Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Cobb County Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / DUI / Is Driving Under the Influence a Felony Offense in Georgia?

Is Driving Under the Influence a Felony Offense in Georgia?


Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in all 50 states and while many people assume that such an offense is only charged as a driving infraction or a misdemeanor, the reality is that a DUI can result in a felony conviction. If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia and have questions about whether you will be facing misdemeanor or felony charges, reaching out to a DUI lawyer as early in the process as possible is critical.

Misdemeanor DUI Charges 

Most DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors, especially if it is a person’s first offense of that nature and he or she didn’t cause any property damage or injury as a result of their driving. Those convicted of misdemeanor DUIs can expect the automatic suspension of their driver’s license for up to a year, having to spend anywhere from ten days to a year in jail, and a fine of between $300 and $1,000. It’s important to note, however, that not all DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors in Georgia.

Felony DUI Charges 

Even a first time DUI offender in Georgia could end up facing felony charges in certain cases, including when their actions resulted in:

  • An accident;
  • Severe property damage;
  • Bodily injury; or
  • Death.

This is not, however, the time that a person can be charged with a felony when accused of driving under the influence. For instance, in Georgia, those who are convicted of third or subsequent DUIs within a ten year period will automatically be charged with a felony. Being convicted of a felony comes with much more severe penalties than a misdemeanor conviction, including:

  • Higher fines, often of up to $5,000;
  • A driver’s license suspension of up to five years; and
  • A state prison sentence.

Drivers convicted of felony DUIs also often have to perform community service and will likely see their insurance rates increase drastically or have their policies canceled outright, while many others encounter difficulties when applying for a new job, seeking educational opportunities, or looking for housing. These drastic repercussions make it all the more important for those who are accused of driving under the influence in Georgia to mount a strong legal defense.

Set Up a Meeting with an Experienced Cobb County DUI Attorney

 Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony DUI charges, one of the most important steps you can take is to start working with an experienced DUI lawyer who you can trust to represent you in your court proceedings. At Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C., our legal team can help determine whether your arrest was lawful, whether the law enforcement officers who arrested you violated your constitutional rights, and whether your prosecution was handled properly. Having a dedicated attorney on your side can mean the difference between the dismissal of your case and a conviction, so don’t hesitate to call Cobb County DUI lawyer Andrew L. Schwartz, P.C. to get started on your own defense. We are available for free consultations.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn