As the consequences for driving under the influence (DUI) in the state of Georgia vary depending on the circumstances of the case, many people charged with a DUI may be unsure of what to expect. Let's examine what the penalties look like, specifically regarding jail time.
First, it is important to point out that there is no way your penalties will include extensive time in jail unless you are convicted of a DUI. Being charged and arrested is does not mean you will necessarily be convicted. This is why it is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will work hard to help you fight to avoid a DUI conviction whenever possible. For example, at Henrickson & Sereebutra, the legal team can question blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing procedures, the legality of the traffic stop, police violations related to probable cause, and other aspects of the case to get the charges against you dismissed or at least negotiate for a reduced sentence.
If you do end up with a conviction, however, the penalties will likely include at least 24 hours in jail. That is the mandatory minimum under state law. Depending on the other circumstances of your case, such as how far above the legal limit the BAC registered, and whether or not you cooperated with police officers, your jail sentence could range from 10 days to 12 months. With a skilled lawyer on your side, however, the judge may decide to suspend or probate some or all of that sentence.
If you already have prior DUI convictions on your record, your time in jail for subsequent convictions will most definitely go up – at least 72 hours for a second conviction and at least 15 days for a third, often far longer, based upon the facts in the case.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, it is imperative that you seek professional legal help. You will want an attorney on your case right away exploring the details and devising a strategy to keep you out of jail. Depending on how quickly law enforcement and the court system moves on your particular case, just an extra day or two could make the difference between freedom and a jail sentence.
Contact a Paulding County DUI defense attorney today to get started.