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Statesboro DUI Attorney

Experienced Defense Against DUI Charges in Bulloch County

Driving under the influence is a crime, no matter where you are. If you’ve been accused of operating a vehicle while inebriated, you will need a skilled and experienced DUI attorney to represent you in court. At Hart Law Group, we’ll ensure you get the representation you need when you’re in front of the judge. With his extensive background working in some of the best firms in the region, Malone Hart has gained a wide range of skills suitable for clients facing DUI charges.

We understand the legal system associated with DUI law, and our only goal is to help you get the best outcome possible for your case. Whether that means your case is dismissed, you get a lesser sentence, or you save money, we’ll do everything we can to aid you. When you hire a Statesboro DUI defense attorney from Hart Law Group, you get professional skill, knowledge, and representation to help you avoid those consequences.

Are you facing a DUI charge in Georgia? Call Hart Law Group today at (912) 470-5040 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our DUI lawyer in Statesboro, GA!

Georgia DUI Laws

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia is a serious criminal offense punishable by law. The laws surrounding DUI in Georgia are strict and can carry heavy consequences.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits:

In Georgia, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher if you are 21 years or older. For drivers under 21, the BAC limit is 0.02%. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04%.

What are the Penalties for a DUI in Georgia?

Penalties for First-Time Offenders:

For a first-time DUI conviction, the penalties in Georgia may include the following:

  • A fine of $300 to $1,000
  • A jail sentence of 10 days to 12 months, with a minimum of 24 hours served
  • Community service
  • License suspension for up to one year
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
  • A clinical evaluation and treatment, if necessary

Penalties for Second-Time Offenders:

If you are convicted of a second DUI offense within five years of your first conviction, the penalties may include the following:

  • A fine of $600 to $1,000
  • A jail sentence of 90 days to 12 months, with a minimum of 72 hours served
  • License suspension for up to three years
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
  • A clinical evaluation and treatment, if necessary
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

Penalties for Third-Time Offenders:

If you are convicted of a third DUI offense within five years of your second conviction, the penalties may include the following:

  • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000
  • A jail sentence of 120 days to 12 months, with a minimum of 15 days served
  • License suspension for up to five years
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
  • A clinical evaluation and treatment, if necessary
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

In addition to the penalties above, Georgia has an implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) if they are suspected of driving under the influence. Refusing to take the test can result in an automatic license suspension of up to one year.

It's important to note that the penalties for DUI in Georgia can vary depending on the circumstances of the offense. If there are aggravating factors, such as causing an accident or having a child in the car, the penalties may be more severe.

Is a DUI a Felony in Georgia?

A DUI is not typically considered a felony offense in Georgia unless certain aggravating factors are present. Generally, a first, second, or third DUI conviction within ten years is considered a misdemeanor offense in Georgia. However, if a person is convicted of a fourth DUI offense within ten years or if the DUI offense involves severe injury or death to another person, then it can be considered a felony offense.
In addition, certain circumstances can increase the severity of a DUI charge, such as having a BAC above a certain level or having a child in the vehicle at the time of the offense. These aggravating factors can result in more severe penalties, even if it is the first DUI offense.
It's important to note that DUI laws can be complex, and the specific circumstances of each case can impact the severity of the charge and the penalties imposed. If you are facing a DUI charge in Georgia, it is important to seek the advice of a Statesboro DUI attorney.

Defenses to DUI Charges

Several defenses may be used to fight DUI charges in Georgia. Some possible defenses include the following:

  • Improper stop or arrest: The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures and requires police officers to have probable cause before making an arrest. If the police officer did not have a valid reason for pulling over the vehicle or making the arrest, the charges may be dismissed.
  • Inaccurate BAC test results: Breathalyzer tests and other chemical tests used to determine BAC can be prone to errors. The results may be inaccurate if the test was not administered properly, the equipment was not calibrated correctly, or the test results were not properly interpreted.
  • Medical conditions or medication: Certain medical conditions or medications can impact the results of a BAC test. For example, diabetes, GERD, or acid reflux can cause false high readings on a breathalyzer test.
  • Field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn test, the one-leg stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, are subjective and can be influenced by various factors such as fatigue, anxiety, or physical limitations. The results of these tests can be challenged.
  • Lack of probable cause: The police officer must have a valid reason to pull over the vehicle, such as a traffic violation or a suspicion of impairment. The charges may be dismissed if the officer did not have probable cause.
  • Failure to read Miranda rights: If the arresting officer did not read the Miranda warning to the defendant, any statements made by the defendant may be inadmissible in court.

These are just a few possible defenses for Georgia's DUI charges. It is essential to consult with an experienced DUI defense attorney in Statesboro to determine the best defense strategy for your case.

Sealing and Expunging a DUI

In Georgia, it is possible to have a DUI conviction sealed or expunged under certain circumstances, but the process is complex and limited.

Sealing a DUI Record in Georgia: Under Georgia law, a first-time DUI conviction can be sealed under certain conditions. The person must have completed all the terms of their sentence, including probation, community service, and any fines or fees. The person must have no other convictions on their record except for minor traffic offenses. Additionally, the person must wait five years after completing their sentence before applying to seal their record. Sealing a DUI conviction means it will not be visible on most background checks.

Expunging a DUI Record in Georgia: Expungement completely erases a criminal record. In Georgia, it is generally not possible to expunge a DUI conviction. However, there is one exception: if a person was arrested for DUI but the charges were later dropped, dismissed, or they were found not guilty, then they may be eligible for expungement.

It is important to note that sealing or expunging a criminal record in Georgia can be complicated and time-consuming. It is also not guaranteed that a request for sealing or expungement will be granted. If you are interested in sealing or expunging a DUI record in Georgia, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced DUI lawyer in Statesboro to discuss your options and eligibility.

Contact Our Statesboro DUI Lawyer Today

With his background as a DUI attorney, Malone Hart knows how to navigate the legal system and ever-changing laws. During your free consultation, we’ll learn as much as we can about you, your criminal history, and the circumstances of your arrest. Having a Statesboro DUI attorney who’s seen a wide range of DUI cases helps in knowing what information is needed, precedents that have been set with particular judges, and the best avenues to take for your success.

Contact Hart Law Group today to schedule a FREE consultation with our DUI attorney in Statesboro, GA!

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