Law Office of Paul W. Hamilton

How Long Will Driving Privileges Be Suspended In The Event Of A Refusal?

Typically, one is subject to at least a one-year hard suspension for refusal to take a chemical test. If it’s your second, third or fourth offense, it can be much longer; but if it’s your first DUI and you refuse the chemical test, it’s a hard suspension for at least 12 months. You will not be eligible for any type of limited driving permit.

How Is The Administrative Suspension Different From The Suspension Following A DUI Conviction?

There are different thresholds of proof for an administrative license suspension. That level of proof is probable cause, and that’s not as great as the standard in criminal court, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. An administrative suspension usually begins prior to one imposed from a criminal conviction.

Can Someone Request An Administrative Hearing If They’ve Already Been Suspended By The DMV?

You have 30 days to request a hearing. After thirty days’ lapse, in most cases, you will not be granted the opportunity for a hearing. The only way that someone can get a hearing is if they can prove to the court that they didn’t get proper notice that their license was going to be suspended. That’s generally a heavy burden. In most cases, there is no flexibility if you miss your deadline for requesting an administrative license suspension hearing, and you have to request that hearing by having it postmarked within 30 days of your arrest, along with a hearing fee of $150. In our office, we also fax those and follow them up by mail, and we send the requests by certified mail to ensure proper receipt.

Am I Likely To Have A Court Appearance In The First Month Following A DUI Arrest?

This depends on the court. Some courts move quickly in setting up the first court date, which is generally referred to as the arraignment. An arraignment is where you present your plea of guilty or not guilty and is typically done within 30 to 60 days. However, in some state and superior courts, the timeline could be a lot longer than that. So it just depends on the type of court.

How Often Should Someone Meet With Their Attorney To Discuss A DUI Case Within The First 30 Days?

Generally, in the first 30 days, when you hire an attorney, the attorney will be seeking information about your case. After the initial consultation, you may not meet with your attorney for three to four weeks. What the attorney is doing, after you’ve hired him, is requesting all the pertinent information, such as dash-cam and/or body-cam video, along with reports and other documents. Moreover, your attorney may even request the officer’s law enforcement training records, as well as all employment records to review whether he’s ever had complaints made against him. It takes a little while to do the necessary investigation of the case, and it’s difficult for the attorney to start giving a more definitive potential outcome of the case prior to looking at all of that information. So, if you don’t hear a lot from your attorney in the first 30 days, the reason is because he or she is getting everything they need to prepare your case for trial and to possibly make a case for why your charge should be reduced or dismissed.

Does Anyone Have To Meet With A Pre-Trial Probation Officer Within The First 30 Days Of A DUI Arrest?

This is very rare for DUI cases in Georgia. Generally, if you are arrested for a DUI, you will be given the opportunity to post either a cash or a property bond or use a bondsman for a misdemeanor charge, such as a DUI.

Do You Recommend Voluntary Counseling Or Rehab For Your DUI Clients Prior To Trial?

This can help if it’s your second or greater offense for DUI. We really don’t recommend it for an individual that received a first DUI, unless they acknowledge a problem with alcohol. Anybody that is on their second or greater DUI or acknowledges that they have a problem with drinking or other substance abuse would be strongly urged to go into some type of treatment program. You can also go to DUI School prior to your court date.

What Is The Best Advice You Would Give To A DUI Client For The First 30 Days Following A DUI Arrest?

The first thing is don’t panic but don’t stick your head in the sand and ignore it either. It’s something that is unfortunate, but it’s also something that you are going to have to deal with by being proactive, seeking counsel and getting someone to get you through the maze of a DUI case. Finding someone that you trust and are comfortable with, who is going to handle your case appropriately, has experience in handling DUI cases, who knows the people who are involved, the judges, the prosecutors and the probation officials, can be very beneficial too. In some cases, going ahead and doing some proactive counseling or proactive DUI School is also advisable. If you have a problem with drinking or substance abuse, going ahead and being proactive can certainly set you up for success instead of greater failure that might come down the road.

For more information on Suspension Of Driving Privileges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (229) 207-0850 today.

Paul W. Hamilton, Esq.

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