When you saw the red and blue lights in your rearview mirror, panic might have set in. After a few drinks with friends, you felt fine to drive – but suddenly you were nervous. When the breath test came back above the legal limit, your stomach dropped and your mind started racing.
Many people in Georgia have faced some version of this scenario. What started as a normal evening suddenly turned into a potentially life-changing night.
Being charged with your first DUI is frightening. Facing fines, license suspension and possible jail time, you may now be wondering how you can protect yourself.
UNDERSTANDING THE CONSEQUENCES OF A CONVICTION
In Georgia, if you are convicted of drunk driving – even if it is your first offense – you face up to a year in jail, fines of up to $1,000, license suspension, and other consequences. Most people cannot afford to let that happen.
A license suspension means difficulty getting to and from work or school. A year in jail is time that you will never get back. And a conviction on your record could follow you around forever, making it difficult to get a job or even rent an apartment. If you are in college, your university may also implement its own penalties.
Often, the best way to avoid these consequences is to fight the charges.
FIND AN AGGRESSIVE ADVOCATE
Fighting a DUI charge without a lawyer on your side is extremely difficult. Unless you know the laws and related processes and procedures inside and out, you may not be able to successfully challenge the charges.
A criminal defense lawyer can help. Attorneys who have handled DUI cases know what it takes to challenge the charges. They know to challenge the accuracy of the breath test machine, question the arresting officer’s conduct, and even question whether the police had a valid reason to stop you in the first place.
Experienced attorneys know where to look for holes in the case against you. And if your charges are successfully challenged, you will walk away with a clean slate and a bright future.