In addition to your court fees, DUI fines, DUI school tuition, license reinstatement fees, towing charges, probation fees, the cost of missing school and work to attend court and jail, and the price of an ignition interlock device, you will have to pay legal fees. Do not expect a good DUI lawyer to be cheap. A good lawyer with experience in DUI law has a much better chance to get your charges reduced or even thrown out than a lawyer who doesn't know DUI law and tells you to just plead guilty.
There is one more cost you need to plan on after a DUI conviction: new car insurance rates. After a DUI, insurance rates skyrocket.
DUI & College
If you are a high school senior who has already been accepted by a college when you get a DUI, consider yourself lucky; colleges usually won't worry about a student's DUI charge or conviction unless he or she is actually enrolled. Likewise, a high school DUI shouldn't affect your chance of getting into college, and may even make a compelling application essay. Many colleges ask for criminal history, so it's likely they will know. If you are arrested right before you start college, you may be required to tell your school. Things change radically once you are in college or even just on campus.
DUI & Work
Most employers do background checks, and a DUI conviction will certainly show up there. Take heart; while the DUI never completely falls off your record, it does become less important over time. Most employers, for instance, only check three years of your driving record. Having said that, many employers will ask point blank if you have ever been convicted of a DUI. And you will have to answer "yes" if you have a DUI conviction.
DUI & the Military
Federal law requires you to disclose any incidents that resulted in arrest or in charges being filed when you enlist. It does not matter how old you were when the incident happened, and it does not matter if your record has been sealed or expunged as far as the military is concerned. Sealed and expunged information only holds for civilians. One DUI arrest or conviction will not affect your ability to enlist. Two or more convictions for DWI/DUI requires a waiver in order to enlist. If one or both of the DUIs are recent, you must wait one year from the date of conviction before you can receive a waiver.
Legal penalties of a DUI conviction as a minor in Georgia
Legal punishments and consequences upon DUI conviction:
* Fines: $300.00 - $1,000.00
o plus $100-500 in mandatory surcharges
o plus $30-50 per month probation supervision fee
* Jail: 24 hours minimum if blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.08 %. As of 1997, judges must sentence first offenders registering 0.08% or above to at least 24 hours in jail. This jail time is mandatory, and most judges will not permit "weekend-only reporting" or other alternatives. The mandatory portion may not be probated, suspended or deferred. Those under 21 are, however, kept with other minors and away from adults.
* Community Service: 20 hours mandatory minimum, more depending on BAC.
* DUI School: Level I Risk Reduction program
* License Suspension: the Department of Driver Services will suspend the driver's licenses of all first offenders for 6 months to one year, regardless of whether the offender pleads guilty or nolo contendere.
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