Columbus GA DUI Lawyer
Being pulled over for a suspected DUI can be an incredibly stressful experience. Georgia DUI penalties are harsh and include hefty fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Additionally, a DUI conviction in Columbus GA could have significant consequences on your personal life and lasting effects on your family or job. If you were arrested for DUI in Columbus GA, it is imperative that you retain an attorney who will aggressively fight the charges you are facing. Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your call.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Columbus, you only have thirty days for your Columbus GA DUI Lawyer to file an appeal of your driver's license suspension. Otherwise, you are facing a license suspension for up to a year. If arrested for a DUI and you refused testing, the State can take your license away. The State often leverages the possibility of losing your license to force drivers to plead guilty to DUI. Then, their license is suspended for 12 months. Do not let this happen to you! Let our Columbus GA DUI Lawyers help you!
The first step to avoid this automatic license suspension is to request an administrative license hearing using the 30-day letter. Our DUI Attorneys in Columbus GA will file the letter for you within the 30-day deadline. Some people have a choice whether to file the 30-day letter, but in cases of a refusal, a 30-day letter must be sent.
A failure to file for an ALS hearing will result in the Department of Driver Services (DDS) suspending your license for one year. There will not be an option to obtain a limited driving permit to get you to and from work or school. This will be a hard suspension of your license.
DUI Penalties in Columbus GA
In Georgia, driving under the influence (DUI) is generally charged as a misdemeanor, but there are situations where it can be a felony charge. For a first, second, or third DUI charge within 10 years, a conviction will be treated as a misdemeanor. However, that does not mean that the sentence will be minor. The following penalties are common punishments in Georgia:
First DUI penalty in Columbus GA:
- Up to one year in jail
- 12 months of probation
- Fine between $300-$100 plus court costs and surcharges
- At least 40 hours of community service
- DUI school
- Driver's license suspension, with a limited permit to drive
- MADD panel
- Substance abuse counseling
Second DUI penalty:
- Minimum three days in jail
- 12-36 months or probation
- Fines between $600-$1,000
- 240 hours of community service
- License suspension for at least 1 year
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Surrender or license plate
- 17 weeks of alcohol and drug counseling
- Publication of photo in the local newspaper
- DUI Court programs
Columbus GA Third DUI Penalty
- 12-36 months of probation
- Fine between $1,000-$5,000
- Surrender of license plate
- 5-year license suspension with a limited permit available after two years of ignition interlock device
- 17 weeks of alcohol and drug counseling
- Publication of photo in the local newspaper
- Habitual violator status
Felony DUI in Columbus GA
Most DUI charges are classified as misdemeanor offenses. However, there are certain situations where the DUI can be charged as a felony offense. Once convicted of felony DUI in Georgia, it will stay on your record for the rest of your life. The punishment for a felony DUI extends beyond prison and hefty fines. People who have a felony on their criminal record generally lose the right to hold public offense, the right to vote, and lose the ability to own and possess firearms. It can also make it more difficult to obtain housing, credit, or employment.
A person will be charged with felony DUI in Georgia if they are convicted of a fourth DUI or subsequent DUI within 10 years. The penalty is a prison term between one and five years and a fine up to $5,000. Additional consequences include a minimum of 60 days of community service, a clinical evaluation, and DUI school.
It is important to note that a person convicted of a third or subsequent DUI within five years will be classified and declared a habitual violator. Habitual violator is a status and not a criminal offense in and of itself. However, there are penalties that accompany a habitual violator status. One such penalty is that a HV will have their license revoked for five years.
Whether this is your first, second, third, or fourth DUI, our Columbus GA DUI Lawyers can help. Do not make the mistake of thinking there are no options available to you if charged with felony DUI in Columbus. Whether you are a habitual violator or a first time DUI driver, our attorneys want to help with your case. There are always Georgia DUI defenses that we can use to support your case. However, time is of the essence with DUI cases. You only have 30 days to prevent the automatic suspension of your driver's license. Additionally, the more time you give us to collect evidence, the better. Call now.
DUI Drugs in Columbus GA
Most people associate a DUI charge with drunk driving. However, in recent years, we have seen an increase in DUI drug charges. When an officer suspects a driver of drugged or drunk driving, they can request the driver to submit to a blood test. The results of this test are then sent to a lab that analyzes your blood. If the test comes out positive for marijuana or cocaine, then that will justify a DUI drugs charge. However, we have seen more and more people being charged with DUI drugs for having prescription drugs in their systems.
Even over the counter medicines such as cough syrup or allergy medication can lead to a DUI arrest and possible conviction. If the drug made the driver less safe to drive in the eyes of the officer, then the officer will deem the driver to be impaired. Sometimes are unaware that they are driving impaired. While the effects of the drug may have worn off, the drug can still be in your bloodstream.
According to O.C.G.A § 40-6-391, it is illegal “to drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for ht person to drive.” When a person is charged with DUI alcohol, the legal threshold is .08 percent. However, there is no threshold for drugs. Therefore, any amount will be enough to warrant a drugged driving charge as long as it made the driver less safe to operate a motor vehicle.
A DUI drugs conviction in Columbus GA comes with harsh consequences. The penalties you may face include:
- A fine between $300-$1,000
- 10 to days to 12 months in jail
- 40 hours of community service
- Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
- Up to one year of probation
In addition to the listed punishments, the Georgia Department of Driver Services can suspend your driver's license. However, these are possible punishments you may face if you are convicted! These are not guaranteed because there are always DUI defenses we can use to fight your case. We have numerous medical and scientific experts on our team that work to unearth flaws in the testing conducted.
Additionally, our DUI lawyers in Columbus GA have decades of experience and know how to find gaps in the prosecutor's case against you. Every case is different, and that is why we take the time to thoroughly study the facts of your case. After our analysis, we will present your options to you. Our goal is to keep you driving and prevent a DUI from going on your permanent criminal record. Call now to see how we can help today.
How Our Columbus GA DUI Lawyers Can Help
There are very serious potential consequences that come along with a DUI conviction in Porterdale or anywhere else in Georgia, some of which are also very long-lasting. You need to make sure that you seek advice from a skilled DUI Lawyer in Columbus GA as soon as possible. You might believe that your particular case is impossible to win and that you will be found guilty, especially if a blood or breath test showed that you had a blood-alcohol level that was over the legal limit of 0.08%. However, this does not ensure your guilt since there are several ways that our DUI Attorney in Columbus GA can help you to get the penalties in your case reduced or even eliminated altogether. Some examples of how our committed defense team can help you to win your DUI case are:
- Examining whether your rights were violated before, during, or after the arrest;
- Investigating the way field sobriety tests were conducted;
- Review any observations that were made by law enforcement;
- Offer another explanation as to why you appeared to be intoxicated;
- Examine if any errors were made at the forensics testing lab or in the transport to and from causing erroneous results;
- Work with the prosecuting attorney in an effort to get your charges dropped down or enter into a plea bargain for a smaller, less severe punishment; and/or
- Defend you from any unlawful or wrongful charges at trial.
If you know that you are facing charges for DUI, or another DUI related charge, it is imperative that you have an experienced Columbus GA DUI Attorney representing you in court. Our DUI Lawyers in Columbus GA can examine the evidence against you and work to get your charges reduced to reckless driving, or possibly even dismissed.
Muscogee County Recorder's Court
If you receive a DUI within the city limits of Columbus, your case will proceed to Muscogee County Recorders Court. Recorder's Court also handles cases involving traffic violations, city ordinance violations, and other misdemeanors, including possession of marijuana cases. The Recorders Court is located at 702 10th Street, Columbus, GA 31901. For more information, contact 706.653.4256.
Contact Our DUI Lawyers in Columbus GA Today
If you have been arrested for DUI in Columbus GA or anywhere else in Muscogee County, you need to contact our Columbus GA DUI Lawyers immediately. With over 25 years of experience and 5,000 people represented, we understand what it takes for you to reach a successful outcome! We guarantee we will protect your rights, freedom, and future! Call now for a free case evaluation.