Penalties of a DUI Conviction

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If you are found guilty of impaired driving, you will face severe penalties. A driver's first two DUI convictions are considered misdemeanor offenses, but three or more convictions will result in charges of a high and aggravated misdemeanor. The penalties are increased for each subsequent conviction within ten years, which means you cannot wait to retain the counsel of an experienced lawyer to ensure your rights are protected throughout your proceedings. A skilled attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf and advocate for alternatives to jail time to minimize the impact conviction will have on your career and family life.

If you were charged with a DUI, the penalties you face will depend upon your driving record. Consequences for driving while intoxicated can include:

First DUI conviction:

  • Jail sentence of 1 day to 12 months, depending on the circumstances of the arrest
  • Fine of $300 to $1,000, plus court surcharges
  • 40 hours community service
  • DUI Risk Reduction course (commonly known as "DUI School")
  • Up to 12 months of probation, which may include random drug and alcohol screening
  • License suspension of 120 days to 12 months

Second DUI conviction :

  • Jail sentence of 72 hours to 12 months
  • Fine of $600 to $1,000, plus court surcharges
  • 30 days (240 hours) community service
  • Mandatory DUI school
  • Up to 12 months of probation
  • Clinical evaluation and possible mandatory substance abuse treatment
  • If convicted twice within 5 years:
    • Mandatory $25.00 fee to publish a notice of your conviction and your photograph in your county newspaper
    • The required surrender of the license plates to any vehicle registered in your name
    • Mandatory instillation of an ignition interlock device in each of your vehicles for a minimum period of 6 months

Third DUI conviction :

  • Jail sentence of 15 days to 12 months
  • Fine of $1000 to $5,000, plus court surcharges (Judge may waive half of the fine if you agree to undergo a court-approved treatment program)
  • 30 days (240 hours) community service
  • DUI school
  • Up to 12 months of probation
  • Clinical evaluation and possible mandatory substance abuse treatment
  • If convicted three times within 5 years:
    • Mandatory $25.00 fee to publish a notice of your conviction and your photograph in your county newspaper
    • The required surrender of the license plates to any vehicle registered in your name
    • Mandatory instillation of an ignition interlock device in each of your vehicles for a minimum period of 6 months
    • Declaration as a habitual violator, which requires the driver to forfeit their vehicle to the state
    • License revocation for up to 5 years; if convicted of a qualifying offense during the revocation period, you could be charged with a felony crime

Effective and Aggressive DUI Firm

If you are facing a driving under the influence charge, enlist the powerful support of The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson. Attorney Lawson is a former DUI prosecutor who has defended the people of Atlanta for over 20 years, and you can be confident that your case will receive nothing less than exceptional defense. An aggressive and knowledgeable attorney can advocate to have your charges and penalties dropped or lessened before the court. Our firm will examine the circumstances of your arrest and the results of your breath and blood or field sobriety test to build a comprehensive and compelling defense of your case. We are dedicated to providing a voice to those charged with driving under the influence, and we have successfully resolved over 4,900 charges across the state. If you need relentless advocacy to fight your charges, do not hesitate to call.

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