If you’re convicted of DUI in Athens, Georgia, your driver’s license will be suspended. It doesn’t matter what your criminal history is. It doesn’t matter if your family knows the judge. Even for a first offense, you will lose your license for a period of one-year, no matter what. And, if it isn’t your first offense, or your blood alcohol concentration was unusually high, your suspension can be even longer. However, if you meet certain criteria, your DUI attorney in Athens may be able to secure a provisional license for you. It all depends on the facts of your case, your criminal history, and your attitude.
Here, we will discuss what a provisional license is in Georgia. We will explain how you can apply for one and what factors will influence the judge’s decision. Finally, we will talk about what having a hardship license really means. If you still have questions about your own case, feel free to give us a call. One of our DUI attorneys in Athens will get back to you and set up your initial appointment with our firm.
Your DUI Attorney in Athens Will File a Formal Request for a Provisional License
When you are first charged with DUI, or any other offense, your Athens criminal defense lawyers can reach out to the prosecutor. They can feel them out early on to see if they’re willing to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. However, when it comes to applying for a provisional license after your DUI conviction, it’s a different story.
In order to apply for a provisional, or hardship license, your DUI attorney in Athens will have to file a formal petition. Included with this petition will be a certification drafted and signed by you. This certification explains why you think you deserve a provisional license.
Once the judge has had a chance to review the petition and your certification, they will make their decision. After speaking with the prosecutor to see what they think, they will let your lawyer know their final decision. If they choose to grant your provisional license, there will be limits to where and when you can drive. There will also be very serious consequences if you violate the terms of your provisional license.
The Judge Will Ask the Prosecutor for Their Opinion
As stated earlier, the judge doesn’t have discretion when it comes to the suspension of your driver’s license, they do have discretion about this. If the judge feels you are truly remorseful for your actions and have a legitimate need for a hardship license, they may want to grant your request. However, they won’t make their decision until after they have talked to the country prosecutor and received their recommendation.
Since the prosecutor has a say in whether your request for a hardship license should be approved, you need to be careful. Too often, a criminal defendant ignores their Athens’ criminal defense lawyer’s advice and is rude or disrespectful to the prosecutor, it will come back to haunt them. It isn’t the prosecutor’s fault that you got pulled over after drinking and driving. They will treat you with respect despite your criminal past. The last thing you want to do is make them angry. They will tell the judge you have a bad attitude and recommend that your petition for a provisional license be denied.
What Happens if Your Athens Criminal Defense Lawyer Convinces the Judge to Issue Your Provisional License?
If your petition for a provisional license is granted, there will be very serious restrictions. Per the judge’s order, you will only be allowed to drive to certain places, including the following:
- Medical appointments
- Attorney consultations
- Drug and alcohol classes
- To take your children to school or a doctor’s appointment
If you’re pulled over and you can’t prove that you’re doing any of these things, it will get back to the judge. The police officer who pulls you over will know that you have a provisional license. If you have violated a local traffic law or the terms of your provisional license, it will be revoked. Not only that, but the judge can impose an even harsher sentence than you received initially.
What Factors Will the Judge Consider When They Rule on Your Petition?
When you file your petition requesting a provisional (hardship) license, the judge will take several things into account. First, they will look at your criminal history as well as your driving history. If you have been convicted of DUI before, there’s a good chance your request will be denied.
Another thing the judge will consider is whether public transportation is an option for you. If you happen to live within a mile of a bus stop or train station, the judge may suggest you take the bus or train instead of driving.
The other thing the judge will consider is your attitude. If you are respectful and contrite, it will go a long way toward getting your provisional license. However, if you walk into court with a chip on your shoulder, it will not bode well for you.
Contact One of Our Experienced Athens Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help
If you’ve already been convicted of DUI, then you know the penalties for DUI are pretty harsh. Not only will you be ordered to pay fines and possibly spend some time in jail, but you’ll also have your license suspended. Even if it’s your first offense, the judge is required to suspend your license for a period of at least one year. The best thing you can do is hire an experienced DUI attorney in Athens, Georgia.
When you meet with your attorney, explain your story to them. Let them know if you’ve ever been convicted of DUI or any other crime in the past. You should also tell them why you need a provisional license. To be honest, if you’re a twenty-something year old college student with no job or responsibilities, your petition will probably be denied. However, if you are an adult with a family and full-time job, the judge may be more sympathetic.
If you’re serious about obtaining your hardship license, call our office today. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced DUI attorneys in Athens, Georgia.