DUI Penalties Can Be Enhanced Due to Aggravating Factors
Not all DUIs are treated the same. A DUI arrest can be treated much more seriously depending on the time, place, and even what passengers were in the car. Even though some DUIs are punished more harshly than others, all DUI convictions will result in a criminal record. This is why it is important to understand the difference between a DUI arrest and a DUI conviction. Contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer who exclusively handles DUI cases here in Georgia, to understand what is at stake, and how you can fight the charges against you to make sure an arrest doesn't lead to a conviction.
Penalties for a first DUI are severe in the State of Georgia. They can include possible jail time, up to a year; enrollment and completion of a DUI risk reduction program; heavy fines, up to 40 hours of approved community service, and probation. The state can even require a driver attend a clinical substance abuse evaluation, and complete a treatment program. These penalties can be increased, depending on what happened around the time of the alleged drunk driving incident.
The law considers some situations to add “aggravating factors” resulting in enhanced DUI punishments. Additional penalties could include more jail time, higher fines and fees, minimum imprisonment, and even designation as a felon or a habitual violator.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be treated like reckless driving if another person is injured in an accident. If a drunk driver is involved in an accident, and the other driver is seriously injured, then the crime can be charged as serious injury by vehicle. This doesn't have to mean the other person died, or was paralyzed, but serious injury could include things like a broken bone, burns or serious cuts, or even loss of consciousness. This could be charged as a felony, with the driver facing a 15 year prison sentence.
Driving under the influence with a passenger under 14 years old can add additional charges. If a driver has has two child passengers in the car when pulled over for drunk driving, then they may actually fact three DUI charges, one additional charge for each child. This means that a single DUI arrest may result in habitual violator status, even though they were only arrested once. Child endangerment DUI can result in an additional year in jail, and more fines.
Georgia Enhanced DUI Defense Lawyer
Even a complicated DUI arrest with aggravating factors does not have to lead to a conviction. There are defenses to all types of DUI charges, and you have the right to fight the charges against you. Simple DUI penalties are severe, even without enhance penalties. We are Georgia DUI defense lawyers with years of experience defending clients charged with all kinds of DUI charges, and we understand how serious these cases can be. We have successfully represented thousands of drivers charged with multiple DUIs to get their charges dismissed or reduced. We will use our extensive training, knowledge of how the police and prosecutors make their case, and courtroom experience to fight for you. Call us anytime, day or night, because you need someone on your side to help you through this difficult time.