Man drinking and driving, holding a beer bottle.

Reasons to Fight Your Georgia DUI Charge

If you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia and are considering pleading guilty, you should first examine the reasons that you may want to fight your DUI charge. Many people believe that a  guilty plea is the best way to move on with their lives after a DUI arrest. In reality, however, a DUI conviction can have serious consequences, many of which can affect your life for years to come. Therefore, while a guilty plea may be appropriate in some situations, you should never make this decision without first understanding why fighting your DUI charge may be in your best interests. Below are reasons to fight your Georgia DUI charge. For additional guidance, please contact a Georgia DUI attorney

The Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Georgia

If you plead guilty to your DUI charge, you will certainly be convicted barring some exceptional occurrence. Therefore, the primary reason to fight your Georgia DUI charge is to avoid the consequences of a DUI conviction. As noted above, a DUI conviction can negatively affect your life in numerous ways. In Georgia, a DUI conviction can result in the following penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines of up to $1000
  • Court costs
  • Surcharges
  • Mandatory alcohol abuse treatment
  • Mandatory driver education classes
  • Driver license suspension
  • Community service

In addition, a Georgia DUI conviction can result in other non-criminal consequences, including:

  • Increased auto insurance premiums
  • Loss of your job and difficulty finding new employment
  • Inability to obtain certain professional licenses
  • Difficulty obtaining approval for certain loans
  • Towing charges
  • License reinstatement fees

How to Fight a DUI Charge

Luckily, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, your Georgia DUI attorney has multiple options available to fight the charge. Possible defenses to a Georgia DUI include: 

  • The initial stop was illegal.
  • The breathalyzer test was inaccurate. 
  • The field sobriety tests were inaccurate.  
  • The officer who administered the breathalyzer test lacked the credentials to properly operate the device. 
  • The officer skipped the required observation period prior to the administration of the breathalyzer test. 
  • The hospital blood test was inaccurate.  
  • The arresting officer has questionable credibility due to his or her poor disciplinary record. 
  • Health problems resulted in failed field sobriety tests and breathalyzer/blood tests.
  • The officer lacked probable cause. 

Let Us Fight for You  

If you want to fight your DUI charges in Georgia, you need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney on your side. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of DUI defense success. Our attorneys are experienced litigators and skilled negotiators, and we’re well known for our courtroom success and ability to obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals. Therefore, if you’re facing a DUI charge in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation as soon as possible.

Posted in DUI
Glasses of alcohol and car keys representing a DUI

Facing Your First DUI in Georgia

If you’re facing your first DUI charge in Georgia, you have every right to be concerned. Georgia treats DUI arrests seriously, and the consequences of a first DUI conviction can be severe. Even if you’ve never been arrested before, a first-time DUI conviction can result in fines, jail time, and other penalties. Therefore, following your first DUI arrest in Georgia, you should take every step necessary to have your charge reduced or dismissed. The best way to fight your first DUI charge in Georgia is to hire an experienced Georgia DUI attorney. Below is an overview of the potential consequences of your first DUI in Georgia. 

 

Criminal Penalties

 

Some people make the mistake of failing to take a first DUI charge in Georgia seriously. This is a big mistake. A first DUI conviction in Georgia is a misdemeanor that carries many potential penalties. Therefore, if you’re facing a DUI charge in Georgia, it is in your best interest to contact a Georgia DUI attorney as soon as possible. If convicted of a first DUI in Georgia, you face the following penalties:

  • Up to one year in jail,
  • A fine of up to $1000,
  • Up to 40 hours of community service, 
  • Mandatory clinical evaluation for alcohol dependency, and
  • Completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program for substance abuse at your own expense.

In addition, most first-time DUI offenders are placed on probation for at least 12 months, which means that any violation of the law during this time will result in additional sentencing. However, the criminal penalties associated with a first DUI conviction in Georgia are not the only consequences you may face. 

 

Administrative Penalties

 

In addition to criminal penalties, a first DUI conviction in Georgia can result in administrative penalties. The most damaging administrative penalty resulting from a DUI conviction in Georgia is the suspension of one’s license for a period of one year. If your license is suspended, this can clearly affect your ability to travel to and from work, attend mandatory appointments, and conduct other important activities. In addition, a driver whose license is suspended due to a DUI conviction isn’t eligible for license reinstatement for at least 90 days from the date of suspension. And to make matters worse, there is a fee required for reinstatement. A driver may request an administrative hearing to fight this suspension within 30 days of arrest, but this requires additional time, money, and energy. In other words, there is simply too much on the line to not fight your first DUI charge in Georgia. 

Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney 

If you are facing your first DUI charge, you need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney on your side. At Carter Pilgrim, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of litigation and negotiation success. Whether we’re in the courtroom or at the negotiation table, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure that your DUI charge is dismissed or reduced. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation today.

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Man in handcuffs, arrested for a DUI.

Common DUI Mistakes in Georgia

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you must take it seriously. Potential consequences of a DUI conviction include jail time, monetary fines, and the loss of your license. In addition, a DUI conviction can prevent you from finding a job, can make it difficult for you to obtain suitable housing, and can even affect your ability to obtain certain types of loans. Unfortunately, most people who are facing their first DUI charge are unfamiliar with the legal process. This often leads to mistakes, some of which can have devastating effects on your case. Below are some of the most common DUI mistakes that people make in Georgia. 

Ignoring the DUI Charge

Besides failing to hire an attorney (discussed below), ignoring your DUI charge is the biggest mistake you can make. Whether this is your first offense or not, a DUI charge is not something to ignore. Often, people think that ignoring a problem will make it go away. While this may sometimes work with minor problems, it simply isn’t how the legal system works. Ignoring your DUI charge is a surefire way to end up with a DUI conviction on your record. 

Talking Too Much

A general rule of thumb when dealing with the police is this: keep quiet! Many first-time DUI offenders believe that they can talk their way out of their DUI charges. Whether it’s dealing with the police on the side of the road immediately after being pulled over or facing questioning at the police station, don’t volunteer any information other than personal identifying information, such as your name, address, and phone number. Nothing good comes out of voluntarily giving information to the police, and anything you say can be used against you in court. Keep quiet!

Admitting Guilt

Even if you think you’re guilty, you shouldn’t share this with the police. There are specific legal elements one must meet to be found guilty of DUI. Therefore, despite your belief that you’re guilty, you may actually be mistaken! In addition, the burden of proof lies with the authorities in DUI cases. In other words, the police must prove that you were guilty of DUI in order for you to be convicted. Again, if the authorities are unable to do so, you’ll beat the DUI charge. Admitting guilt is never a good idea!

Failing to Appear in Court

As your case progresses, you’ll be required to appear in court. This includes an appearance in court to plead innocent or guilty to your charge. In addition to making you look bad in front of the judge, missing court dates can actually lead to additional charges! Never miss a court date!

Failing to Hire a Georgia DUI Attorney 

Finally, attempting to fight a DUI charge without the assistance of an experienced Georgia DUI attorney is probably the worst mistake you can make. If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you absolutely must have a Georgia DUI attorney on your side. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of DUI defense success. We are well known for our courtroom success and our ability to obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation as soon as possible. 

Posted in DUI
Car keys and a glass of alcohol on a bar.

How a DUI Becomes a Felony in Georgia

In most cases, a DUI in Georgia is charged as a misdemeanor. However, depending on the situation, a DUI charge in Georgia may be elevated to a felony. Below is an overview of how a DUI becomes a felony in Georgia. If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, please contact a Georgia DUI attorney for assistance. 

The Ways in Which a DUI Becomes a Felony

In Georgia, a DUI charge can result in a felony when:

The driver causes serious injury or death – If a driver who is under the influence of alcohol causes a crash that results in death or serious injury, he or she will likely be charged with a felony. In Georgia, the penalties for seriously injuring or killing someone while behind the wheel are severe. In fact, anyone who commits homicide by vehicle faces a minimum of two years in prison if convicted. 

The driver is a high-risk operator – Certain people who drive for a living are held to a higher standard of safety than other drivers due to the nature of their jobs. For example, school bus drivers are held to a high safety standard because they transport students on a regular basis. In Georgia, a school bus driver who is convicted of DUI faces up to five years in prison.

The driver has multiple offenses – In Georgia, the penalties associated with a DUI charge increase when a driver has previous DUI convictions. A third DUI in 10 years is charged as an aggravated misdemeanor, and a fourth DUI in the same period is charged as a felony if each offense occurred after July 1, 2008. 

What are the Penalties for a Felony DUI in Georgia? 

A felony DUI conviction in Georgia has serious consequences, including years in prison, hefty fines, license revocation, the installation of an ignition interlock system on one’s vehicle, community service, and mandatory alcohol treatment classes. In addition, a criminal record can seriously affect a person’s ability to find work, obtain suitable housing, and even secure certain loans. In other words, a felony DUI conviction can be a life-changing event. Therefore, if you are facing a felony DUI charge in Georgia, you should contact a Georgia DUI attorney as soon as possible for assistance.

Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney 

As you can see, a DUI charge in Georgia is no laughing matter. Therefore, if you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you need the assistance of an experienced Georgia DUI attorney. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of DUI defense success. We’ve built a strong reputation for courtroom success and the ability to obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation as soon as possible. 

Posted in DUI
Close-up of car driving on a highway.

Am I Allowed to Drive After a DUI Arrest in Georgia?

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you probably have lots of questions. After all, a DUI conviction can result in serious penalties, and many people facing DUI charges don’t have experience with the Georgia criminal justice system. A common question people have after a DUI arrest is whether their driving privileges will be revoked. Below is an overview of driving after a DUI arrest in Georgia. If you’ve recently been arrested for DUI in Georgia and have additional questions, please contact a Georgia DUI attorney as soon as possible. 

You CAN Drive After a DUI Arrest

The short answer to the above question is, yes, you can drive after a DUI arrest in Georgia. Following a DUI arrest in Georgia, it is common to have one’s license confiscated and replaced with a DUI 1205 form. This form serves as a temporary, 30-day license, and it allows you full driving privileges during this 30-day period. If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia and have been issued a 1205 form, you must keep it on your person or in your car when driving. If you are pulled over during this 30-day period, you must present it to the officer, who will then verify your driving status. 

1. Filing an Appeal of Your DUI Suspension

In order to continue to drive upon the expiration of your 1205 form, you must file an appeal within ten days of your arrest with the Department of Driver Services. In order to ensure that your appeal is properly filed, you should seek the assistance of a Georgia DUI attorney immediately following your arrest. Filing an appeal within ten days of your arrest will help ensure that you maintain your driving privileges until your case is resolved. 

2. Keeping a Permit Until Your Hearing

After you file your appeal, you should receive a 90-day permit to drive. This permit should cover you until your hearing. This permit will give you full driving privileges with no restrictions, and if you are pulled over in the interim, the authorities will be able to verify your status. 

Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia and want to ensure that you maintain your driving privileges, you need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney on your side. In addition to affecting your driving privileges, a DUI conviction can affect your ability to find employment, obtain certain loans, and even attend school. Therefore, a DUI charge is not something you should take lightly. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of DUI defense success. We are well known for our courtroom success and our ability to obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals. So, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation.

Posted in DUI
Person with a DUI going on a job interview.

Will a DUI Prevent Me From Getting a Job in Georgia?

In Georgia, a DUI conviction can stay on your record forever, meaning that it will show up any time someone runs a background check on you. This can make it difficult for you to obtain certain loans, find suitable housing, and even get a job. Therefore, if you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you should do everything in your power to fight the charge—including hiring a Georgia DUI attorney. Below is an overview of some of the ways a DUI conviction can prevent you from finding work in Georgia. 

Disclosing a DUI Conviction 

Following a DUI conviction in Georgia, people often wonder whether they’re obligated to disclose this information when applying for jobs. The answer to this question depends on the job and the employer. Many job applications only request applicants to disclose felony convictions, and most DUI convictions are misdemeanors. However, other applications specifically request that applicants list all criminal convictions. And even if an applicant chooses to deliberately omit this information from his or her application, a DUI conviction will surface if the employer conducts a background check. Therefore, it’s generally best to be honest when asked about criminal convictions by a potential employer, as getting caught in a lie will almost certainly result in rejection. 

At-Will Employment in Georgia

Georgia is an at-will employment state, which means that an employer can fire an employee for no reason at all. And although federal laws prevent termination based on sex, race, and other protected factors, no such protection is extended to those with DUI convictions. Therefore, the loss of one’s job after a DUI conviction is common, and job applicants are frequently rejected for past DUI convictions. Many employers feel that it is simply too risky to hire someone who’s been convicted of DUI. 

DUI and Your Record

Some states offer record expungement for certain DUI offenders, particularly first-time offenders. Unfortunately, though, this isn’t an option in Georgia, meaning that this information will be available potential employers. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, it’s important to contact a Georgia DUI attorney as soon as possible to fight the charge. 

Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney  

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia and are concerned about your future job prospects, you need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney on your side. In addition to affecting your ability to find employment, a DUI conviction can make it difficult to obtain certain loans and even attend school. Therefore, a DUI charge is not something you should take lightly. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our talented DUI attorneys have a long track record of DUI defense success. We are well known for our courtroom success and our ability to obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals. So, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, please contact us for a consultation.

Posted in DUI
Car keys and glasses of scotch, representing DUIs

Common Defenses to DUI Charges in Georgia

If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you have every right to be concerned. After all, a DUI conviction can have a serious impact on your life. Luckily, as we discuss below, there are multiple ways to fight DUI charges in Georgia. After reviewing these common defenses to DUI charges, please contact a Georgia DUI attorney to begin planning your defense. 

The most common defenses to DUI charges

The traffic stop was unlawful

In order to conduct a traffic stop, the police must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A stop without reasonable suspicion is unlawful. Therefore, if you were stopped without good reason prior to your DUI arrest, your Georgia DUI attorney may be able to challenge the stop itself. If the stop was unlawful, the court must drop your charges, even if you were later found to have been intoxicated. 

The defendant has a medical condition

Certain medical conditions can lead to unlawful DUI arrests. For example, some medical conditions cause people to fail field sobriety tests and appear intoxicated. Other conditions can result in failed chemical tests. Therefore, if your medical condition caused your DUI arrest, your Georgia DUI attorney can use this in your defense. 

The field sobriety test results are unreliable

Field sobriety tests are intended to detect intoxication, and they require drivers to do things that require coordination, balance, and focus. However, these tests are often unreliable. There are many reasons besides intoxication that can lead to a failed field sobriety test, including:

  • A driver’s age,
  • A driver’s weight,
  • Bad weather,
  • Poor lighting, and
  • Uneven pavement or ground.

The breathalyzer test results are inaccurate

Similar to field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests aren’t always accurate, and attorneys have plenty of ways to challenge breathalyzer results in court. Breathalyzers are designed to measure the concentration of alcohol from the vapor in a driver’s lungs, but in order to do so accurately, no alcohol can be present in the person’s mouth at the time of the test. Otherwise, the test result will reflect a combination of mouth and lung alcohol, which can lead to an artificially high blood alcohol content reading. In order to avoid this result, officers are supposed to wait approximately 20 minutes before administering a breathalyzer test to a driver. If the officer fails to do so, the driver’s Georgia DUI attorney has strong grounds with which to challenge the test result. 

Facing a DUI Charge? Call Us Today! 

If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you need to begin planning your defense as soon as possible. However, in order to give yourself the best chance at having your charge dropped or reduced, you need the assistance of an experienced Georgia DUI attorney. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, we have a long and impressive track record of DUI defense success. Therefore, if you need DUI assistance of any kind in Georgia, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation. 

Posted in DUI
Key in an ignition interlock device.

Am I Eligible for an Ignition Interlock Device Permit in Georgia?

If you were recently arrested for DUI in Georgia and you refused a breath, blood, or urine test, then you need to know your options regarding the state’s Ignition Interlock Device (“IID”) program. An IID is a device that the state installs in the vehicles of certain people convicted of DUI. This device monitors a driver’s blood alcohol content while the vehicle is on. The installation of an IID is an alternative to the twelve-month license suspension that otherwise accompanies a DUI conviction in Georgia. Below is some additional information on Georgia’s IID program. 

IID Program Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for a 12-month IID permit following a DUI arrest in Georgia, an individual must: 

  • Hold a Georgia license,
  • Be 21 years of age or older,
  • Have no other license revocations or suspensions, and
  • Have no DUI convictions in the previous five years.

Drivers who meet any of the following criteria are not eligible for a 12-month IID permit in Georgia:

  • Drivers with out-of-state licenses,
  • Drivers with active license revocations or suspensions, 
  • Drivers with a DUI conviction in the previous five years, 
  • Drivers with an ALS suspension in the previous five years,
  • Drivers whose DUI case involved an accident with serious injury or death,
  • Drivers who haven’t applied for an IID permit within 30 days of receiving a notice of suspension, and
  • CDL drivers.

IID Program Steps 

If you’ve recently been arrested for DUI in Georgia, below is a broad overview of the steps required to participate in Georgia’s IID program: 

  1. Have an IID device installed in your vehicle – Installation of the IID device is required prior to applying for an IID permit.
  2. Apply for an IID permit within 30 days of your DUI arrest – You must apply in person at a Georgia Department of Driver Services office within 30 days of your DUI arrest.

Before making the decision to install an IID device in your vehicle, it is important to consult with a Georgia DUI attorney. If you fail to consult with an attorney to help determine your eligibility for the IID program, you could end up wasting time and money installing a device that you’re unable to use. 

Arrested for DUI? Call Us Today! 

If you were recently arrested for DUI in Georgia, you need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney on your side. Georgia takes DUI charges seriously, so it’s imperative that you have a competent, aggressive legal team behind you to fight your charges. At Carter Pilgrim, we have a long and impressive track record of DUI defense success. In addition, we’re available to advise you on issues such as Georgia’s IID program. So, if you need DUI assistance of any kind in Georgia, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation. 

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Cost of a DUI Conviction in Georgia

Most people are aware of the consequences of a DUI conviction. A criminal record, difficulty finding employment and housing, and losing your license are just a few of the consequences you may face if you’re convicted of DUI. However, what many people don’t know is that there are financial costs associated with a DUI conviction. Below is an overview of the financial costs of a DUI conviction in Georgia. If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, please contact a Georgia DUI attorney for assistance.

Fines and Court Costs

A DUI conviction in Georgia can be expensive. Some of the costs associated with a Georgia DUI conviction include:

  • A fine of up to $1,000,
  • Over $350 to attend a 20-hour Risk Reduction Program,
  • Over $250 to participate in an Alcohol and Drug Evaluation, and
  • Over $200 for the reinstatement of one’s driver license.

Restitution

Fines and court costs aren’t the only financial consequences of a DUI conviction in Georgia. If the defendant damaged property or injured a person while driving under the influence, he or she will likely have to pay restitution. In addition, since losing one’s license is a consequence of a DUI conviction, there are usually costs associated with using public transportation to travel to and from court-ordered activities.

Insurance Premium

Finally, a DUI conviction will cause the defendant’s insurance premium to go up—often considerably. In fact, a defendant can expect to see his or her insurance premium quadruple in cost following a DUI conviction. Even worse, an insurance company may refuse to continue to cover an individual who’s been convicted of DUI. In addition, a person convicted of DUI may be required to file an SR-22 form, which also increases insurance premiums and limits the filer’s choice of insurers.

The Final Takeaway

In summary, a first-time DUI can cost a defendant over $20,000 when fines, court fees, and attorney fees are considered. This is far more money than most people can afford to spend, and it doesn’t even cover the costs of lawsuits associated with the actions that resulted in the DUI charge. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with DUI in Georgia, it’s imperative that you do everything you can to fight the charge. And the best way to avoid a DUI conviction in Georgia is to hire an experienced DUI attorney.

Are You Facing a DUI Charge? Call Us Today!

If you’re facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you need the assistance of a Georgia DUI attorney. The state of Georgia takes DUI charges seriously, so it’s imperative that you have a serious legal team behind you to fight your charges. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, we have a long and impressive track record of DUI defense success. While we are well known for our courtroom success, we also frequently obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals with our strong negotiation tactics. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.

Posted in DUI

What Is a DUI Less Safe Charge?

Everyone knows that drinking and driving can get you into trouble. However, most people are unaware that you can actually be charged with DUI even though your blood alcohol content (“BAC”) is below the legal limit of 0.08%. In Georgia, this type of DUI charge is called a “DUI less safe.” Below is some additional information on the crime of DUI less safe in Georgia. For additional information, please contact our Georgia DUI attorney.

Receiving a DUI Less Safe Charge in Georgia

In Georgia, a driver can receive a DUI less safe charge if he or she is under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for him or her to drive. There is no BAC level that is too low to preclude a driver from receiving a DUI less safe charge. A DUI less safe charge often results when a police officer observes evidence of driver impairment following a traffic stop. Evidence of impairment may include things such as:

  • The driver’s admission of drinking
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Nervous demeanor
  • The odor of alcohol

As noted above, a driver can receive a DUI less safe charge even if his or her BAC is below the legal limit. However, another common DUI less safe charge scenario occurs when a driver refuses to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test. In this type of situation, the only evidence of impairment is often the arresting officer’s observations.

The Consequences of a DUI Less Safe Charge

A DUI less safe conviction can result in significant fines, the loss of driving privileges, and jail time. Other consequences can include increased insurance rates, a damaged reputation, and difficulty finding work following the conviction.

DUI Less Safe Timeline

If you’re facing a DUI less safe charge in Georgia, time is of the essence. If you fail to take action within a certain period of time following your arrest, you can lose your license and ability to drive. Therefore, if you have been arrested for DUI less safe in Georgia, it is imperative that you contact a Georgia DUI attorney as soon as possible to ensure that your legal rights are protected.

Charged with DUI Less Safe? Hire an Attorney!

If you’re facing a DUI less safe charge in Georgia, you need a Georgia DUI attorney on your side. The state of Georgia takes DUI charges seriously, so it’s imperative that you have a serious legal team behind you to fight your charges. At Carter Pilgrim, we specialize in DUI law and have a long and impressive track record of DUI defense success. While we are well known for our courtroom success, we also frequently obtain favorable plea bargains and dismissals with our strong negotiation tactics. If you’ve been arrested for DUI less safe in Georgia, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.

Posted in DUI