Penalties for DUI in Georgia
DUI is one of the most serious misdemeanor offenses in Georgia. Like other misdemeanors, a first or second DUI conviction is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The “best case scenario” if you plead guilty to DUI is:
- A criminal conviction that cannot be expunged
- Twelve months of probation
- A fine and court costs of roughly $1,000
- Probation and other fees totaling an additional $700+
- 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory License Suspension
The only way to avoid the mandatory license suspension is to beat your DUI charge, either by getting the prosecutor to reduce the DUI to a different charge or by winning at trial.
Many First Time DUI Defendants Serve Substantial Jail Time.
In the State Court of Henry County, DUI sentences are based upon the “DUI Grids.” First time DUI defendants who were involved in an accident or had a very high breath test reading often serve up to 10 days in jail. Even those defendants who plead guilty to “garden variety” first time DUIs are usually required to serve 24 hours in jail. While the DUI grids are the single best predictor of a DUI sentence, they are mertely advisory. Defendants who present strong mitigating evidence can receieve lower sentence. Effective legal representation is critical if you hope to “beat the grids.”
In Henry County, sentences of 30 to 90 days in jail are common for repeat DUIs are common. These can be reduced though not eliminated through substantial evidence of rehabilitation.
Atlanta DUIs carry less jail time than comparable DUIs in Henry County, but the license and career consequences are identical.