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    Attorney

    Haralson County DUI Lawyer

    In Haralson County, DUI laws are governed by OCGA § 40-6-391, and similar sections of state code. It is important to know about these laws, as they were recently altered to reflect the current legislative changes that were passed. To properly understand your rights when meeting with a Haralson County DUI lawyer after you have been charged with drunk driving, you should go over these code sections to see what violations could apply to your situation and what penalties could be issued. Our defense attorneys could guide you through what sections of the law in our state apply to your situation.

    What to Expect from DUI Charges

    If a driver is over the age of 21, it is illegal to operate any type of motor vehicle even if your blood alcohol content is less than 0.08%. This is known as DUI Less Safe. This includes personally owned vehicles, work vehicles, and small vehicles, such as mopeds and the like. If a driver is under 21, under OCGA § 40-6-391 they may be charged with Driving under the influence (DUI Per Se) if the driver’s blood alcohol content is greater than 0.02%. Upon conviction, the driver will be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first and second convictions. Upon a third or subsequent conviction a driver will be guilty of a high and aggravated misdemeanor.

    Under OCGA 40-6-391(i), commercial drivers can be charged with DUI for a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or higher. It is important to remember a commercial driver can still be charged with DUI Less Safe if the commercial driver’s blood alcohol content was under 0.04%. A lawyer in Haralson County could help someone who has been charged with DUI.

    First DUI Offense

    Our Haralson County attorney could help you understand the potential penalties that you could be facing after you are stopped and given a DUI. These penalties change depending on the number of similar or related offenses that you have been convicted of in the past. When you are first charged with a DUI, you could be given both a fine and time in jail. However, the fine cannot be less than $300 and cannot exceed the amount of $1,000, and the term in jail not less than 10 days cannot exceed 12 months. The judge hearing your case is allowed under OCGA 40-6-391(1)(B) to suspend imprisonment, stay imprisonment, or allow the driver to serve the time on probation instead of imprisonment. It is important to note that under OCGA 40-6-391(c)(1)(B), if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of the offense was 0.08 grams or more, 24 hours of imprisonment will be imposed.

    Second Offenses for Drunk Driving

    If a lawyer is working with you after a second offense DUI in the Haralson County area,  you should know that you could face a fine that is between $600 and $1,000. OCGA 40-6-391(g)(1) allows for installment payments if the fine will impose an economic hardship on the convicted driver. Additionally, the judge has discretion to suspend up to half of the fine if the convicted driver undergoes (and completes) a substance abuse treatment program.

    Under OCGA 40-6-391(c)(2)(B), the imprisonment for a second conviction of driving under the influence is a period not less than 90 days and cannot exceed more than 12 months. The judge must probate a period of the term of imprisonment – the minimum period of imprisonment, however, will not be fewer than 72 hours of actual incarceration. Additional penalties include: not fewer than 30 days of community service; completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program within 120 days following a driver’s conviction. If the driver has been incarcerated and unable to complete the program within 120 days following the date of their conviction, the driver has 90 days from the date of release from custody to complete the program.

    Third Conviction for DUI

    A third conviction for DUI within a ten-year period (from date of convictions or pleas of solo contendere) carries:

    • a fine of no less than $1,000 and cannot exceed $5,000 (unless economic hardship will be imposed)
    • Mandatory 120 days imprisonment but cannot exceed 12 months. The judge is required to probate a part of the term of imprisonment, however, the convicted driver will be required to serve no fewer than 15 days imprisoned.
    • At least 30 days of community service
    • Completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program within 120 days following a driver’s conviction. If the driver has been incarcerated and unable to complete the program within 120 days following the date of their conviction, the driver has 90 days from the date of release from custody to complete the program.

    Fourth or Subsequent Conviction

    A driver convicted of a fourth or subsequent conviction with a 10-year period of time under OCGA 40-6-391(c)(4) faces punishment consisting of:

    • A fine not less than $1,000 and not to exceed $5,000 (unless economic hardship imposed as noted above) and cannot be suspended, stayed or probated;
    • Imprisonment not less than 1 year and not to exceed 5 years
      • However, the judge MAY suspend, stay or probate all but 90 days of the term of imprisonment
      • The judge is required to probate at least a portion of the term of imprisonment;
    • At least 60 days of community service (exception: if the convicted driver is sentenced to an imprisonment term of 3 years, the judge is allowed to suspend the 60 days community service – not required.
    • Completion of DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program within 120 days following a driver’s conviction – if the driver has been incarcerated and unable to complete the program within 120 days following the date of their conviction, the driver has 90 days from the date of release from custody to complete the program; a clinical evaluation and potential completion of a substance abuse treatment program.
    • Probation for 5 years (convicted driver to receive credit for days the convicted driver is actually imprisoned).

    Contact a Haralson County DUI Attorney

    Driving under the influence can plague you for years to come. Always remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. Just because you are arrested for driving under the influence does not mean you will be found guilty in a court of law. Our law firm understands and fights for this every day. We outwork the prosecution by attention to detail from day one. It can be the difference between a life of continued issues with insurance and employers using a DUI conviction as a millstone around your neck or you hire capable, hardworking counsel to defend you and protect your liberty.

    Our Haralson County DUI lawyers have the experience you need to defend against drunk driving charges. Let us protect your constitutional rights. Call us today. One of our lawyers could review your case and advise you on what steps you need to take going forward.