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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Will I Go To Jail For A DUI?

Will I Go To Jail For A DUI?


In Georgia, you can be arrested for DUI if you have a blood alcohol level of .08 (or .04 if driving on a commercial license). You can be arrested after taking a field sobriety test, a breathalyzer test, or based on circumstantial evidence and probable cause. For many, being arrested for DUI can be an overwhelming and scary experience, and it can be hard to know what comes next.

Will I Go to Jail?

After being placed under arrest, you will be brought to a jail for booking, likely in the same county in which you were arrested. How long you will spend in jail before being released depends on the capabilities of the facility. For instance, the City of Atlanta jail is equipped to handle a high volume of arrests, and can usually process and release someone arrested for DUI within the span of four to six hours. However, at less high-volume facilities, like the jail in Dekalb county, you may spend closer to an average of ten hours in jail before being released. Note that this time in jail is separate from any jail time that can be ordered by a judge. However, your judge can reduce your time sentenced by the amount of time you were in jail following your arrest.

Minimum Sentences

All DUI offenders will be placed on probation for a year. However, before you can begin probation, you will have to spend a certain amount of time in jail. For a first offense, you are required to spend a minimum of 24 hours in jail, a second offense requires a minimum of 72 hours, and a third offense requires a minimum of 15 days in jail. As noted above, these minimum sentences can be reduced by the amount of time you spent in jail following your arrest. Additionally, even these “requirements” are not without exception. O.C.G.A. § 17-10-3 stipulates that any portion of a day served in jail can be counted as serving a full day (or 24 hours) of the sentence. While the court ultimately has discretion to determine how much time must be served prior to probation, the court of appeals has found that “24 hours” is not a literal requirement and time spent in jail following an arrest can be considered to satisfy this requirement. Further, a trial court may not deny a defendant’s request to waive jail time and a rigid application of a mechanical sentencing formula has been found as amounting to a denial.

Consult with a DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced DeKalb County DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The faster that you are able to retain an attorney, the more likely they will be to improve the outcome of your case and avoid or minimize jail time. Serving Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, and all of Georgia, Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers are ready to fight for you. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

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