DUI is a serious offense that thousands of people are charged with every year.
DUI is a serious offense that thousands of people are charged with every year. Anyone facing this charge needs to hire a lawyer in order to fight it as effectively as possible. But they also need to educate themselves as to the nature of the charge. Knowledge is essential to being able to articulate what happened and what a person may want to do next as part of their case. What follows is a simplified listing of some of the commonly used terms related to DUI cases, defined in plain English:
- Drunk Driving
- Drunk Driving charge
- Classes in drug and alcohol abuse
- DUI penalty maximums in the state of Georgia
- DUI conviction
- First-Time DUI Offenders
Drunk driving is the act of driving a car or another vehicle while intoxicated. Intoxicated is defined in different ways in different situations. The classic definition of driving while intoxicated is a person who drives impaired to the extent that they are less safe than if they had not been drinking alcohol. There are also specialized offenses which entail driving with an unlawful alcohol level, usually a blood alcohol content of greater than 0.08 for an adult. However, it can also involve driving with lower blood alcohol content levels for special groups such as the drivers of commercial vehicles and minors. There are also several lawfully prescribed medications which can cause impairment to trigger a DUI charge.
Drunk Driving charge
A drunk driving charge is an accusation of operating a motorized vehicle on the roadway under any of the above described conditions. There are few restrictions as to the types of vehicles in which a person can drive while intoxicated and receive one of these charges. People can receive a drunk driving charge in a wide variety of vehicles.
There are a number of ways that law enforcement can prove a drunk driving charge. The most common among these is the breathalyzer test. Breathalyzer tests involve a person blowing into a device that measures the percentage of alcohol in their bloodstream. Alcohol affects everyone differently. But the law has determined that a person in most cases who drives with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 is driving impaired. Once that is determined, an individual is often arrested. This is not the only way that a police officer can determine a DUI.
There are also blood tests that measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. These tests are more accurate and multiple tests do not have to be performed. But they are tests that can only be performed in a police station. The amount of time that elapses between the arrest and the test can often be enough time for a person to process the alcohol in their system. Therefore, officers have another tool that they can use in order to determine if a person is intoxicated. They can perform a field sobriety test. A field sobriety test is a subjective measure of a person’s ability to drive. These tests are often performed in front of a police dash camera. A combination of visual clues, field sobriety test, and breathalyzer tests are often all that is
needed to determine whether or not a person is driving under the influence.
These charges can be serious and can result in a number of negative situations for the person involved. Drunk driving charges sometimes result in a person spending a night or two in jail and paying thousands of dollars for their defense and in penalties. These penalties increase significantly for any negative factors associated with the charge.
Classes in drug and alcohol abuse
The criminal justice system has been more and more focused on rehabilitation in recent years. One way of focusing on rehabilitating people is to instruct them to take classes in drug and alcohol abuse. These classes can help people target the reasons for their drinking and develop skills that lead them to stop drinking as much. They can be effective at helping a person overcome their personal demons and avoid another DUI charge.
DUI penalty maximums in the state of Georgia
Actual penalties vary widely in the state of Georgia but State law requires a mandatory 12 month sentence which can be a combination of jail time and probation.. A first offense DUI carries 24 hours in jail plus special probationary conditions. The jail time minimums and fines and probation conditions increase with each additional DUI conviction. Restrictions of driving privileges and other consequences also increase with each additional conviction. Some or all of these restraints can be listed in many instances for a first offense if a person does not have anything else on their criminal record. More offenses obviously mean longer jail sentences but the maximum remains at 12 months.
A DUI conviction can lead to many negative outcomes. A person can lose their job or their car. They can receive negative headlines in the media. Their mugshot might be plastered on television or a website. But people can also fight DUI charges and avoid a conviction. If they can prove chain of custody issues with testing materials, they can often beat these charges and win an acquittal.
A DUI conviction can lead to many negative outcomes. A person can lose their job or their car. They can receive negative headlines in the media. Their mugshot might be shown on television or a website. But people can also fight DUI charges and avoid a conviction. There are many issues which can be raised in defense of these charges to win an acquittal.
First-Time DUI Offenders
First-time DUI offenders will have to attend classes and will often have to perform a certain amount of community service. A person may spend a day in jail . But in the vast majority of instances, the first conviction does not involve additional jail time. A DUI is seen as a dangerous action that could potentially lead to severe injuries or property damage if it happens again.
Misdemeanors are charges which carry a maximum incarceration of 12 months and a $1,000.00 fine. They are a wide variety of transgressions that involve minor violations of property rights or physical safety. In most cases, misdemeanors do not result in additional jail time.
A felony is a much more serious violation of the law. These transgressions carry penalties of more than one year and are punishable in the State prison system. the maximum fines for felonies vary but can be several thousand dollars.. DUIs can only lead to these charges in a handful of instances. There are DUIs that cause severe damage or injuries that can be pursued as felonies.
Anyone who faces a DUI charge needs to pursue every legal option they have available to them. It is extremely important to have a criminal defense attorney on your side who will fight to protect your rights.
By combining knowledge of both sides of the criminal justice system, Castellanos Law Group provides clients with strong representation in even the most complex criminal defense matters.