DUI in Georgia
A driving under the influence indictment is a serious criminal offense that can have long lasting repercussions for the driver. The more DUIs a person has received in the last ten years, the more severe their punishment will be for each subsequent arrest and conviction.
First Time DUI
The first time a person is arrested and charged with driving under the influence (first-time DUI) they could be punished with a:
- A $300- $1,000 fine
- Up to a year in jail time (Men and women who are arrest for driving under the influence who show a blood alcohol level of above .08 will be required to spend 24 hours in jail after they are apprehended)
- Up to 20 hours of community service if your blood alcohol content was below .08 or as many as 40 hours if it was above .08
- Completion of an alcohol and drug abuse course
- Up to a year of probation
- A driver’s license suspension of one year
Second Time DUI
However, upon the second DUI charge (second-time DUI), the possible repercussions turn into:
- A $600-$1000 fine
- Between three and ninety days of jail time
- Thirty days of community service.
- A driver’s licenses suspension of three years
Due to the increase in the degree of punishment, it is important to understand how long a DUI stays on your record. Because the law says that it only counts the DUIs a person has obtained within the last ten years, people assume that is how long the DUI will stay on their criminal record. It is not the case. The repercussions that the state of Georgia has in place for men and women who drive under the influence are severe.
The procedure for an arrest for driving under the influence is the same as all other criminal arrests. A person’s criminal record is updated to show the arrest after the arrest takes place. Once a case has been completed, and a driver receives their sentence, the record is updated once again to reflect the outcome of the case. The case and verdict are forever on the criminal record unless it is a case that qualifies for record restriction. A DUI is not eligible for record restriction in Georgia unless the defendant is acquitted or the prosecutor dismisses the case. That means that once a person is charged and found guilty of a DUI, it is their criminal record forever and is unremovable. The important part is to avoid a conviction of a DUI in the first place. That is why it is important to research and hire the best lawyer possible to represent you and your case. Because the outcome of the case will be on your record forever, it is important to do everything you can to cause the case to go favorably.
On a side note, a driver’s history is separate from the criminal record. That is particularly important for people who drive professionally like truck drivers and people who drive a company vehicle.
A driver’s history will only ever show the final charge against a driver. For instance, if a driver gets arrested and the court charges them with a DUI, and then the changes the DUI to a reckless driving charge, the DUI will not remain on their driving history. Instead, it will be just a reckless driving charge. Like with a criminal record, a driver’s history is entirely dependent on the outcome of their case. Again, this makes lawyers an invaluable asset to have on your side so that you receive the best outcome possible.
Who Can See My Driving History?
Government agencies like police, prosecutors, and judges can see your entire driver’s history. However, private parties and business are unable to. They are only able to see the last seven years of your past. Thus, the question of “how long does a DUI stay on a criminal record or a driver’s history” is entirely dependent on what is being considered and by whom.
How To Choose A DUI Lawyer
When selecting a lawyer, you should always do as much research as possible to find the best choice for your case. Many lawyers specialize in DUI cases. DUI cases are difficult because they involve both a legal challenge and a scientific challenge considering most DUI evidence is scientific in nature. Therefore, when choosing a DUI lawyer in Alpharetta to represent you, check to see if they have any background in forensic science. It is imperative that you make the right choice in who represents you for a driving under the influence case due to its permanent effect on your record.