with a criminal record and increased insurance costs.
Therefore, it is best to seek qualified counsel experienced legal representation when planning a defense strategy for your DUI case. It could significantly increase the chances of things going your way.