Why You Need a Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer on Your Side
Speak with a trusted DUI Lawyer in Gwinnett County.
An Attorney can be the key to maintaining your driver’s license and your freedom if you are charged with a DUI in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Learn how a reputable attorney can help if you are facing this tough situation.
Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.
Defense attorney Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.
Published on August 28, 2019, last updated on February 20, 2024.
Gwinnett County DUI Attorney
An arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be demanding. Although a person charged with a DUI retains the right to represent their best interest in court, hiring an attorney as soon as possible is crucial.
A conviction will cost you thousands of dollars in fines, surcharges, and increased insurance rates. Furthermore, you will lose your driving privileges and may even have to spend time in jail. An attorney can offer the legal counsel and case management experience required to minimize the potential legal penalties resulting from a DUI charge as much as possible.
At Philip Kim Law, P.C., we know how to fight DUI charges and have a proven record of successfully defending clients in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, and surrounding areas. Read on to learn more about how the attorney at Philip Kim Law can help you if you are facing DUI charges.
DUI Lawyer Gwinnett County Benefits
One of the most valuable attributes a skillful attorney offers is peace of mind to the accused. A criminal defense attorney with a strong background in DUI defense has a detailed understanding of the Gwinnett County justice system needed to manage every step of the legal process.
An experienced Gwinnett County DUI defense can determine the weak points and strengths of the case to determine the most effective approach to gaining ground in a defense.
Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer Philip Kim knows how to fight drunk driving charges. To find weaknesses in the state’s case, he thoroughly examines all case elements, including the stop, field sobriety test, implied consent notice, breath test, arrest, and other evidence.
We handle all types of DUI defense cases, including:
- Second and subsequent offenses
- DUI involving illegal and prescription drugs
- Felony DUI
- DUI assault and manslaughter
- DUI under 21
Contact DUI Lawyers in Lawrenceville, GA
Georgia DUI laws prohibit drunk driving or being in the control of a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit. The legal limit for adult drivers is 0,08%, 0,04% if the driver operates a commercial vehicle, or 0,02% if the individual is under 21. You can’t be under the influence of any drug-controlled substance or have any marijuana or illegal drugs in your blood or urine.
If the Gwinnett County police officers have pulled you over under suspicion of driving under the influence, you may be asked to submit to field sobriety tests. The arresting officer may also ask for a blood test or some other state-administered chemical test, such as a urine test.
Usually, field sobriety tests include following an object with your eyes, standing on one leg, and walking in a straight line. However, since field sobriety tests are not scientific but based on a personal opinion of an arresting officer, most Gwinnett County DUI attorneys will advise you to decline to take them. Also, these tests are not correlated to how much blood alcohol level the driver has.
Declining to submit to a field sobriety test will not result in getting your license suspended, as refusal to submit to a chemical test would.
A first-time DUI charge is a misdemeanor in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The judge can sentence you to up to 12 months in county jail or on Gwinnett County probation in addition to a hefty fine and community service. In addition, the offense will stay on your criminal record for several years. This is why if you have been charged with DUI in Gwinnett County, you must work with skilled lawyers who have an extensive understanding of DUI Law in Georgia.
Research suggests that people who hire an attorney immediately after being arrested for DUI typically accomplish a more effective result. This is because the lawyer has extensive experience in negotiating with the prosecutor.
If the breath test is revealed to be 0.09, and the field sobriety test is inconclusive, the district attorney may be encouraged to decrease the charge of a basic to a lower offense, potentially negligent driving. This charge would carry a sentence far less extreme than a DUI charge, resulting in less severe legal penalties.
What Penalties Could You Be Facing?
After a DUI conviction, a judge will decide about the jail time and the fines. Statutory guidelines determine penalties that can be imposed based on the number of previous DUI convictions. DUI offenders must spend at least 24 hours in jail for a first offense, 72 hours for a second offense, and 15 days for a third offense.
However, for the first DUI offense, you could spend from 10 days up to 12 months in jail, pay up to $1,000, and do community service. For every subsequent offense, the penalty includes more jail time and harsher fines. If drunk driving charges include transporting a minor, the driver can also be charged for child endangerment. This separate offense will add up to 12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines and other DUI penalties.
A driver’s license is suspended for up to 12 months for a first DUI offense and up to three years for a second if these offenses occur within five years. Drivers who get a second conviction within five years must surrender all license plates on vehicles registered to the offender. They will not get them back until their driver’s license is reinstated. The driver faces a permanent driver’s license revocation for a third DUI conviction within five years.
In Georgia, you have 10 days from the date of your arrest to appeal the suspension of your driver’s license. We can act swiftly on your behalf to help you avoid a suspension, apply for a conditional license, or otherwise mitigate the situation.
Our Gwinnett DUI law firm provides full-service defense representation, protecting our clients’ rights in criminal proceedings and administrative issues. Beginning this process immediately after a Gwinnett County police officer arrests you will ensure the best possible outcome so you can secure your rights, freedom, and future with an effective defense.
Through comprehensive legal representation, a skilled attorney offers a range of defense options. Contact a Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer from Philip Kim Law today for effective representation.
Other Consequences of a DUI Conviction
Aside from fines, jail time, and license suspension, a DUI conviction can have other long-lasting effects on your life. These can include:
Higher insurance rates
Difficulty finding employment, especially in jobs that require driving or have a strict criminal background check
Strain on personal relationships and reputation
Loss of professional licenses for certain careers, such as law enforcement or healthcare
To avoid these consequences, it’s crucial to work with skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyers who can help you build a strong defense and potentially reduce or dismiss the charges against you.
Expert Counsel for DUI in Lawrenceville GA
Gwinnett County DUI Defense Strategies
When you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI in Gwinnett County, it’s important to have a skilled attorney to help build a strong defense strategy. Several potential strategies can be used, depending on the specifics of your case.
One common tactic is challenging the results of any field sobriety or breathalyzer tests. These tests are not always accurate and can be influenced by various factors, such as weather or medical conditions. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to identify potential errors in administering or interpreting these tests.
Another strategy is to challenge the legality of the traffic stop itself. If law enforcement did not have a valid reason to pull you over, any evidence collected during the stop could be thrown out. This could weaken the prosecution’s case against you.
Additionally, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain or reduced charges on your behalf. This could result in lower penalties and a less severe criminal record, which can have long-term effects on your personal and professional life.
Finally, it’s important to consider the potential consequences of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety test. While it is your legal right to refuse these tests, certain penalties, such as an automatic driver’s license suspension, may result from doing so. An attorney can help you understand the potential consequences and make an informed decision.
Skilled Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys
Driving under the influence laws do not only cover DUI of alcohol. In Georgia, a person is considered to be driving under the influence of drugs if impaired by any drug, including prescription drugs they use legally.
When it comes to illegal drugs, Georgia has a zero-tolerance policy. A person with any amount of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or another illegal prescription in their system is also guilty of being under the influence of drugs.
Remember, the fact that you have a prescription for OxyContin, Valium, Ambien, Percocet, or any other prescription drugs may not be a defense against DUI drugs. The critical fact is whether or not the drug makes you incapable of driving safely. Nonetheless, there are proven defense strategies we can use on your behalf to defend you against these charges.
Gwinnett County Attorney Philip Kim will explore all viable defense strategies to fight your drug charges, including challenging the validity of the stop, the arrest, blood tests, and other elements of Gwinnett County police department procedure. Evidence could be deemed inadmissible in court if your constitutional rights were violated at any point in the arrest or prosecution.
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First-Time DUI Charges FAQ
After a first DUI arrest, you probably have questions and may be scared about what will happen.
Even as a first-time offender, the consequences for a DUI are severe and will be on your background checks and criminal history. At Philip Kim Law, we know that you are under pressure. We want to answer all your questions whenever you have them, and we are committed to giving you honest, straightforward answers you can use.
Will I Go To Jail?
Whether or not you go to jail for a charge related to a first offense depends on your judge and the case before the court.
For a first-time offender, you may be imprisoned for an entire year. Many DUI cases will be resolved with time served and probation. But, the more severe your case, the more likely you will spend time in jail. An outspoken and skilled defense may make all the difference.
What Will Happen To My License?
In Georgia, you must file for a license suspension appeal within 10 days of your arrest if you refuse chemical testing.
If your license is suspended, it may be subject to suspension for up to a full year. There are some options available for limited licenses or reinstatements in some cases. Based in Lawrenceville, attorney Philip Kim is familiar with these options and can help you regain your independence.
What Kinds Of Fees Will I Be Charged?
The fine for a first-time DUI is between $300 and $1,000 and does not include fees for rehabilitation or any court-mandated courses or substance abuse counseling.
What If I’m Under 21 Years Old?
Your penalties may vary based on age. Juvenile DUI charges can significantly impact a young person’s life, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Please call us with more details about your or your child’s cases.
What Are My Options?
As a first-time DUI offender, you may have a few options. These can include pleading guilty and accepting the consequences, negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution, or fighting the charges in court.
- Pleading Guilty: This option involves admitting guilt and accepting penalties from a DUI conviction. While it may seem the easiest option, it’s essential to speak with a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer before making this decision.
- Pleading Not Guilty: If you believe you are innocent or there is not enough evidence against you, you may plead not guilty and go to trial. In this case, it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney who can defend your case effectively.
- Negotiating a Plea Deal: In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduced sentence or alternative punishment. For this option, having an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate these negotiations is essential.
No matter which option you choose, having a skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Don’t face DUI charges alone. Speak with an attorney by contacting us online or at (678) 203-8558.
Questions about DUI in Gwinnett County?
Gwinnett County Drivers License Suspension
Imagine this: Your partner is at work. You’ve got a call from your children saying they have missed the bus. You can’t go pick them up because your license is suspended. You scramble to find alternative ways to get them home but cannot help being frustrated. In this area, you need a car to get around, and you just don’t have the mobility you need to live your life.
Will you lose your license after a DUI? Punishment is increasingly severe in these cases, so the answer is usually yes.
In Georgia, including Gwinnett County, a law enforcement officer can petition the Department of Driver Services to suspend your driver’s license if they place you under arrest, read Georgia implied consent notice. You either refuse to submit to the requested sample of your blood, breath, or urine, say nothing, or present a sample that is positive for alcohol at a level over 0.08, or show the presence of drugs. They must then issue a DS-1205 form to you, stating the reason for the license suspension and informing you of your legal right to appeal the suspension.
This form also serves as a 45-day temporary permit. Within those 45 days, you will have two options: request a hearing or apply for an ignition interlock device limited license through the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If you do nothing, your Georgia driver’s license will be suspended at the end of the 45 days. When your license is suspended, your driving privilege is temporarily withheld for a specific period.
Help with License Suspension in Gwinnett County
Gwinnett County DUI Court
In cases following an arrest, you may be required to attend Gwinnett County DUI Court in Georgia, a three-phase intervention program that lasts a minimum of 12 months.
Each phase of the program encompasses educational and vocational components along with substance abuse treatment, all with judicial oversight, providing intervention, and serving as an alternative to incarceration.
The goal of this court is to provide participants with a solid foundation upon which to build to become more productive members of the community. This program is challenging and must never be participated in without first looking at every choice in your case.
What Happens After Gwinnett DUI Arrests
During plea bargaining in some DUI cases in Gwinnett County, the possibility of the court might be discussed if you have numerous offenses relating to drugs and/or alcohol and you reside in the state or county where the charges come from. The Court system can not require you to enter a Court program. It is instead something that you consent to, and it is a treatment strategy that you remain in following your conviction as a probation term.
Many DUI courts in Georgia are set up into a series of stages, with the first being the most rigorous. After that, court participants are gradually moved until they reach a graduation date around one year into the program.
The first stage of this court often consists of weekly appearances in court, drug/alcohol screening, and counseling on both a group and private level. Usually, individuals are made to sign a Fourth Amendment waiver granting Court workers access to their homes and property at all times. If any drugs or alcohol are discovered, that is an infraction, often followed by an immediate arrest.
It’s important to note that the DUI Court Program in Georgia is highly intensive and is not the right choice for everybody. If you fail to do what you are instructed, you may face consequences varying from extra community service to jail time.
Consult Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers
One of the DUI court program’s benefits is that it provides a treatment choice for repeat transgressors that can be utilized instead of a lengthy jail sentence. The problem, however, is that these programs are challenging and have little room for versatility. If you travel for work or live in a roommate situation, it is almost impossible to adhere to the program’s strict requirements effectively.
You should never decide to sign up with the Georgia DUI court unless you have hired an attorney to examine all possible options and a defense strategy. Contact our Gwinnett DUI lawyer today to assess whether this court is the right option.
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How is the DDS Gwinnett Involved in DUIs?
If you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia, you may need to attend a Gwinnett County DUI school, formally called the DUI, Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program. This school is an intervention program legally required for people convicted of a DUI and is regulated by the Department of Driver Services (DDS).
Gwinnett County DDS
Although the threat of having to attend the school following a conviction may not sound too bad, there are many reasons to hire a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer to help fight these charges and organize your defense.
Regardless of whether you attend a rehabilitation or risk reduction program, a DUI conviction will stay on your criminal record for up to 10 years, possibly impacting your ability to obtain a job, find a place to live, or attend an educational institution. You will also likely lose your driving privileges until you complete the education course, which can significantly impact your freedom.
Whether this is your first or third charge, the Gwinnett County DUI attorney at Philip Kim Law has the experience and knowledge to represent you in court and fight for your legal rights. Most Gwinnett County DUI cases are heard in Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court. However, since this court doesn’t conduct jury trials, your DUI case may end up being transferred to the Gwinnett County State Court.
After a DUI arrest, your case will begin in a Municipal Court or the Gwinnett Recorder’s Court. A Gwinnett County DUI case will usually require several court appearances. Not understanding or knowing court procedures can affect the outcome of your DUI case.
If you request a jury trial, the Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office will be responsible for prosecuting your case. However, saving your right to a jury trial may sometimes be the best option if your DUI attorney can’t negotiate an acceptable resolution.
A Gwinnett County DUI prosecutor will not tell defendants which options would be best for their DUI cases, so having skilled Gwinnett County DUI attorneys in their corner is crucial.
DUI defense attorneys at Philip Kim Law know the players and the processes at the Gwinnett County Courts in Georgia, so you won’t go through your legal fight and defense alone.
Trusted Georgia DUI Defense
Gwinnett County DUI School
A legal benefit of DUI school is that it can help you regain full driving privileges. Under Georgia Law, drivers charged with DUI must attend a Risk Reduction Program to be eligible for driver’s license reinstatement.
DUI School Lawrenceville Course Types
The DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction program consists of two components: an intervention component and an assessment component, both of which must be completed successfully for the offender to obtain a certificate of completion. The total cost of the course is set by law at $355.
The type of course you attend may vary based on the number of DUI offenses. Most first-time offenders in Georgia must take a standard 20-hour DUI education class. In contrast, most second-time offenders, in addition to first-time offenders with aggravating circumstances, may need to complete a level 2 DUI education class. Those classified as habitual offenders may need to complete a level 3 DUI education class.
DUI Schools in Lawrenceville GA
If you are looking for a DUI school in Lawrenceville or elsewhere in Gwinnett County, Gwinnett DUI attorney at Philip Kim Law suggests contacting one of the certified DUI schools listed here.
With effective representation, your DUI charge may not result in a conviction. Even if the Gwinnett County police claim to have a strong case against you, there are proven defense strategies a skilled lawyer can use on your behalf. To learn how a Gwinnett County DUI attorney in Georgia can help you, please get in touch with us online or by telephone at (678) 203-8558 to schedule a free consultation.