Getting pulled over for a DUI is scary. If you get arrested, it will ruin your night. It can also ruin your entire life. People sometimes don’t realize just how bad a conviction for DUI can be. It can impact your career, your family and your criminal record for the rest of your lives.
The immediate impact of a DUI is what you feel in the here and now. Feeling the officer put the handcuffs on you is the first time you realize that you’re actually being arrested. Then, when you get booked, it becomes real. You’re going to spend the night in jail and you have to tell your family what’s going on. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Admitting that you’ve been arrested for DUI is embarrassing.
Your Athens DUI lawyer can’t change any of this. All they can do is help you handle the criminal aspect of your arrest. They will prepare the best defense possible. They’ll also be by your side throughout the entire process.
What Actually Happens When You Get Arrested for DUI in Georgia?
When you first get pulled over for suspicion of DUI, the officer will treat it like any other traffic stop. They’ll ask for your license, registration and insurance. They’ll check to see if they notice an odor of alcohol or marijuana. They’ll look to see if your eyes are bloodshot or if there are any other clear indications of impairment. They’ll also check to see if you’re unusually nervous.
If they do suspect you’re driving under the influence, they’ll ask you to submit to a field sobriety test. After the FST, they’ll ask you to take a breathalyzer test. If you refuse, your license will automatically be suspended for one (1) year. If you take the test and have over a .08 blood alcohol content, you will be arrested for DUI.
If the officers believe you’re driving under the influence, they’ll arrest you. You’ll have to surrender your keys and arrange for someone to come get your car. Or, they’ll have no choice but to impound it. You will be handcuffed and placed in the back of the officer’s patrol car. They’ll take you to the county or municipal jail and book you for DUI. You’ll get to make one phone call. That phone call should be to your family. Make sure you ask them to contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens. They can help arrange to get bail or request that you be released on your own recognizance.
What Happens After You’re Released from Jail?
Once you’re released from jail, things will start to happen quickly. First, your lawyer will have to deal with your license suspension. Your license will be suspended one your arrest is reported to the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
The next thing you have to do is attend your initial hearing. This is where the judge will list your charges and ask you if you plead guilty or innocent. Your Athens DUI lawyer will help you make this decision. If you believe there’s enough evidence to convict you, it may make sense to negotiate a plea deal. However, if your attorney believes they can get the charges dismissed or have the evidence thrown out, they’ll let you know. It may be in your best interest to fight the charges. Your attorney will be there to do this for you.
Your DUI Attorney in Athens Understands a Conviction Will Impact You Forever
If you are convicted, or plead guilty, it will impact your life forever. For example, if you’re a commercial driver, you can lose your CDL. This means you could lose your job or even be prevented from ever driving professionally again.
Other professions also look down on a DUI conviction. If you’re a lawyer or doctor, you could be formally reprimanded by the Bar or Medical Board. It depends on the rules of your professional licensing board.
Contact a Skilled DUI Lawyer in Athens
If you’ve got a DUI conviction, you need to contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Athens, Georgia. You will have to go to court within a week or two of being arrested. This doesn’t give your lawyer a lot of time to prepare. And, whether you plead guilty or go to trial is a big decision.
Call Athens DUI Lawyers today and schedule your initial consultation. The penalties facing anyone charged with DUI are serious. You don’t want to handle this by yourself.