By: William “Bubba” Head, Board-Certified Atlanta DUI Attorney & Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia
How bad could it be to be convicted of a DUI in Georgia first offense? While a first offense DUI in GA carries a reasonable criminal law punishment for a misdemeanor, the resulting license suspension after a conviction on DUI charges can wreak havoc in your life. Some Georgia DUI penalties after a conviction under our Georgia drinking and driving laws last forever. Even first offense DUI laws in Georgia can pose a major problem for some employment sectors, especially since a DUI in Georgia can NEVER be expunged or “age off” your criminal record.
Our DUI lawyers hear from people who either lost a 1st DUI in GA at trial or pleaded guilty to DUI years ago having employment opportunities denied to them. Some have lost benefits or opportunities due to 1st time DUI charges that led to a conviction. For a first-time conviction under Georgia DUI law, you could run into problems and loss of entitlement to prospective business deals or personal opportunities for many years, if not for LIFE.
Plus, under Georgia drunk driving laws, the requirements (from a driving while intoxicated conviction) of possibly going 12 months without a license for a DUI refusal, due to the implied consent administrative license suspension, can be highly disruptive and financially painful. Georgia DUI laws call for a one-year suspension. Georgia laws on drunk driving, whether by alcohol, drugs or by noxious vapors (like sniffing glue or other aerosols), call for the offending driver to suffer the loss of license (or the privilege to drive in Georgia, for out-of-state licensees). If you have been arrested for a first offense DUI, you will need to retain one of the best Atlanta DUI lawyers to protect your rights and fight for your case.
The Georgia Legislature has opted to punish a DUI Georgia driver who is driving under the influence of drugs more harshly than one who is totally blasted on alcohol. Consider that a first offense DUI alcohol driver who is not administratively suspended but has the criminal conviction for driving under the influence, over age 21, and licensed to drive in GA, can get an immediate first offender affidavit in a DUI-alcohol case (regardless of the BAC levels or if there was an accident). He or she can drive on a limited permit to accommodate work and child care transportation issues. The same is not true, however, for any Georgia DUI-Drugs conviction, even for a first- lifetime offense and for the tiniest amount of THC from marijuana.
By operation of law, such convictions trigger a total loss of driving privileges for a first offense DUI for six months or 180 days. A 2nd DUI in GA, if driving under the influence of drugs prescribed, contraband, over-the-counter, synthetic, cannabis, or other illegal substances (other than alcohol) doubles the minimum total loss of driving privileges to a full year. Georgia DDS will receive the notice of conviction from any Georgia court, which will (upon seeing the DUI), update their GA DDS computers not only to show that a DUI suspension is in place but also to notify any other states of such fact.
Like West Virginia and many other states, a DUI-Drugs conviction for even a first offense DUI is far worse for state driver’s license suspensions than suspensions for DUI-alcohol. Being able to continue to drive in Georgia, especially in a major metropolitan city like Atlanta, is most important for accused drivers with pending DUIs. Our three partners, William C. Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager can keep nearly all our clients facing a DUI in Georgia driving, always. The percentage of our clients originally charged with driving under the influence who can always drive, with at least a limited permit, is above 90%.
The lack of a DUI first offender program in Georgia for getting a state law record restriction or expunction means that even a first offense DUI in GA stays on your criminal record for LIFE. Therefore, citizens with substantial assets, chances of promotion, the need to travel abroad to countries like Canada, or who work in a business or industry (high-level government security clearance, pharmaceutical sales rep, doctor, dentist, registered nurse, airline pilot), need to hire the very best DUI attorney in Atlanta for a DUI in the Peach State.
Jail time is feared by most people arrested for DUI in Georgia. But, license suspension is the biggest risk for many people facing a DUI charge in Georgia, since they must get to and from work and have responsibilities to transport their children.
Plus, people must perform other routine duties like buying groceries, getting to the doctor, etc. Georgia law is very restrictive of what driving privileges are granted for a first offense DUI, and the law is even more restrictive for a second offense DUI within five years. Not only is this true for DUI charges first offense, but even more restrictive for a 2nd DUI in GA, and particularly if within five years of the date of the 1st DUI arrest.
If you face a DUI refusal administrative license suspension for not agreeing to take the requested breath alcohol test under implied consent law, Georgia offers NO hardship license at all, unless you either install a 12-month ignition interlock device or happen to win the administrative hearing. If you opt to fight the pending suspension by appealing and then lose this important GA DDS appeal to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (Georgia DDS), the one-year suspension goes into place. To read about the changes in Georgia DUI laws and implied consent, review the author’s 7 Steps to Saving your Right to Drive.
If you are seeking experience, top lawyer ratings, and an unparalleled track record for beating a DUI, call our law office. Our three legal book authors have a collective criminal law background of over 70 years, encompassing over 10,000 criminal cases in Georgia.
Call our Georgia Super Lawyers and DUI specialists today at 404-567-5515 and get a FREE lawyer consultation and a FREE PDF copy of Bubba Head’s drunk driving book, written JUST for people facing DUI-alcohol or DUI-drug charges. Ask us about attorney fee payment plans when you come in for your FREE legal advice.
Make the CALL NOW, late or early, and we will talk to you. Ask about our law office’s DUI attorney payment plans. Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, and Cory Yager stand READY to talk with you. Our new LOCATION in north Fulton County is EASY to get to and has a sheltered entrance. Read more below.
Our new main office location is in north Fulton County, at 5590 Prado Place, Suite 200, Sandy Springs, GA 30342, about half a mile from where Georgia 400 and I-285 intersect. Located just south of I-285 and accessed from Roswell Road, our law office is accessed within the third level of the parking deck adjacent to the Publix grocery entrance. Our front entrance is sheltered from weather conditions by the Prado parking deck. From our office windows, we can see the Lifetime Fitness Center pool.
Easy access to Interstate 285 and Georgia 400 makes our office an ideal central location for getting to all Metro Atlanta criminal courts. In less than 10 minutes, our lawyers can reach the DeKalb County line, the Cobb County line, and Gwinnett County line from our law office.