Georgia has severe consequences for those who are caught driving drunk, and even a first offense for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in a prison sentence. However, that may not necessarily mean you will go to jail for a DUI. Depending on your situation, there may be ways to avoid going to jail for your DUI charge.

What penalties you face for a first DUI conviction

If you receive a DUI conviction for the first time you may face severe penalties. Those penalties include a fine between $300 and $1,000, imprisonment between 10 days and 12 months, at least 20 hours of community service, completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, a clinical evaluation and probation. Georgia’s Department of Driver Services may also suspend your driver’s license.

You may be able to challenge your charge

Depending on your situation, your legal team may be able to get your DUI charges dismissed. For example, your legal team may find evidence that the traffic stop was not valid, that human error impacted the field sobriety tests or that your chemical test results were not accurate.

Additional options

If your charge is not dismissed, you may still have options. If the judge feels it is appropriate, he or she may choose to suspend, stay or probate all but 24 hours of your prison term. In general, this means that the judge may allow you to avoid serving more than 24 hours of your prison sentence as long as you meet the other requirements of your sentence.

The prison sentence and other penalties that often accompany DUI convictions can be severe. This is why it is important to do everything in your power to make sure that you are treated fairly and that you receive best possible outcome in court.