By: Larry Kohn, AVVO Superstar Attorney for DUI in Georgia & Voted to Best Lawyers in America
Having a 1st offense misdemeanor DUI charge on your Georgia criminal record can hurt you in several ways. Applying for a job may be more difficult. Going through a background check can cost you valuable opportunities. Visiting Canada or trying to permanently leave the United States could be difficult, if not impossible.
Your car or truck insurance rates usually skyrocket, or your coverage is dropped altogether. The college of your choice may deny you admission or not allow the use of state scholarship money. Special programs like “study abroad” and professional schools may delay admission or deny you entirely.
Unfortunately, once you have been convicted of drunk driving, your record is here to stay for life, at least in Georgia. As opposed to numerous other jurisdictions (e.g., Mississippi, West Virginia, Washington, and others) no provision in Georgia laws lets a conviction “age off” or receive an “order of discharge,” as in other states. And, if you get another conviction for DUI-DWI in a different state, that state will find out about your conviction of a prior Georgia DUI and punish you as a repeat offender (e.g., Michigan checks your LIFETIME record.)
That’s why it’s so important to work with a qualified defense attorney right after you’ve been charged with DUI. Georgia DUI lawyer Bubba Head is a well-known Atlanta DUI lawyer. Mr. Head has represented thousands of clients charged with DUI alcohol or DUI drugs. This experience spans a 43-year legal career, and his law partners have another collective 32 years under their belts.
While some states permit individuals to have a DUI first offense conviction removed from their state criminal records (upon completion of all sentencing conditions) after a certain period, this option is not available in the state of Georgia. Virtually no states allow expungement of a 2nd DUI, but Georgia has never permitted a single expunction for drunken driving.
Expunging a DUI conviction will not happen in the Peach State. Thus, you need the best DUI lawyers in Georgia to fight for a DUI acquittal or to have your DUI reduced to reckless driving or another, less serious traffic violation.
A citizen with an adjudication of guilt in a DUI conviction in Georgia cannot take advantage of the First Offender Act or Georgia’s Record Restriction laws. Simply stated, a verdict or plea of guilty or nolo contendere to DUI is permanent, and expunction is not possible after entering a judgment in the case.
This rule means a DUI is there forever, even if this is your first criminal offense. If you were recently arrested for drunk driving and were considering just pleading guilty to get the whole matter behind you, Georgia’s lack of record expungement is certainly something to think about before making any important decisions.
For those who face a repeat offender status, from being previously convicted in the last ten years, on a 4th offense DUI within ten years, you can be convicted of a felony.
When a police officer investigates a driver for suspected drunk driving, he or she will try to obtain a field sobriety test or tests, of some type. If the person is arrested, the officer reads the implied consent notice, which was dramatically changed in April of 2019. Almost 100% of cases after Elliott v. State will be seeking blood testing. If the detained driver refuses the blood alcohol, post-arrest testing, Georgia DUI laws permit the law enforcement officer to get a judicial search warrant anyway.
Because expungement is not an effective strategy to take after pleading guilty to DUI, your best bet is to focus on winning your case or getting your drunk-driving charges reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. Focusing on these two outcomes will not only help you avoid an embarrassing criminal record but can also eliminate many of the penalties associated with a drunk-driving conviction.
What you may consider to be evidence proving your guilt may be something that can be easily overcome with the help of a skilled defense lawyer. Attorney William C. “Bubba” Head and his law firm partners have helped thousands of Georgia residents resolve their cases thanks to his advanced training on the field sobriety and breathalyzer tests as well as his experience and reputation.
When our criminal attorneys represent a client, we know that jury trials are the only way to win some cases. One of the “protective” measures we recommend to all clients is that they complete an alcohol and drug dependency evaluation with a state-approved counselor. Plus, other conditions (like getting the DUI classes certificate) may be recommended by us to create a “safety net” for our client in the event of an adverse verdict. Plus, these same conditions are routinely required in GA cases, where your legal advocate obtains a reckless driving GA plea alternative.
Before making any decisions regarding your plea to DUI, please come in and speak with Mr. Head. After reviewing your case, Mr. Head can identify potential defenses that can help you win your case and avoid a permanent criminal record.
To schedule a time for a FREE lawyer consultation near me, please complete our online form today or call our 24-hour number, 404-567-5515.
Call 43-year veteran Atlanta DUI attorney Bubba Head today and get honest answers to all your questions. Tell us everything that happened and everything you remember about your DUI arrest. The sooner you call us, the better chance we must win your DUI case and get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Remember, you only have 30 DAYS to file a license suspension appeal or apply for an ignition interlock device, or your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year! Talk to our award-winning attorneys William (Bubba) Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager now. Our Georgia attorneys are available 24 hours a day, weekends, and all major holidays. (404) 567-5515
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