Often, the first question someone has after a DUI arrest is, "how do I get my license back??" Additionally, keeping your license and dealing with the upcoming DUI suspension are things that must be covered. In Georgia, you are facing two types of suspensions for a DUI arrest: the implied consent suspension and the criminal DUI suspension.
1. The Implied Consent Suspension
In Georgia, implied consent laws require that you take a breath or blood test, at the officer's choice, after a DUI arrest. The law actually gives you the right to refuse testing, though the license implications are more severe. After arrest, the arresting officer should have read to you an orange card that contains your implied consent rights. Do not confuse this with being read Miranda, as you probably were not given Miranda warning and did not need them after your arrest.
If you agree to take whatever test the cop wants, blood or breath, and test over the legal limit, then the cop probably took your driver's license and gave you a notice of suspension from DDS. This form contains the fine print that discusses your rights to drive after a DUI, as well as how to file an appeal.
The "10 day letter" is really an appeal letter under implied consent that ensures you have a hearing before any license suspension can take place. Our lawyers will cover every element of the appeal process and driver's license hearing with you during your case. The key is to make sure you do not wait until this initial appeal window has passed. If you let this go, DDS will automatically suspend your license, leaving you with no way to obtain your license until the suspension period lapses.
2. The Criminal DUI Suspension
Under Georgia DUI laws, if you plead Guilty (or No Contest) to DUI, your license is automatically suspended. The length of suspension and whether you will receive a limited driving permit depends on your history. If it is a first DUI, you should be eligible for a limited permit, assuming you do not have an implied consent suspension still active.
If you have had prior DUIs, your license suspension period will be longer, and could require you to complete alcohol abuse counseling, use an ignition interlock device, and pay steeper reinstatement fees before getting your license back. Of course, we would cover these points with you before any plea is entered, so you are not going into a plea blind of what will happen to your license.
We Fight DUI Cases and Have a Strategy to Keep Your License
If you have been arrested for DUI in or around Metro Atlanta or Forsyth County, give us a call today to discuss your case. We have handled hundreds of DUI license suspension hearings as well as DUI criminal cases. We are happy to meet with you at no-cost to discuss your next steps. We can be reached directly at (770) 676-1340.