If you got pulled over and arrested for your first DUI, you're probably aware that there are some serious consequences if you get convicted. You may be deciding what to do, and if you should hire a lawyer. But you might not realize that you only have 30 days to decide what to do, otherwise your license will be automatically suspended, before your first criminal hearing. It won't be the criminal proceeding that results in a suspended license, but the administrative process taken by the Georgia Department of Driver Services. You don't have much time to fight the automatic license suspension. If you don't request a hearing, you'll lose your driving privileges. If you do request a hearing, your Georgia DUI lawyer can represent you at the hearing, and save your driver's license.
Temporary 30-Day License Suspension Notification
What is the first thing you should do after your first DUI arrest? Aside from contacting an experienced Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, you need to understand what the consequences of a DUI can mean for your criminal record, and your day-to-day life. A criminal conviction, even for a first DUI, can mean jail time, fines, and mandatory DUI school. But even before the criminal hearing, the Department of Driver Services will be looking to suspend your driver's license even before you've been found guilty of any crime.
After an arrest for a first DUI in Atlanta, the police will take your license, and give you a paper copy of form DS 1205. This will serve as your temporary license, but only for 30 days. Look further at the form, and you will see a notice of administrative suspension after 30 days. But you have to look on the back side before you will understand that you only have 30 days to request a hearing. It may not be clear from looking at the form, but the law is clear. You have 30 days to request an ALS hearing to prevent your license from automatically being suspended for up to a year.
If you request an ALS hearing within 30 days, and pay the filing fee, you can fight the automatic license suspension. However, be aware that this is not like a criminal proceeding, so not just any criminal lawyer will be familiar with the ALS hearing. A skilled Atlanta DUI defense lawyer will be familiar with defending their clients before administrative hearings, and can attend the hearing in your place, so you don't have to be there in person.
On the other hand, if you don't request a hearing in time, even for a first-time DUI, your license to drive will be automatically suspended. Once it is suspended, the driver will have to wait until the end of the suspension, and complete any requirements for DDS to reissue the license, in addition to paying over $200 just for the license reinstatement fee. The driver's license can be suspended from 30 days, up to a year on a first time DUI.
Georgia First DUI Lawyer
30 days is the key number to remember. If you don't request a hearing, you lose your license. If you do request a hearing, your lawyer can represent you at the ALS hearing, and keep you on the road. Don't delay, and call our office today so we can discuss the consequences of a DUI for your criminal record, and for your ability to drive.