Creal, Clarkston, First-Time DUI
First-time DUIs can seem like they happen in a flash. This is because in many cases, they do. One moment you’re back at that party having one too many drinks without realizing it, or you’re deciding not to leave your car in the parking lot and take an Uber home because the drive is so short that you can definitely handle it. You might even be drinking that second cup of coffee, sure that it’s going to do the trick and sober you up.
The next moment, you’re facing down sirens, sobriety tests, breathalyzers, and angry police officers. You may even be carted into jail for processing.
Getting a DUI—especially a first-time DUI—can be hard to wrap your head around. You very likely have a handle on how your body processes drugs or alcohol, and it may be jarring to suddenly realize that even the slightest miscalculation can potentially result in something disastrous.
DUIs—and again, especially first-time DUIs—are usually not thought-through plans to cause mayhem and break the law. They are almost always momentary miscalculations of this sort. As a rule, they tend to be more often isolated lapses in judgement that came at an unlucky, inopportune time, rather than a larger pattern of behavior. In either case, if you have been slapped with a DUI, you should understand that all DUIs are taken very seriously in the State of Georgia. In fact, Georgia has some of the strictest drunk driving and DUI laws in the country.
Some examples of what might happen if you’re convicted of a first-time DUI include:
- A mandatory minimum12 months’ probation (including several hundred dollars in probation fees)
- At least 24 hours to up to 12 months in jail.
- A mandatory minimum fine of $300, plus court costs and surcharges (which can add up very quickly to over $1,000)
- A mandatory minimum of 40 hours of community service, though judges sometimes order more.
- Substance abuse and/or alcohol abuse counseling. In some cases, depending on the case and the sentencing judge, this can be expanded to mandatory drug and/or alcohol treatment.
- Attendance of a DUI Risk Reduction School (sometimes referred to simply as DUI School), as well as re-do’s for missed classes/segments
- Attendance of a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Victim Impact Panel
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to a year, with a potential limited permit to drive after certain conditions are met
In addition to these severe legal consequences and repercussions, a DUI conviction can also bleed into other areas of your life. For instance, you may lose your job in certain professions just for getting a DUI, and may eventually lose your job if you have to continually skip work to attend community service, drug and/or alcohol treatment or programs, and even jail. You may also have a harder time finding a new job with a DUI conviction on your record, depending on the severity of the DUI and the type of job.
Getting a DUI can disqualify you from several different types of opportunities. Scholarships and programs with behavioral clauses that bar getting DUIs may become closed to you with a DUI on your record, especially if it is felony. Getting a DUI can also hinder cases that make some of the most important decisions in a person’s life: custody and immigration. In custody cases, getting a DUI isn’t great for your standing in court. A combative partner can use your DUI as evidence that you aren’t fit to parent. If you are applying for a Green Card or citizenship, getting into any legal trouble—especially a DUI—is potentially dangerous, and may make you vulnerable to ICE detainment/deportation.
There is also the matter of social stigma. Having a DUI on your record comes with a certain degree of social condescension and judgement, which may strain your relationships with old friends and acquaintances as well as new ones.
It should be noted that with the exception of particularly malicious cases, first-time DUIs are sentenced more leniently than multiple-offense DUIs. However, as you can see from this article, even the “more lenient” sentencing is quite severe, and potentially life-altering. Many people facing a first-time DUI in Georgia find themselves overwhelmed by all of these potential consequences. While this feeling of overwhelm is understandable, it is not a reason to give up hope.
That is because Attorney George C. Creal, one of the top DUI attorneys in the State of Georgia, can help with your case. Mr. Creal is an experienced, knowledgeable, and well-versed DUI attorney. Are you in need of the top DUI attorney in your area? Do you live in Clarkston, Georgia or the surrounding areas? Then Mr. Creal is ready to hear all about your case, and ready to get to work. Give yourself a fighting chance of beating your first-time DUI charges. Call (770) 961-5511 for a free DUI consultation today.