If you are from out of state, and are visiting or driving through Georgia when the police pull you over and arrest you for a DUI, believe it or not, that DUI will most likely affect your rights to drive at home. In some cases, it is more difficult for an out of state resident to fight a Georgia DUI because of having to travel back and forth to deal with any hearings, trials or sentencing. The good news is that a local DUI lawyer with experience representing out of state drivers will be able to handle almost everything without you ever having to travel back to the state just to deal with the courts. After all, you came to Georgia to see the natural beauty, eat the regional cuisine, and visit historic and popular attractions, not to see the inside of a Georgia courtroom.
Out of State Drivers
Over the years, different states have changed their laws to look more and more similar when it comes to drunk driving offenses. While each state is a little different, they all take drunk driving very seriously, and penalties for an out of state driver convicted for driving under the influence in Georgia will be just as severe. This can include time in jail, hefty fines and fees, and court ordered community service. That doesn't take into account a rise in insurance premiums that a driver will face after a DUI, costing them hundreds or thousands of dollars. This is why I recommend to any out of state drivers with a DUI to seek local, experienced DUI defense representation to fight for their rights, and keep their license to drive.
Georgia Driving Privileges for All Drivers
The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS), will automatically suspend a driver's privilege to drive in Georgia after 30 days of a DUI arrest. This is an administrative process, known as ALS license suspension. However, that 30 day timeline may be misleading, because a driver only has thirty (30) days to fight the automatic suspension. If a request for an ALS hearing is not made within 30 days, the license suspension is automatic. This is separate from the criminal DUI process. The good news is that an experienced, qualified Georgia DUI defense lawyer can file for an ALS hearing, represent you at the administrative hearing without you having to appear, all in addition to defending you against the criminal charges.
Don't make the mistake of thinking a Georgia administrative hearing won't have repercussions on you license to drive issued by your home state. States share adverse administrative actions resulting from a DUI, and in many cases, your home state will suspend your own driver's license based on Georgia's administrative finding. That means you may have to reinstate driving privileges in Georgia before your driver's license suspension will be lifted. Contact an Atlanta area DUI lawyer so your driver's license won't get suspended, and you'll be able to keep your driving privileges.
Returning to Georgia for Court Appearances
If you are arrested for a DUI in Georgia, the court will expect you to show up on the date of your summons or hearing. This may mean hours of driving or flying, in addition to the costs, just to fight your charges. Travelling back and forth gets expensive, and time consuming. This is another reason a DUI defense lawyer may be your best bet to have your criminal charges taken care of, with as little inconvenience to you as possible. In many cases, you will not have to return to Georgia at all, and your Georgia based attorney will be able to defend your case on your behalf.
Georgia DUI Lawyer Representing All Drivers.
A DUI in Georgia can mean serious consequences, no matter what state issued your license to drive. The Lawyers at Lawson and Berry understand what a DUI conviction can mean to your future, including your right to drive, your livelihood, and your freedom. Just because you live out of state does not mean you have to accept a guilty plea. Let a Georgia DUI lawyer fight for you. Call our office anytime day or night, and we will fight to get your charges reduced or dropped.