Atlanta, GA- If you have charged with a DUI in Atlanta you likely have lots of questions. Here we will answer some of the more common questions, but should not act as a substitute for legal counsel. It in your best interest to retain an Atlanta DUI attorney to answer all the questions you have and begin drafting a defense strategy.

Do I have to take field sobriety tests?

Once you have been pulled over for suspicion of intoxicated driving in Atlanta, police will first ask you take a field sobriety test; these tests are entirely voluntary—though the officer won’t tell you that—and you don’t have to submit to them. These tests help officers determine if you are intoxicated and the results of the tests can be used as evidence against you. Even if you refuse the field sobriety, an officer can ask you to agree to a breathalyzer, blood or urine test.

What happens if I refuse to take the state’s chemical tests?

You can refuse to give a breath, blood or urine sample when asked by an officer, but there are consequences for refusing. Georgia, like many states, has an implied consent law which basically means when you obtain your driver’s license you agreed to submit to impaired driver’s tests. Refusing state tests has consequences and can result in an administrative suspension of your driver’s license for one year.

What is the 10 Day Rule?

This is an important rule for anyone charged with a DUI to remember. The 10 Day rule gives you ten days after you have been officially charged with a DUI, the state will move to suspend your driver’s license one to five years immediately. But the ten day rule gives you an opportunity to avoid losing your license.

You must file an “appeal” with the state and pay a $150 fee to postpone and possibly prevent you from having your license suspended. The suspension will be delayed and you will have to appear before in an informal hearing before a judge, who will decide if you can keep your license until your DUI trial. An Atlanta DUI attorney can help you file this document if need assistance.

Can I get First Offender treatment?

First offender treatment is a good way for people facing a criminal charge to avoid jail time, but this treatment is not available for DUI offenders.

Will I have to spend time in jail?

Most people who are charged with their first DUI face up to a minimum of 24 hours in jail and could have their license suspended. A second DUI offense is punishable by 3 days in jail and a suspension of your license for up to three years.  In addition to jail time and loss of driver’s license, a DUI is costly often resulting in fines between $300 and $1,000. A DUI conviction can affect many aspects of your life so it’s important to fight the charges.

How long does a DUI conviction stay on my record?

The look back period for a DUI in Georgia is ten years, meaning if you are convicted with a DUI after 2008 and are charged again within a 10 year period your DUI will be treated as a second offense.

Do I need an Atlanta DUI attorney?

You absolutely need to hire an Atlanta DUI attorney. Having a legal expert by your side will give you an opportunity to plea to lesser charges or avoid a conviction altogether. A DUI attorney knows how to negotiate with prosecutors and how to build a defense to avoid conviction or negate some of the more serious consequences.