The consequences of getting DUI in Georgia
Getting a DUI isn’t a simple problem, there are consequences well
beyond any ordinary traffic ticket. Getting a DUI in Georgia doesn’t
just put your license at risk, or expose you to fines, it opens up a
world of difficulties from jail, to difficulty getting insurance, to
difficulty keeping or getting a job.
In the state of Georgia, DUI Convictions remain on your record forever
– they cannot be removed and do not age off. When convicted, there
is a mandatory probation period of one year, and repeat offenses can
give you far more probation time. Misdemeanor offenses can also come
with up to a year in jail, over $1000 in fines, mandatory 20 hours in
DUI school, and an ignition device that requires you pass a
breathalyzer each time you start up your vehicle. Felony and repeat
offenses can come with 5 years in jail and over $7000 in fines.
Community service sentencing can range from 40 to 480 hours. You may
also be required to complete a DUI Court program, that mandates weekly
court visits, counseling sessions, and drug screenings.
This is just the beginning of the legal consequences. Getting a DUI
creates a prior offense that will be used in any future sentencing,
meaning that “mandatory minimums” for repeat offenders will be used
against you if you ever get in trouble for anything again. Your
family may have to apply for special license plates because the state
doesn’t want the DUI convicted driver driving their car. DUIs show up
on the FBI’s crime database.
You’re also at risk for license suspension, depending on whether
you’ve had prior DUI convictions. If you have a commercial driver’s
license, it will be suspended for one year on your first offense and
FOREVER on your second. If you’re caught driving with a suspended
license, your car will be impounded and you will face a criminal case
and mandatory jail time.
Your insurance costs are going to go up, but not just your auto
insurance — your health and life insurance can go up as well. SR-22,
assigned risk, is required on your auto insurance for 3 years, and if
you don’t insure your car for over 6 months because you’ve lost your
license, your rates are going to go up when you reinstate as well.
Life insurance policies typically deny issuing new policies or raise
your rates. Health insurance rates can also go up or they can simply
deny you as well.
Travel is going to be more difficult. Not only will rental companies
potentially refuse to rent a car to you, they can do so even after
your license is reinstated — meaning cabs for you. It can become
very difficult to take even business trips to foreign countries, some
of which simply block people with DUI convictions. Some countries
also bar entirely you ability to immigrate. If you’re not an American
citizen, it can mean a denial of naturalization for 5 years after the
close of the DUI case, possible deportation, denial of green card or
work visa renewals, custom delays, and even being barred entry to the
US if you ever leave.
DUIs will also negatively impact your job prospects. If you work in
an automotive franchise, thanks to moral clauses in their agreements
with manufactures, your DUI can cause losses of million dollar
contracts for the dealership. You must always check the yes box on
any employment application that asks if you’ve got prior convictions.
Any licensed profession can withhold licensing or revoke your license.
Any company can have a policy that will lead to evaluation for
firing, and some have mandatory termination policies — pharmaceutical
sales companies, any company with a preferred group insurance rate
with the condition of no employees with a DUI, teaching jobs, military
jobs with security clearance, doctors and dentists, bartenders, some
unions, CPAs, athletes, and even cosmetologists are likely to lose
their jobs from a DUI. Any doctor will have to be rehabilitated and
have their permit to dispense controlled medicine revoked.
If you’re in school, you can be kicked out for violating drug and
alcohol policy, and almost all scholarships have a clause that will
make you ineligible after a DUI conviction. If you’re just applying
to schools, they can refuse you entrance because of your record. And
if you were planning on joining the armed services, the military will
delay your enlistment until you’re no longer on probation.
And your inability to get or keep a job won’t be the only financial
difficulty you’re facing. If there was an accident leading to your
conviction, you may be liable for thousands of dollars from a civil
judgement. You may be required to enter treatment, which can cost
thousands of dollars. You interest rates on your loans, including
mortgages, may be higher. You’ll be considered high-risk to any
potential landlord, and your credit score may go down. You won’t be
allowed to buy a new car without a full license. And you’ll be
spending hundreds of dollars a year on probation fees.
The consequences don’t end there. You can lose child custody or get
unfavorable terms in a divorce thanks to your DUI history. You can be
denied a Concealed Weapons permit. If anyone was injured because of
your DUI, your wages can be garnished indefinitely until your debt is
paid to them. And, on top of all this, there is the social stigma of
being a known DUI convict — newspaper stories, police blotters, and
mandatory notification if you’re a repeat offender. You’ll be using a
passport instead of a Driver’s License and driving a moped, people
will think you’re an irresponsible drunk and there’s nothing you can
do about it once you’ve been convicted.
Call The Patterson Law Firm now for help resolving your DUI charges.
The Patterson Law Firm
701 Whitlock Ave, Suite J43
Marietta, GA 30064
Telephone: (770) 422-8840
Fax: (404) 602-0058