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DUI Penalties

DUI Penalties in Marietta

What is the sentence for drunk driving in Marietta?

Most of the people who come to meet with me at Stahlman Law P.C. after an arrest for driving under the influence are not hardened criminals. They are people who have, for the most part, never been involved in the criminal justice system, and who are frightened or overwhelmed by the situation. One of the first questions my clients typically ask is, "What penalties am I facing?" Of course, you are hiring me as your Marietta criminal defense attorney in hopes of beating the charges, but you naturally want to know what type of sentence you could receive if convicted. Here is a general overview of the penalties available for a DUI conviction:

First Time DUI Offense

A first DUI conviction is punishable by fines ranging from $300 to $1,000, along with additional surcharges. You can also be sentenced to serve between 10 days and 12 months in jail, although all but 24 hours of the jail sentence may be suspended in favor of a sentence to serve probation. You can additionally be ordered to perform a minimum of 40 hours of community service and to complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. Furthermore, your driver's license can be suspended for a full year, with the possibility of reinstatement after 120 days and completion of the risk reduction course.

Second DUI Offense

For a repeat drunk driving offense, the minimum fine is doubled to $600, with a maximum of $1,000. The jail term is increased to a minimum of 90 days, of which 72 hours are mandatory even if you are permitted to serve probation. You can be ordered to perform 30 days of community service, as well as to submit to a clinical evaluation for substance abuse treatment. Your driver's license can be suspended for 3 years, with the possibility of reinstatement after 12 months and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle.

The IID will be hardwired into your vehicle's ignition system, and will require you to provide an alcohol free breath sample before starting your car and at random intervals while driving. The state may also confiscate your license plates and prohibit you from getting new ones until you obtain a limited driving permit or full reinstatement of your driving privileges. Finally, you will be ordered to pay for the expense of publishing your photo, name and address, along with details about your arrest, in the local newspaper.

Third DUI Offense

The penalties for a third DUI conviction are significantly higher, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. You can be sentenced to serve between 120 days and 12 months in jail, of which 15 days are ineligible for suspension. In addition to similar penalties for a second conviction, you can also be punished with a 5-years driver's license revocation, with the possibility of obtaining an IID license after 2 years have elapsed.

Fourth DUI Offense

In the event that you are arrested for a fourth DUI offense, you can be charged with a felony and potentially sentenced to spend between 1 and 5 years in prison, to serve a minimum of 60 days community service. Having a felony conviction on your criminal record can pose a major barrier in your career, as you may find it difficult or impossible to find suitable employment or to obtain a promotion.

Find Out What Penalties You Face

The information provided above outlines the various penalties you could receive if convicted of DUI. Various factors, however, may influence the sentence in your own case, such as the amount of time that has elapsed since your previous conviction or the approach that a certain prosecutor takes to DUI cases

To learn more about the sentence you might receive and begin working on a strategy for your case, contact my office now for an initial consultation.

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