The Biggest Myths About DUI in Georgia
Most people have a basic understanding of driving under the influence (DUI) and what can happen as a result. From accidents and injuries to license suspension and jail time, a DUI can result in serious criminal charges.
If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, there are several things to know that could help increase your odds of the best possible outcome for your case.
There are two types of DUI offenses in Georgia. A less safe offense means that the prosecutor must prove that your driving ability was compromised through the use of drugs or alcohol using officer or eyewitness testimonies. Eyewitness testimonies are purely subjective, meaning that this is a case you can definitely fight with the right defense attorney in Georgia.
A per se case is based on your blood alcohol (BAC) level at the time you were operating the vehicle. If you are over the age of 21, the legal BAC limit is 0.08%. If you are underage or a commercial driver, the BAC limit is lower at 0.02% and 0.04% respectively. While your driving may not have been impaired, your BAC alone is grounds for a DUI charge and possible conviction. In a per se case, a defense attorney can use the breathalyzer or blood test to look for potential errors or other factors that would contribute to inaccurate readings or other issues.
Common DUI Myths
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Georgia, you’ve probably started looking into what will happen next. However, there are some common misconceptions about DUI in Georgia that can lead to poor judgments and outcomes in your case.
DUIs come off your record after 7 years
This is false. In Georgia, a DUI is a misdemeanor traffic offense and stays on your permanent record forever. Running a red light or speeding are misdemeanor traffic offenses unrelated to DUI that are removed after seven years and are only used for insurance and traffic points.
A DUI can be expunged
While minor traffic offenses can be expunged, a DUI cannot unless one of two things happens. If you take your case to trial and are found not guilty of any related DUI charges, it will not appear on your record. If the state completely dismisses all of your charges, those charges will not appear on your record.
A reduction in charges doesn’t mean that the charges won’t show up on your record either. While a DUI can be reduced to reckless driving in some cases, the reduction doesn’t mean that the charges have been entirely dismissed.
With an Attorney, Charges Will Always Be Reduced or Dismissed
Hiring an attorney is necessary when it comes to facing DUI charges, but does it always mean the charges will be reduced or dismissed? Not in the U.S. A decision to reduce any DUI charges to reckless driving is solely up to the prosecutor for your case. While having an attorney and good representation to defend your case does increase your chances of a possible reduction in charges, it is not always guaranteed.
You Can Drive Until Your Court Date
When you are charged with a DUI in Georgia, you only have 30 days to file a court appeal. If this doesn’t occur within the 30-day period, your license will be suspended. Being told you can drive on the DDS-1205 form is false. That form is specifically for the 30-day appeal process as indicated on the back of the form.
Out Of Jurisdiction Arrests are Unlawful
Suppose an officer pulls you over to test your BAC just a couple of miles outside his jurisdiction area and arrests you for driving under the influence. This is actually a legal arrest.
Most police officers can pull someone over outside their assigned city or county. University police departments have limited jurisdiction (i.e. university campuses to which they are assigned), but most officers and deputy sheriffs have arrest powers beyond jurisdiction areas. If an officer from another jurisdiction pulls you over for a DUI, they will then hand you over to the local authorities and let them take it from there.
DUI Laws are the Same Throughout the U.S.
Each state maintains its own laws when it comes to DUIs and more. Georgia DUI laws specifically are very different from other states and are ranked the second toughest DUI laws in the United States. This is based on both punishments and driver’s license consequences resulting from a DUI.
Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz
If you have been charged with a DUI in Marietta, Georgia, look no further than Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz.
Dedicated to defending the rights and freedom of those accused of a serious felony or misdemeanor crimes such as a DUI, Schwartz will take the time to out-prepare the prosecution and explain the criminal law process to you every step of the way.
Contact Andrew L. Schwartz today for a no-obligation, free legal consultation.