Your DUI Attorney in Athens, GA

Swingle Levin LLC is a top choice for anyone seeking a DUI attorney in Athens, GA. Trust our experienced attorneys to protect your rights in DUI court.

DUI Attorney in Athens, GA

Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) offense in Georgia involves more than just legal penalties. It also has a range of other implications and can affect everything from your insurance premiums to employment opportunities. Understanding the full scope of these impacts is crucial.

Whether classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, DUI charges in Georgia are serious, and navigating them can be overwhelming. However, having the proper legal representation can make all the difference. In Athens, Georgia, skilled DUI attorneys can be your lifeline when facing the complexities of DUI laws and penalties. This article delves into the crucial role of an Athens DUI lawyer and how they can protect your rights and future.

How Is DUI Defined in Georgia?

Georgia DUI laws are extensive and cover more than just drunk driving. Georgia DUI law is defined in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated 40-6-391. It states that a person cannot drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of:

  1. Alcohol: Driving when one’s ability to operate a vehicle is compromised due to alcohol consumption or when one’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher within three hours of driving.
  2. Drugs: Operating a vehicle under the influence of any drugs that impair the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely.
  3. Inhalants: Driving while intentionally influenced by toxic substances like glue, aerosols, or other vapors, which impede safe driving.
  4. Combined Influence: Operating a vehicle under the simultaneous influence of multiple impairing substances listed above.
  5. Marijuana or Controlled Substances: Driving with any detectable amount of marijuana or controlled substances in the bloodstream, regardless of alcohol presence.

Georgia’s DUI law is highly nuanced and often updated. Swingle Levin LLC is skilled in defending against DUI charges, ensuring your rights are upheld, and giving you a chance for a favorable outcome.

DUI Penalties in Georgia

The penalties for a DUI conviction can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the results of the breath or blood test. Georgia’s criminal justice system also considers prior DUI arrest or conviction history and numerous other factors for penalizing DUI offenders.

First Offense

In Georgia, although a misdemeanor, the penalties for a first DUI offense include the following:

  • Fines ranging from $300 to $1,000.
  • Suspension of driving privileges for up to 1 year.
  • Potential jail time for up to 1 year.
  • Twelve months probation, excluding the days already spent incarcerated.
  • At least 40 hours of community service (a minimum of 20 hours of community service if the BAC is less than 0.08%).
  • Clinical evaluation for substance abuse and completing a substance abuse treatment program if recommended.
  • Participation and completion of Class DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.

Second Offense

In most cases, a second offense for driving under the influence in Georgia is still considered a misdemeanor. However, the law in Georgia imposes the following possible consequences for a second DUI offense:

  • Fines between $600 and $1,000.
  • Suspension of driving privileges for 1-3 years.
  • Jail terms of three months to a year with a mandatory minimum sentence of 72 hours.
  • Twelve months probation, excluding the days already spent incarcerated.
  • A minimum of 30 days’ worth of community service.
  • Participation and completion of Class DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • Clinical evaluation for substance abuse and completing a substance abuse treatment program if recommended.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in the vehicle (for a second conviction within 5 years).

Third Offense

A third conviction on drunk driving charges in Georgia may still be considered a high and aggravated misdemeanor. However, a felony charge will be filed for a fourth conviction.

The consequences for a third DUI offense in Georgia might include the following:

  • Fines ranging between $1,000 to $5,000.
  • License suspension for 5 years– can obtain an ignition interlock device after two years.
  • Jail terms between 120 days and 12 months, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 days in jail.
  • Twelve months probation, excluding the days already spent incarcerated.
  • A minimum of 30 days’ worth of community service.
  • Participation and completion of Class DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • Clinical evaluation for substance abuse and completing a substance abuse treatment program if recommended.

You could also be declared a habitual violator, subjecting you to increased punishments for future driving offenses.

How Does the DUI Legal Process Work in Athens, Georgia?

The DUI process in Athens, GA, starts from a DUI arrest by police officers on suspicion of driving under the influence. The accused may face an administrative license suspension, especially in case of a DUI refusal, where the driver refuses to undergo a breathalyzer test.

If you have been charged with a DUI offense, it is crucial to consult with an Athens DUI attorney or a GA SUI lawyer who specializes in Georgia DUI laws. The legal process typically involves a series of hearings, starting with an arraignment where the charges are read and the accused enters a plea. Georgia DUI attorneys can guide you through these hearings, ensuring that your rights are protected.

In Clarke County, as in other areas of Georgia, a DUI conviction can lead to severe penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. With the help of experienced Athens DUI lawyers, you can navigate the complexities of Georgia DUI penalties and formulate a defense strategy that protects your rights in DUI court.

What Defenses Can an Athens DUI Attorney Use in Your Case?

An experienced Athens DUI attorney can employ several defense strategies in DUI cases. These defenses are tailored to the specifics of each case, with the aim of reducing or dismissing charges. The experience of a Georgia DUI lawyer is vital in identifying the most effective defense.

Here are some of the commonly used defenses:

  • Challenging the validity of the traffic stop
  • Questioning the accuracy of breathalyzer tests

Other than these, your lawyer might want to explore defenses related to medical conditions or other factors that could falsely influence the sobriety tests.

How Can a DUI Attorney (Athens, GA) Help You?

The DUI legal system is quite daunting for individuals unfamiliar with the processes. It’s not only the legal implications that can be complex but the effect it leaves on your personal and professional life. Consider hiring a DUI attorney if you find yourself in such a situation. A DUI lawyer (Athens, GA) from Swingle Levin LLC can guide you through the system, ensuring you are prepared for what to expect at each stage of your case. Here’s how we can help you:

  1. Legal Knowledge: We possess a deep understanding of Georgia’s complex DUI laws, allowing us to assess the strength of the prosecution’s case against you.
  2. Evidence Evaluation: A DUI charge involves complex laws and evidence, like breathalyzer results, police reports, and field sobriety tests. We can review this information and scrutinize its validity to identify weaknesses and inconsistencies that can be used to your advantage.
  3. Defense Strategy: We can develop a defense strategy tailored to your case, challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of BAC tests, or the conduct of law enforcement.
  4. Negotiating Plea Bargains: We can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce your charges or penalties, such as securing a plea deal for a lesser offense.
  5. Court Representation: In court, we can advocate on your behalf, presenting your case, cross-examining witnesses, and making persuasive arguments to seek a favorable outcome. We also work towards minimizing the impact by making a case for reduced fines, shorter license suspension periods, or alternative sentencing options.

As your DUI lawyer, we are dedicated to protecting your rights.

Contact Swingle Levin LLC Today!

A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney can review DUI cases and answer specific questions about your options and how a conviction will affect you. 

Georgia’s DUI laws are some of the toughest in the country. We can fight to preserve your driving privileges, ensuring that one mistake does not disrupt your livelihood. We understand what is at stake and will explore every option available to build the proper defense for your case.

Our Athens DUI attorneys offer a free consultation to assist you in deciding what kind of defense we can provide and the possible outcomes you can expect.

Look no further if you’re looking for skilled criminal defense lawyers to handle your DUI charges. Contact Swingle Levin LLC today to learn more about potential defense strategies for your case!