Athens GA DUI Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Athens GA, contact our office immediately. Time is of the essence, and college students have much to lose when charged with DUI. Our DUI Attorneys in Athens GA have decades of experience. Call now to see how our expertise can make all the difference in your case!
What a DUI Means to Young People?
When you are under 21 years of age, a DUI can substantially impact your future. Most college students are unsure of their career goals, and a DUI conviction can eliminate many educational goals. A DUI conviction on your record can also negate your chances of obtaining admission to certain graduate schools. Employers are also more likely to hire someone without a DUI versus an equally qualified person with a DUI on their record.
Our Athens GA DUI Attorneys frequently receive calls from people in their 20s and 30s who want them to re-open or look at cases that were closed years ago. They ask about expunging their records or sealing their records. Their prior DUI's are preventing them from getting a job or seeking an opportunity. We have to, unfortunately, tell those callers that there is nothing that can be done now.
If you are charged with DUI as a college student, you must fight your case now. You must hire a DUI Lawyer in Athens GA now to defend your DUI case. Time is of the essence, and your case needs attention today, not years later, when you cannot be helped.
Types of DUI Charges a College Student Could Face in Georgia
Many UGA students, as well as other college students, are unaware of all the ways a person can be charged with DUI. They assume that the only way is if they blow over the limit. However, there are several other ways they could find themselves being arrested for DUI.
1. DUI Less Safe Alcohol
A person can be guilty of a DUI less safe when they drive a vehicle under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the consumption makes it less safe for them to operate a motor vehicle. Furthermore, a person can be charged with DUI less safe if their BAC is less than .08.
2. DUI Per Se Alcohol
A person commits DUI per se when they operate a vehicle with a BAC over .08 or more, within three hours of driving. It is also DUI per se when someone under 21 years of age operates a vehicle with a BAC of .02 or more. For a commercial driver, the BAC is .04.
3. DUI Less Safe Drugs
DUI less safe for drugs means that a driver was under the influence of a drug to the extent that it was less safe for them to drive. Drugs include both prescription drugs and illegal drugs. A person convicted of DUI drugs will be unable to get a permit to drive and will suffer a hard suspension of their license.
4. DUI for Glue, Aerosols, or Toxic Vapors
A person can be charged with DUI while under the influence of glue, aerosols, or toxic vapors. This type is not as common but still comes with severe consequences. Similarly to DUI drugs, a conviction will include a hard suspension of their driver's license.
5. DUI for Marijuana or a Controlled Substance
Even though there is a statute for DUI drugs, Georgia has a separate law when the drug is marijuana or another controlled substance. The prosecution has the burden of proving that the marijuana or controlled substance caused you to be an unsafe driver.
6. DUI for a Combination of Two or More Drugs
A driver can be charged with DUI when they are under the influence of a combination of drugs and alcohol. The drug could be marijuana, a controlled substance, glue, toxic vapors, aerosols, or a prescription drug. Even if the driver's BAC is under .08, evidence of drugs in their system will be sufficient for a DUI charge.
No matter which type of DUI you are charged with, contact our Athens GA DUI Lawyers today. We understand what a DUI on a college student's record can do and the substantial impact it will have on their future. Don't make the mistake of thinking the court will have mercy on you as a college student and dismiss your case.
Related DUI Charges for Georgia College Students
At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, we have defended adults and students charged with DUI for over 25 years. Through this time, we have seen that in addition to DUI, college students are also frequently charged with the following offenses.
When people engage in conduct that is likely to cause a disturbance or lead to some sort of non-peaceful event, this behavior is often prosecuted as disorderly conduct. In some jurisdictions, it is the most commonly filed criminal charge. A range of behaviors can qualify as disorderly conduct, so it is important to hire a knowledgeable Athens GA DUI Lawyer to help sort out the specifics of your case.
Disorderly conduct includes, but is not limited to: reckless driving; interrupting or interfering with the carrying out of the duties of a university or public official, including law enforcement; vomiting and/or urinating in public; and, indecent exposure.
Possession of marijuana
Possession of marijuana charges are rampant on college campuses. Students think that marijuana is not that big of a deal. While a person convicted of possession of marijuana will only be charged with a misdemeanor, it can still have a lasting impact on college students. In addition to fines and jail time, college students can find themselves losing financial aid, athletic scholarships, and academic scholarships with a drug charge on their record. If you are a college student in Athens GA charged with a marijuana related offense, call us now.
Georgia's open container law reads as follows: A person shall not consume any alcoholic beverage or possess any open alcohol beverage in the passenger area of any motor vehicle which is on the roadway or shoulder of any public highway. O.C.G.A. §40-6-253(b)
Only the student possessing the alcohol will be charged with the violation. However, if there are no passengers, then only the driver will be charged. The statute outlines that if the seal has been opened and the contents have been partially removed, then that will constitute an open container. It does not explicitly state how much has to be removed, but courts have found that even if a small amount is gone, a charge will be justified.
Minor in Possession (MIP)
MIP is a frequently charged offense for college students in Athens. Under Georgia law, it is illegal for any person under the age of 21 to consume alcohol. This includes purchasing, attempting to purchase, or knowingly possessing any alcohol. A person charged with MIP in Athens GA will be charged with a misdemeanor. The penalties associated with a misdemeanor conviction include a fine up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both. It is often common for a judge to order community service or probation for the offender. Furthermore, a MIP conviction can lead to a suspension of your driver's license. A conviction for MIP will result in a 6-month suspension of your license. However, college students generally face disciplinary action in addition to criminal penalties. It is critical to hire an Athens DUI Lawyer if you or a loved one has been charged with MIP or DUI in Athens. As you can see, the penalties are severe even for a first conviction, and your future will be affected.
Let Our DUI Attorneys in Athens GA Help
If your have been charged with DUI or a related offense, there are a variety of defenses your DUI Lawyer in Athens GA can use to protect your future. Our attorneys have decades of experience in defending college students. We have been able to negotiate for a dismissal of the charges in exchange for community service and probation. Our Athens GA DUI Attorneys have also successfully helped our clients participate in alcohol classes to keep the state from prosecuting.
In addition to the criminal case, students are normally subject to the school disciplinary board. They will be facing penalties such as school suspension, loss of scholarship, and more.
Call now and see how we can help with your case!
Information on Athens-Clarke Courts
Athens-Clarke County is a combined city and county government. If you have been charged with a DUI within Athens city limits or anywhere else outside of Winterville, then your case will proceed in Athens-Clarke County Municipal Court. If a trial is needed, then your case will be transferred to Athens-Clarke County State Court. Athens-Clarke Municipal Court is located at 325 East Washington Street, Suite 170, Athens, GA 30601. Call 706-613-3690 for more information. Please visit our page for more information on the Court Systems in Athens-Clarke County.