Last weekend, countless Georgia residents rang in the New Year with confetti, champagne and half-hearted resolutions. Unfortunately for some, the revelry may have landed them in trouble with the law. Officers are already on high alert for the holiday season, but New Year's Eve is a class apart. From the ceremonious midnight toast to the post-ball drop cocktails, law enforcement becomes on edge about the prospect of inebriated drivers.
If you were arrested over the holiday weekend and charged with DUI, you may think the year is off to a bad start. Rest assured, there are steps you can take to make this experience as painless as possible. Here are 3 things you need to know if you were arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia over New Years.
1. You Only Have 30 DAYS To Stop the State From Suspending Your Driver's License
After any DUI arrest, Georgia will automatically suspend your license for 120 days (12 months if you refused blood, breath or urine testing), UNLESS you appeal the suspension. You only have 30 days to file this appeal and get an administrative license suspension hearing.
You may wonder: How do you file an appeal for a license suspension? What are you supposed to do at the ALS hearing? Most people will have absolutely no idea where to begin; this is where your Cherokee County DUI attorney comes in. The right DUI attorney will represent you at the ALS hearing and guide you through this complex process, from filing fees to restricted licenses and the steps to reinstatement. Because of the 30-day time limit that the state imposes, you have to act quickly and hire your Cherokee County DUI attorney as soon as possible.
2. Just Because They Arrested You Does Not Mean You Are Guilty
This is critical to keep in mind for any DUI suspect. No matter the evidence against you, there is no guarantee that the state will ultimately find you guilty. You are not necessarily on a one-way course to a DUI conviction. There are legal strategies and avenues your lawyer can explore to help get your charges reduced or thrown out. You never need to think an arrest equates to guilt - not with the right attorney by your side, aggressively protecting your best interest in court.
3. A DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Job or Ability to Get One For the Rest of Your Life
This is not meant to scare you, but to underscore the importance of fighting this charge as soon as it happens. Too many people believe if they failed a breath or blood test, there is no hope and a conviction is imminent. Some believe they can have the DUI sealed or expunged after a conviction, but, generally speaking, DUI convictions in Georgia cannot be sealed or expunged. You only have one chance to keep this off your record, and it's right now: by contacted an experienced DUI lawyer in Georgia who knows how to negotiate and argue on your behalf. If you hesitate or drag your feet, you'll be dealing with the consequences for years to come.
Above all, the attorney you hire can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. You can be prompt in hiring one, and still obtain a poor result in your DUI if your attorney is inexperienced or not truly devoted to the outcome of your personal case. The best thing you can do right now to fight the New Year's DUI charge is to contact a Cherokee County DUI attorney or call at 404-816-4440 for a free consultation of your case.