What factors will determine your sentence following a DUI conviction?
DUI convictions can result in a wide array of penalties, including suspension of your driver’s license, fines, jail time, and community service. Sentences following a DUI conviction can vary, with some defendants receiving just a night in jail, while other first time offenders could be sentenced to one year imprisonment. If you are facing a DUI conviction, you may be wondering what your sentence might be if convicted and how your sentence will be determined. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers at Carter/Pilgrim explore the potential sentences for first time or repeat DUI convictions and factors that might influence your sentence below.
Potential Criminal Penalties for a DUI in Georgia
A first time offender could be sentenced to up to one year in prison, along with between $300 and $1,000 in fines, an alcohol or drug course, and community service. Second-time offenders may also be sentenced to up to one year in jail, along with $600 to $1,000 in fines, 240 hours of community service, and a substance abuse treatment program. Third offenses carry the addition of a minimum of 15 days imprisonment, while a fourth time or subsequent offense could be punished by a minimum of one year in prison and a maximum of five years.
As you can see, there exists quite a wide range of sentencing for each level of conviction. Jail time, the most daunting of punishments, can be non-existent or last for a year. Those facing a DUI will want to have a thorough understanding of what factors go into sentencing so that they can know what to expect.
Factors Influencing Your DUI Sentence
Sentencing will typically take place right after your DUI conviction. The sentencing judge will often consider evidence offered by the prosecutor and defense. Factors to be considered include the defendant’s DUI record and criminal history, whether the DUI involved a victim, any remorse expressed by the defendant, and the defendant’s personal or social circumstances. For instance, a first-time offender without any criminal history who expresses remorse over a victimless DUI may not be sentenced to jail time. On the other hand, a second time offender who injured another while driving drunk might be sentenced to jail time and heftier fines or mandatory substance abuse courses. Your DUI attorney will examine the factors surrounding your arrest to better advise you as to the potential penalties you will face.