Fulton County DUI Lawyer
More than ever before, law enforcement authorities in Georgia today take drunk driving extremely seriously. Anyone charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Fulton County may find themselves facing significant fines, a lengthy license suspension, and even jail time.
Representation from one of our skilled DUI defense attorneys at Hawkins Spizman may be crucial to your odds of successfully contesting a drunk driving charge. If you are facing allegations of driving while intoxicated, it is best that you get in touch with a Fulton County DUI lawyer sooner rather than later.
What Qualifies as a DUI Offense?
Official Code of Georgia §40-6-391 prohibits anyone in Georgia from operating a motor vehicle when they are “less safe” to drive a vehicle as a result from alcohol impairment. In addition, regardless of whether they are impaired, if a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) equals or exceeds 0.08 percent they can be charged with a “per se” DUI for being over the legal limit. Impairment or being “less safe” from taking legal or illegal drugs also qualifies as intoxication under this statute.
A person in Fulton County may be charged with DUI if their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher regardless of whether they are subjectively impaired. Furthermore, the maximum allowable BAC is decreased to 0.04 percent for commercial drivers in a commercial vehicle, and to 0.02 percent for all drivers under 21 years of age.
First-Time DUI Offenses in Fulton County
If a charge of driving under the influence in Georgia results in a conviction, the penalties the defendant may face vary depending on whether they have ever been convicted of a DUI offense before. Upon being convicted of DUI for the first time within a 10 year period, a person in Fulton County will face a fine of between $300 and $1,000, jail time of between 10 days and 12 months with a minimum of 24 hours in custody, and mandatory 40 hours of community service.
First-time DUI offenders will also have their license suspended for a period of 12 months, but this suspension may be shortened to as little as 120 days upon completion of a DUI education program and the payment of a reinstatement fee. In many cases, a DUI attorney may also be able to help a defendant pursue a hardship license that would allow them to continue driving to work, school, or other necessary places, such as medical appointments.
Are there Additional Consequences for Subsequent DUI Convictions?
Subsequent DUI offenses after an initial conviction almost always result in significantly harsher penalties. Upon conviction for a second DUI offense within a 10-year period, defendants in Fulton County may face a fine of $600 to $1,000, 90 days to 12 months in jail with a minimum of 72 hours in custody, and 30 days (240 hours) of mandatory community service.
For a third offense in 10 years, these respective penalties increase to a fine of $1,000 to $5,000, 120 days to 12 months in jail with a minimum of 15 days in custody. No matter how many times they have been convicted before, all DUI offenders in Fulton County must complete a 12-month period of probation, less any actual jail time served in custody.
Certain aggravating factors, like driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle, may increase these penalties even further, or add an additional charge of Endangering a Child by DUI. A knowledgeable drunk driving attorney in Fulton County could discuss the specifics of a particular case and help a defendant determine an appropriate defensive strategy.
Learn More by Talking to a Fulton County DUI Attorney
Any conviction for drunk driving has the potential to gravely impact the rest of your life. Whether you have been convicted for DUI before or have never faced another criminal allegation, not retaining legal counsel to help with your criminal defense could be a massive mistake.
Mike Hawkins, one of our partners, is Board Certified in DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense. There are only 4 lawyers in Georgia who have passed the Board Certification exam as recognized by the American Bar Association. Indeed, Hawkins teaches DUI Defense techniques to DUI lawyers in Georgia and around the country.
Justin Spizman, another partner at Hawkins Spizman, served as a prosecutor in Fulton County for several years, and handled hundreds of DUI cases.
A seasoned Fulton County DUI lawyer at Hawkins Spizman could offer guidance, support, and steadfast representation throughout your entire case. To set up an initial meeting and discuss your legal options, call today.