Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Georgia, and a conviction can have severe consequences. When a DUI results in a felony charge, the penalties become even more severe. In this post, we’ll take a look at the penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Georgia.
What is a Felony DUI in Georgia?
A felony DUI in Georgia is a DUI that results in serious injury or death to another person. This includes accidents involving cars, motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians. A DUI can also be charged as a felony if it is a person’s fourth or subsequent DUI offense within ten years.
Penalties for Felony DUI Convictions in Georgia
The penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Georgia are severe and can have a long-lasting impact on a person’s life. Here are some of the penalties that a person can face if convicted of a felony DUI in Georgia:
- Jail Time: A person convicted of a felony DUI in Georgia can face a mandatory minimum of one year in jail, with a maximum sentence of up to 15 years.
- Fines: The fines for a felony DUI conviction in Georgia can be substantial, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
- Probation: In addition to jail time and fines, a person convicted of a felony DUI in Georgia may also be sentenced to probation. Probation can last up to 10 years, and the convicted person will be required to follow certain conditions, such as attending alcohol treatment programs or avoiding further legal trouble.
- License Suspension: A person convicted of a felony DUI in Georgia will have their driver’s license suspended for a minimum of five years, and up to ten years in some cases.
- Ignition Interlock Device: A convicted person may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle, which requires them to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the car.
- Community Service: A person convicted of a felony DUI in Georgia may also be required to perform community service, such as picking up litter on the side of the road or participating in a substance abuse program.
- Felony Record: A felony DUI conviction will result in a permanent felony record, which can have negative consequences on a person’s ability to find employment, obtain loans, or obtain housing.
A felony DUI conviction in Georgia can have serious consequences, including jail time, fines, probation, license suspension, the installation of an ignition interlock device, community service, and a permanent felony record. If you have been charged with a felony DUI in Georgia, it’s important to seek the help of an experienced DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal process and defend your rights.
Defenses for Felony DUI Charges in Georgia
If you are facing a felony DUI charge in Georgia, there are several defenses that your attorney may be able to use to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. Here are some of the most common defenses used in felony DUI cases:
- Lack of Probable Cause: In order for a police officer to pull you over and arrest you for DUI, they must have probable cause. If the officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over or arrest you, your attorney may be able to argue that the charges should be dismissed.
- Invalid Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests are often used as evidence in DUI cases, but they are not always reliable. If the tests were administered incorrectly or under inappropriate conditions, your attorney may be able to argue that the results are invalid.
- Faulty Breathalyzer Test: Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC), but they are not always accurate. If there was a problem with the breathalyzer test, such as improper calibration or maintenance, your attorney may be able to argue that the results should be thrown out.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux or diabetes, can produce false positives on breathalyzer tests. If you have a medical condition that could have affected the results of the test, your attorney may be able to argue that the charges should be dismissed.
- Improper Handling of Blood Test: If a blood test was administered, there are strict protocols that must be followed to ensure the accuracy of the results. If the blood sample was mishandled or improperly stored, your attorney may be able to argue that the results should be thrown out.
If you are facing felony DUI charges in Georgia, it’s important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can help you understand your rights, evaluate your case, and determine the best defense strategy to protect your rights and interests. With the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to reduce or dismiss the charges against you and avoid the serious consequences of a felony DUI conviction.
The penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Georgia can be severe and long-lasting. If you are facing felony DUI charges in Georgia, it’s essential to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can defend your rights and interests. The Willis Law Firm is a team of experienced DUI defense attorneys who can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to navigate the complexities of the legal system and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Here are some of the ways in which the Willis Law Firm can help you with the penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Georgia:
- Case Evaluation: The Willis Law Firm can evaluate your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your legal options. We can explain the penalties you are facing and help you understand your rights and defenses.
- Defense Strategy: Based on the facts of your case, the Willis Law Firm can develop a defense strategy tailored to your unique situation. We can help you explore all available legal options, such as negotiating a plea bargain or taking your case to trial.
- Negotiation: The Willis Law Firm can negotiate with the prosecution to try to reduce the charges or penalties against you. We can work to reach a plea agreement that minimizes the consequences of your charges.
- Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, the Willis Law Firm can provide you with skilled representation in court. We can present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
- Appellate Representation: If you are convicted, the Willis Law Firm can provide appellate representation to help you challenge the conviction or sentence. We can represent you in court and argue on your behalf to help you achieve a favorable outcome.
The Willis Law Firm can provide you with the legal guidance and representation you need to navigate the penalties for a felony DUI conviction in Georgia. With our help, you may be able to reduce or dismiss the charges against you, minimize the consequences of your charges, and protect your rights and interests.