What Happens If Someone Refuses A Breath Or Blood Test?
If your refuse to submit to a test, then you are deemed a “refusal.” In court, the fact that you refused has historically been allowed to be considered by the judge or the jury, though a recent case has thrown into doubt, now, whether the jury gets to know that you refused to submit to a test. The second component of being a “refusal” is that under Georgia law your driving privileges within the state are, normally, automatically suspended for one year for refusing.
What Factors Will Enhance Or Aggravate A DUI Charge?
That’s a good question. A lot of people like to ask attorneys what they should do if they ever find themselves in a situation where they have been pulled over for a DUI. Well, my first advice, obviously, is never put yourself in a situation where that can happen. Always have a designated driver or use a taxi, Uber or the like. As explained above, one drink is enough to get you a DUI in this state.
But, more to the point, obvious factors that aggravate or make a DUI worse are if there was an accident or someone was hurt as a result. Another would be if you have been arrested or convicted of a DUI in the past. Legally, the law provides for a ten-year look back period in determining whether a DUI is a second, third or the like. Practically, prosecutors will look at your record and if they see you had an arrest in the past, even if it did not result in a conviction that will make them want to pursue your case and charges harder.
You should always be polite and professional to the officers on the scene and at the station. Do not argue or be obnoxious – this will make the officer all that more determined to make a good hard case against you. And most of the time prosecutors will not work with you or your attorney in resolving a case if the officer is not willing to go along with it.
What Are The Penalties For A First Time DUI/DWI, 2nd, 3rd, Etc.?
In determining what number offense it is, the law looks at the last ten years, as measured from the arrest in question looking backwards to the date or dates of previous arrests for which convictions (or pleas of nolo contendere) were obtained.
For a 1st time DUI, you are looking at 10 days – 12 months imprisonment (all but one day of which the judge can suspend or probate), a fine of $300-$1,000, 40 hours of community service, and completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Course.
For a 2nd DUI within ten years, you are looking at 90 days – 12 months of jail (all but three days of which the judge can suspend or probate), a fine of $600-$1,000, 30 days of community service, completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Course, and undergoing a substance abuse clinical evaluation and treatment.
For a 3rd DUI within ten years, you are looking at 120 days – 12 months of jail (all but fifteen days of which the judge can suspend or probate), a fine of $1,000-$5,000, 30 days of community service, completion of a DUI Risk Reduction Course, and undergoing a substance abuse clinical evaluation and treatment.
Those are the criminal implications of a DUI. You also need to consider the administrative implications of a DUI. If you are convicted of a DUI, your Georgia license (or privileges to drive in Georgia if you have an out-of-state license) are suspended for a year. But, depending upon what specific offense you were convicted of, what number DUI this is, and whether or not your license was also suspended in a separate administrative proceeding, you can apply for a limited driving permit to get to and from work, and you can apply for full reinstatement of your privileges after satisfying certain requirements.
Administrative Suspension of License: As mentioned, oft times when you are arrested for a DUI, the officer will issue a separate form known as a Notice of Intent to Suspend, where the state is notifying you that they intend to suspend your Georgia license or driving privileges for driving under the influence. If you get one of these notices, or if the officer takes and keeps your license, you need to act immediately. If you do not request a hearing and pay the hearing fee with your request within 30 days of the arrest, you automatically lose your driving privileges. If you request a hearing, then you will be notified of a hearing date. At this administrative hearing, all the state has to do is prove by a preponderance of the evidence, more likely than not, or 51%, that you were DUI, in order to suspend you license. At a criminal trial they have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, but at an administrative hearing only by a preponderance. Again, it is important to remember that this separate and apart from the criminal charges and proceeding. It’s like you have two case going on at once.
For more information on Breath Or Blood Test Refusal, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (912) 662-5555 today.
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