Caring and Hardworking Legal Advocacy with Significant DUI Work
When you are facing a DUI charge, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney. The quicker you get started on your DUI defense, the more we have to work with to craft your defense. Attorney Meredith Mochel has handled lots of DUI cases throughout her legal career, and she can skillfully handle your DUI in Georgia too. She takes a caring approach with her clients, and you can expect responsive and communicative legal guidance every step of the way to keep you informed.
Meredith got both charges dismissed and I only have to take a class. Thanks so much Meredith! You are the best!Lorrie C.
What Is Considered a DUI in Georgia?
Georgia drivers may be charged with a DUI if they operate or have actual physical control over a motor vehicle while they:
- are under the influence of alcohol or drugs (“DUI-less-safe”);
- have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more; or
- have any amount of illegal drugs in their system.
Note that the illegal BAC threshold is lowered to .04% for commercial drivers and .02% for drivers under 21 years old.
Jail Time, Fines, and License Suspension/Revocation
Convicted drivers could face a range of penalties including jail time, fines, and license suspension/revocation. The severity of the penalties in Georgia will depend on the circumstances of the offense and whether the defendant has prior convictions:
- 1st offense – 10 days to 12 months in jail; $300-$1,000 in fines; 40 hours minimum of community service; 12-month license suspension
- 2nd offense – 90 days to 12 months in jail; $600-$1,000 in fines; 30 days minimum of community service; 3-year license suspension
- 3rd offense – 120 days to 12 months in jail; $1,000-$5,000 in fines; 30 days minimum of community service; permanent license revocation
If the convicted driver is underage, they will face different periods of license suspension – 6 months upon a first offense, 18 months upon a second offense, and permanent revocation for a third offense. Additionally, those who refuse a breath test to detect their BAC level may also face an additional period of license suspension, depending on whether they have prior refusals:
- 1st refusal – 1-year suspension
- 2nd refusal – 3-year suspension
- 3rd refusal – 5-year suspension
All offenders must also obtain an alcohol and drug evaluation and follow any treatment recommended by the court. Second-time offenders will also be required to complete a DUI alcohol or drug risk reduction program.
Also note that Georgia DUI requires second-time offenders (within 5 years) to surrender their license plates and third offenders within 5 years to forfeit their vehicle.
While standard DUIs are charged as misdemeanors, the presence of certain aggravating factors may increase the severity of the DUI to the felony level:
- having 3 or more prior DUIs within the last 10 years;
- fleeing from an officer; or
- causing serious bodily injury or death to another person or unborn fetus.
The penalties will vary depending on the offense, but felony penalties usually require at least 1 year or more in prison than misdemeanor sentences.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia, whether your first or subsequent DUI, Attorney Meredith Mochel can defend you. She has handled many DUI cases throughout her legal career, and she will examine the available evidence in your situation to craft a unique defense for your case. Whether this means arguing for mitigated or reduced charges or defending against a test refusal, Attorney Mochel will do her best to defend you.
- Clear Communication from Start to Finish
- Experienced Litigators Fighting for You
- Effective Counsel with Proven Results