If police in Georgia ever arrest you for driving under the influence of alcohol, you should know what to expect. Many people do not. A DUI charge is a serious thing, and the steps taken after your arrest can greatly affect you now and in the future.
There are several things that you can expect to happen after a DUI arrest. Every case is different, and the final outcome will be unique to your situation, but the following things are pretty standard following an arrest for drunk driving.
Number one: Police custody/jail time
If arrested, police will transport you directly to jail or a police station. When there, an intake officer will take your picture and fingerprints. If blood or urine samples need collecting, officers can do this at the station or holding facility, or police may transport you to a medical facility for testing. How long you spend behind bars directly after your arrest depends on several factors.
Number two: Court
Following your arrest, you’ll receive a court summons that specifies the date a judge will first hear your case. At your very first court hearing, you have the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. You have the right to have legal counsel of your choosing at your side during this and all court hearings pertaining to your case.
Number three: Administrative hearing
DUI cases are not just criminal in nature. An administrative hearing concerning your driving privileges will also take place. Losing your driver’s license, at least temporarily, is normal. However, your attorney can help you get it back as quickly as possible.
Number four: If convicted
If convicted, the court will likely order you to pay a fine and possibly spend more time in jail. There is a possibility of avoiding lockup in favor of probation, in some cases. A judge may also request you to attend and complete a court-sponsored rehabilitation program. When the court restores one’s driving privileges, it might require the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
When arrested on a DUI charge, it is easy to feel that you have no options and that a conviction is certain. This is not true. You do have options, and a conviction may be avoidable. With the right representation at your side, you can put forth a defense that will best benefit your circumstances.