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To preserve your right to drive in Georgia, you must request an administrative hearing within 10 business days after your license has been taken from you by an officer. This is for all drivers under 21 who registered a .02 or more, all drivers over 21 who registered a .08 or more, and all drivers of a commercial vehicle who register .04 or more.
If you had a valid license when stopped, you are qualified for a temporary license to drive until the hearing. You will be mailed a notice of the hearing about three weeks after your request. If you lose at the hearing, you cannot drive after the hearing. In some cases you may qualify for a work permit and may be able to reinstate the license within 30 days.
Crucial defenses can be developed at the hearing. Arraignment: This is the date on your ticket, about 30 to 60 days after your arrest. In some cases you will not have to appear. However, many courts will require your presence at arraignment.
Arraignment is an important hearing and the attorney must be aware of all issues that are relevant in order to get harmful evidence against you excluded.
Pretrial Conference/Plea Negotiations: Your attorney will discuss your case with the prosecutor and attempt to work out the best disposition possible. This is an on going process. Many cases do not get resolved until the eve of trial.
Suppression Hearing: The Court may suppress some or all of the evidence against you if your constitutional rights have been violated. Your attorney will file motions to suppress. In some courts there will be a separate hearing date. In other courts, motions will be heard right before trial.
Trial: In Georgia we have the right to a jury trial. This is held before six people who will determine innocence or guilt. In some cases, you may opt for a bench trial where a judge will decide innocence or guilt.
Sentencing: The Court imposes a sentence after a conviction at trial or after a plea bargain is accepted and a plea entered. Sentences may include jail time, in home detention, public service, alcohol classes and fines.
Penalties for a 2nd DUI conviction in Georgia include:
Penalties for a 3rd DUI Conviction in Georgia include:
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified drunk driving lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local drunk driving attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.