The Burnett Firm
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Affordable & Dependable DUI Defense in Atlanta

Frequently Asked Questions About DUI's


What happens to my driving record if I plead or am found guilty of a DUI?
In Georgia, a DUI stays on your record for life. Following a conviction, your car insurance company will usually increase your insurance premiums, refuse to renew your policy, or cancel your insurance.

Is there an advantage to a nolo plea?
A nolo plea is neither an admission of guilt nor an insistence of innocence. It means you do not contest a charge. The benefit of a nolo plea is to avoid an admission of liability in a civil suit stemming from an accident arising out of a DUI arrest.

In all other respects a nolo plea has the same effect on your driving history as a guilty plea or verdict, and it counts as a DUI conviction.

Will the court know about an out-of-state DUI?
The prosecution may not know about convictions from other states. They typically follow up on anything that comes up when they search your arrest record.

Can I lose my license if I live in another state?
Georgia can only suspend your privilege to drive in Georgia. Georgia will notify your home state of that suspension. Typically you can expect to be contacted by the state that issued your license and to be required to take steps to remain licensed that would occur if you had the DUI in that state

How do I get my license back and/or drive while my case is pending?
The officer usually takes the license of anyone arrested for DUI. You can drive on your tickets, on your 30 day permit hearing/notice, and/or obtain a Georgia ID card. But other options may be available to you.

What if I wasn't read my Miranda Rights?
Statements you make prior to arrest may be used against you. Anything you say after you are arrested, but before you are advised of your Miranda Rights ("anything you say may be used against you"), cannot be used at trial.

Because DUI prosecutions rely primarily on other forms of evidence: driving, appearance and behavior, field sobriety tests, and alcohol test results, the prosecution will almost always go to trial despite being unable to use statements that are suppressed because of Miranda rights issues.

Can I get a permit if I am convicted or plead guilty?
A limited driving permit is available to Georgia licensees who plead or are convicted of a first DUI. The permit lasts for 120 days, after which your license can be reinstated.

If my out-of-state license is suspended at the time of my arrest can I get a Georgia driver's license?
If you now reside in Georgia but have an out-of-state license that is suspended or revoked, you must get a clearance letter from the state that issued your license before you can obtain a Georgia license.

What is a habitual violator?
If one is convicted of three serious driving offenses within a five year period (including DUI, Hit and Run, and Attempt to Elude) they become a Habitual Violator. A habitual violator's license is suspended for five years. A limited permit is available after two years with an ignition interlock driving permit for the first six months and a probationary license for the last two and a half years.

While a Habitual Violator, driving without a permit or probationary license is a felony that can result in up to five years in prison.

How long will I lose my license?
Following a plea or conviction of a first DUI in 5 years, your license will be suspended for 120 days. If you have a license and you do not turn in at the time of your plea you will not receive credit for not having driven and will have go without a license for another 120 day period of suspension.

What is the "10 day" letter?
If you refused to submit to a test, the state will automatically suspend your privilege to drive for one year.

If you tested 0.08 or higher (.04 if operating a commercial vehicle, or .02 if under age 21), your license will be suspended for 30 days.

In either case, the suspension begins automatically 30 days after you were arrested unless you request a hearing within 10 business days of the date of your arrest.

The hearing request letter stops the suspension from taking place until a hearing is held in a civil court.