*New July 1, 2017 UPDATE* (With Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit Information) (IIDLP)
Chances are, if you were recently arrested for DUI, your license was confiscated and you were given a 1205 form that notifies you of the officer's intent to suspend your Georgia driver's license. Don't panic: there are steps to take to ensure you can keep your license from being suspended, and our attorneys handle these steps on a daily basis.
Step 1: File the proper appeal letter, or determine if you will opt for an Ignition Interlock Device Limited Permit (IIDLP) instead. Beginning July 1, 2017, Georgia DUI drivers will have a choice to make: (a) appeal your license suspension through the administrative law system, or (b) install an ignition interlock device for 12 months and obtain a limited driving permit.
If we opt to fight the suspension through a hearing, we must file an appeal with the Georgia DDS within 30 days of being arrested. This appeal simply lays out the fact that you do want a hearing, and then the burden shifts to the DDS to schedule the hearing. The cop who arrested you will be present at the hearing.
Step 2: Once a hearing is scheduled, there will be 3 main scenarios that play out to determine your license's fate.
First, if the cop simply fails to appear for the hearing, the action by DDS will usually be rescinded and you win by default. In this scenario, you can go get a new license after the hearing, and do not have to worry about any further administrative suspension.
Second, we can have a hearing against the officer and try to convince the administrative judge that the officer did not have reasonable grounds to arrest you for DUI, or some other procedure was not properly followed, and the license suspension should be thrown out. The biggest thing to remember about these hearings is they are not criminal trials, and so the burden is not very high for the cop. There is a big difference between "reasonable grounds" and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. With that said, there are many reasons we may have this hearing, and we will discuss all scenarios with you in advance.
Third, we can cut an agreement with the arresting officer that saves your license, but also commits you to resolve your DUI case in a certain way. Whether it's a plea to DUI, or if the cop agrees to withdraw your license hearing for a plea to a lesser charge, these agreements are accepted by the judges as a way to resolve the case without a hearing. This option makes the most sense if you absolutely must keep your license in tact. Of course, we will negotiate for the best set of options no matter the circumstances.
Remember, this administrative license suspension is only one of the two actions you are facing on your license. Technically, if you enter a plea to a DUI, or are later found guilty, you face a suspension at that time as well.
If instead of fighting a suspension through the administrative law system, we opt for an interlock device permit, there are steps we will walk you through to get that device installed quickly and keep driving.
Both of our lawyers have handled hundreds of DUI cases, including license suspension issues. Give us a call today to discuss your specific case if you've been arrested for DUI and had your license seized. We are available 24/7.