Roswell DUI Frequently Asked Questions

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"Can I avoid having my license suspended?"
An experienced Roswell DUI lawyer can represent you at your ALS hearing and challenge any evidence brought against you. When you choose a skilled attorney to represent you, your chances of having your license suspended decrease. Remember, the ALS hearing is about whether or not your license should be suspended and NOT about your DUI case.

"What is the legal limit in Georgia?"

People are shocked to learn that in Georgia there is actually not a “legal limit.” Instead, Georgia has a DUI “Per se” limit of .08 and DUI “Less Safe.” DUI “Per Se” means there is a presumption of impairment when a person tests .08 or more. A presumption does not mean you are automatically guilty. The State still must prove you were in fact .08 or more. However, if proven, you are presumed to be DUI. You are always presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This part of the DUI law does not surprise the accused.

"Can I be charged with DUI when I was under .08?"

The short answer is yes. Generally a person whose BAC is under .08 will be arrested for DUI “Less Safe.” DUI Less safe is not a lesser offense of DUI. If you are under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for you to drive, you can be charged with DUI even if you are under .08.

If you are between .05 - .08, you can be charged with DUI less safe, and there is no presumption of impairment. If you are less than .05 there is the presumption that you are not impaired.

"Are field sobriety tests required?"

No. However, police officers are not required to tell you that the tests are voluntary. At The Law Offices of Richard Lawson, we urge our clients to politely decline the field sobriety tests. These tests can be difficult to pass in perfect conditions, much less on the side of the road when you are nervous. Furthermore, there are also contributing factors that can affect your performance and cause you to appear impaired. The three types of field sobriety tests are the walk and turn test, the horizontal nystagmus test, and the one-leg stand test. 

"Am I going to jail?"

Jail time is possible, even if it is your first offense. Do not take a chance and try to handle it yourself. Get sound legal advice from an experienced DUI lawyer to fight for your freedom and help preserve your driving privilege.

"Maybe I should just plead guilty and get it over with."
A lot of attorneys will take your money and advise you to plead guilty. Every case is different and careful analysis is needed to determine the best defense. Call us to see what defenses are available for you. You may be pleased to know there could be more than you originally thought.

"What is the 30 Day Letter?"

When a person is arrested for DUI in Georgia they have 30 days to appeal the automatic suspension of their drivers license or privilege to drive in Georgia. The “30-Day Letter” is the legal term for the appeal of the suspension. This is separate from your criminal case and the letter is sent to the Department of Driver Services. Failure to send the letter will result in an automatic suspension of your drivers license. 

"Will I lose my license for a first DUI conviction in Fulton County?"

For a first DUI conviction in Georgia,  your license could be suspended for a maximum period of 12 months. If you show proof of completion of DUI School and pay a reinstatement fee you may reinstate your license after 120 days. If you are age 21 or older, you can apply for a limited use driving permit for the duration of the suspension period that will allow you to drive to work, school, substance abuse counseling, DUI School, for medical care and treatment purposes, to pharmacies to drop off or pick up prescriptions, court appearances, probation appointments, and community service. If an immediate family member is unlicensed, you can drive them to work, school, medical care, and to pharmacies to drop off and pick up prescriptions.

However, hiring an experienced Fulton County DUI Attorney can help prevent you from losing your license at all. 

"Do you have to be drunk to be charged with DUI?"

As explained previously in the question "What is the legal limit in Georgia?", the answer is no. 

Driving under the influence has never meant, “drunk driving.” Many people call and say they were not drunk and are surprised with their arrest. The fact is, DUI occurs when a person is under the influence or alcohol or drugs to the extent that it makes them less safe to drive. Less safe means that a person is not as safe as if they had not consumed alcohol or drugs. So, as anyone should be aware, the “less safe” standard is in fact a very low standard of impairment.

"Can I receive a DUI for drugs in Georgia?"

Yes. Just like alcohol, drugs can have an intoxicating effect on a driver. This is true of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter medications. Therefore, a person can be charged with a DUI for being influenced by these types of drugs and medications, even lawfully obtained prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs.

"What are the minimum penalties for a first-time DUI in Georgia?"

 If you are convicted of DUI in Georgia, it will go on your permanent criminal record. In addition, you will face fines of up to $1,000 and up to 1 year in Gail. Other standard penalties include probation, community service, completion of an alcohol or drug course, and any treatment programs. However, this is only if you are convicted of DUI. Our DUI Attorneys in Fulton County can use numerous defenses to mitigate the consequences you will face.

"Is DUI considered a misdemeanor or felony conviction in Georgia?"

In Georgia, DUI is generally a misdemeanor offense. A third DUI conviction within 10 years is treated as a high and aggravated misdemeanor. A fourth DUI within 10 years is a felony offense in Georgia, but only convictions on or after July 1, 2008, are considered for this purpose. Additionally, DUI Serious Injury By Vehicle, Habitual Violator, DUI Vehicular Homicide, and Feticide are all felony offenses.

"When should I call a DUI lawyer in Fulton County?"

The sooner, the better if you want to keep your license, you'll need to put in a request for a hearing within 30 days of your DUI arrest. So, if you want to attempt to keep your license, you'll want a Georgia DUI Lawyer on your case as soon as possible. If you don't file a hearing, then you lose your chance to fight for the ability to keep your license.

"Will I get jail time for a first DUI conviction in Georgia?"

If this is your first alcohol-related offense, then you will most likely avoid any additional jail time beyond what you served during the arrest process. However, this depends on the details of your case. For more information, call our Roswell DUI Attorneys now. 

"Do DUI convictions stay on your criminal record for life?"

Yes, they do. A DUI charge is classified as a misdemeanor or, in more serious cases, felonies, which go on your record if you are convicted. With the help of a good lawyer, however, it is sometimes possible to get a DWI charge dismissed or reduced to a lesser traffic violation, in which case you won't see a DUI conviction on your criminal record.

"Do DUI convictions impact your car insurance premiums?"

Yes, it will. Insurance rates can go up drastically after a DUI conviction. Obviously, driving under the influence increases your chances of getting in an accident, which your insurer realizes. Sometimes they will even cancel your policy.

"What are ignition interlock devices?"

People who are convicted of a second or more DUI in Georgia will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their car. Essentially, the interlock prevents a person from driving after consuming any amount of alcohol. If the interlock device, which is a fuel cell-based breath-testing unit, detects any alcohol, the car will not start. Also, your probation officer will be notified if the device detects any alcohol, and this may cause a probation violation.

The problem with a fuel cell-based device is that any alcohol can cause a positive read, whereas a more advanced device can differentiate ethyl alcohol from other alcohols that can be found in hand sanitizers and in the environment, such as isopropyl alcohol and acetone (found in paints).

If you are not careful, a false positive reading could result in a probation violation.

"Why should I choose The Law Office of Richard S. Lawson?"

Everyone at our office is dedicated to DUI defense and getting amazing results for our clients. Our team has been practicing exclusively DUI defense for over 50 combined years and our experience is unparalleled in Georgia. In addition, we are dedicated to serving you. That is why we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We believe that you should not have to wait until the next business day to receive an answer to your questions. 

We also are the best trained DUI defense attorneys in the State of Georgia. Our attorneys have advanced knowledge and education regarding Georgia DUI and frequently teach seminars to other attorneys and classes for law enforcement officers. We are also "trial attorneys." We like to fight, and we like to win. We put too much time and effort into our cases to simply plead a person guilty. We strive to do the best for every client. Whether your case can be resolved through negotiations or requires a trial to get the best result, we are prepared for either. Call us today for a free consultation! 

"How can your office help me with my DUI charge?"

Our legal team is ready to fight for you in all types of DUI offenses. Our experienced lawyers can assist you with:

Contact an Alpharetta DUI Attorney at our firm if you have been arrested and charged with DUI and have questions that deserve to be answered.

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