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Does a first DUI offense always cost someone their license?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | DUI |

Those who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Georgia often feel incredibly anxious about how the outcome of their case will affect their future. It is a common practice for people to catastrophize their situation. They read about the worst thing that has happened to someone facing similar charges and assume that they will inevitably face the same poor outcome.

For example, people may worry about how losing their driver’s license after a DUI arrest could affect their finances, their families and their careers.

There is a mandatory penalty, but there are options

In theory, every first-time DUI in Georgia will result in someone losing their driving privileges for a year. However, not everyone with a DUI offense on their record will go a full 12 months without driving. People can file special paperwork with the courts for limited driving privileges after completing 120 days of their license suspension.

Attending DUI alcohol school and paying necessary fees can potentially help someone get their license back in a quarter of the time established as the minimum suspension for first-time offenders. While losing one’s license for even 120 days can be a concerning hardship, most adults in Georgia who have the right guidance while in court can potentially qualify for reinstatement.

In fact, the offense does not even need to be someone’s first-ever DUI for them to minimize their suspension. It simply needs to be their first DUI from within the last five years.

A conviction isn’t always a given

People frequently plead guilty to charges that they could potentially defeat if they were to go to court. Rather than risking the loss of one’s license and other frustrating and potentially expensive penalties, drivers accused of an impaired driving offense may benefit from working with a lawyer to mount a defense in criminal court and preserve their reputation and their driving privileges.

While it is true that the Georgia criminal courts do treat DUI charges as serious offenses, this reality doesn’t automatically mean that someone will necessarily have to endure long-term, life-altering consequences over a single mistake, especially when they do not have a prior criminal record.

Learning more about Georgia’s approach to DUI charges with the assistance of an experienced legal professional can benefit those who have been recently arrested and are worried about the future.