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Can You Get Arrested For Your First DUI?

hands and keys with alcohol drinks in background signifying drunk driving

The State of Georgia

When you get that ‘one’ phone call allowed by someone arrested for DUI, bail bond help is usually the reason they’re calling. States all across this country are getting more diligent every year on DUIs, including here in Georgia. 

Each state has different descriptions and limitations of what is considered a DUI. Here in Georgia, what is a DUI charge? There are two examples of how a driver in this state could find themselves arrested and needs to post a DUI bail bond. The two situations that can lead to this moment are:

  • DUI:  A person can be found violating the Georgia DUI law if it is proven they have been consuming alcohol, drugs, or a combination, and driving in an unsafe manner. The law enforcement officer will perform field sobriety tests and if the driver fails, they will be arrested, and taken to a hospital for a blood draw. The BAC (blood alcohol content) will be checked and in Georgia, a BAC of less than 0.08 can get a driver arrested. 
  • DUI “Per Se”: The same scenario can cause an officer to pull a vehicle over, perform field sobriety tests, arrest, and a blood draw at a hospital. The difference is if the BAC comes back with a BAC of 0.08% or higher.

What happens when you get pulled over for DUI for the first time?

The DUI laws are complicated, different from state to state, and constantly changing. It is those changes that can affect the outcome of the first-time DUI or subsequent DUI arrest. Hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney is the best way to get the best outcome. 

After the arrest and posting the DUI bail bond to get released, upon court date, the potential outcome can be any or all of the following: 

  • 1 year of probation
  • A $300 minimum fine, court costs, and surcharges
  • One to ten days in jail
  • Community service for a minimum of 40 hours
  • Alcohol or drug abuse counseling
  • Attendance of DUI School, Madd Mothers Victim Impact Panel
  • Suspended Driver’s License

Will I get arrested after my first DUI, how likely is it that you get arrested for your first DUI?

Yes, a person that is pulled over for suspicion of DUI will be arrested in the state of Georgia if they fail the field sobriety tests conducted by the attending law enforcement officer.  If they pass the testing, the officer still has the option of arresting the person and taking them to a hospital for BAC testing.  Even with a BAC of less than .08%, the person could still be arrested, required to post a DUI bail bond, and appear before the courts. 

handcuffs, keys with alcohol drinks in background signifying DUI

What are the consequences of your first DUI?

The state of Georgia doesn’t take DUI possibilities lightly. The courts can impose the following criminal penalties for a first DUI arrest that include.:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Public service
  • Suspension driver’s license

There are personal consequences that any person released on DUI bail can expect that include: 

  • Loss of employment
  • Financial strain
  • Loss of family and friends
  • Loss of community reputation

How likely is jail time for your first DUI?

If a driver fails the sobriety tests administered by the law enforcement officer and has a BAC under.08%, the DUI laws in Georgia will lead to arrests. For persons under the age of 21 years, there is a zero-tolerance law. A person under 21 years of age with a BAC of 0.02% and up will be arrested, their Driver’s License Revoked, six months minimum jail time, and court fines and fees. 

Will you lose your license for your first DUI?

In the state of Georgia, a first DUI conviction, the driver will have their driver’s license confiscated by the court. It is then surrendered to the Department of Driver Services office. 

Can DUI charges be dropped for your first offense?

The new laws in place in 2022 in Georgia are stricter. A first-time DUI arrest with a DUI bail bond posted has a good chance of their DUI charges being dropped. A repeat DUI offender with a 2nd DUI arrest could have their charges dropped, most likely changed to reckless driving. 

Can your first DUI be dismissed?

For anyone with a DUI arrest, first, second, or subsequent DUI charges, it is best to have an experienced attorney to represent the defendant. With an experienced DUI defense attorney handling the arrest after posting your DUI bail bond, it is possible to have a first-time DUI charge dropped. 

In Conclusion

The best way to prevent a DUI arrest and DUI bail bond need is to not drink and drive. A person that chooses to drink should find a ride home, either from a family member, a friend, or call a service like a taxi, Uber, or other type services. 

Double "O" Bonding helps with a DUI bail bondin Jefferson, GA. Call 706-353-6467 to get started.

What Happens When You Get a DUI?

a leather-bound legal book titled DUI LAW

Dealing With a DUI

In Georgia, can you get arrested for a DUI? Yes, and like the rest of the country, the state of Georgia has taken a strong stand against driving under the influence, of alcohol or drugs. With that decision comes higher DUI bail amounts set by presiding judges, and stiffer penalties if found guilty. 

What is considered a DUI?

And is drunk driving a crime? Yes, in Georgia, drunk driving is a crime and dangerous.  DUI – Driving Under the Influence in George encompasses both alcohol and drugs. A driver that tests for .08 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or more, receives an automatic DUI charge. 

Georgia considers all cases involving a DUI to be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. Even with a first-time offense, the accused faces the possible risk of a permanent criminal record. However, more than 90% of all DUI arrests in the state are filed as a misdemeanor with the DUI bail amount in line with the offense. 

Still, even for a first-time offense risk, there is the unknown and still face the possibilities of negative consequences with employment and other aspects of the future. Even if released on a misdemeanor DUI bail bond posting, there is still a criminal record established. 

There are two elements that can have you arrested for DUI; bail posting will be decided by the judge after reviewing all matters.  The elements are: 

  • One: You do not have to be driving the vehicle. You can be parked with the motor off, but if the keys are in the ignition and you’re behind the wheel, you are considered DUI because you have “Physical Control” of the vehicle. 
  • Two: As the driver, if you are under the influence of drugs or intoxicated by alcohol consumption, the prosecution will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were DUI at the time of your arrest, even if the judge allows DUI bail to be posted for release.

Is a DUI a felony?

The state of Georgia, in general, considers most DUI convictions as a misdemeanor. Equate the penalties to that of a moving violation or causing a minor accident. However, there are situations where a DUI arrest can be upgraded to a felony charge, and the DUI bail may be denied by the judge.  Those situations include: 

A FOURTH DUI CONVICTION

As of July 1, 2008, the state of Georgia deemed a fourth DUI conviction to be tried as a felony. The DUI bail, if allowed, will be considerably higher and the penalties are harsher with possible DUI bail denied: 

  • Minimum fine of $1,000 to a maximum $5,000
  • Minimum imprisonment 1 year to a maximum of 5 years
  • Minimum of  sixty days of community service, suspended if the sentencing is for a minimum of 3 years prison time
  • Probation for a minimum of five years 
  • Required DUI Alcohol or Drug Use program within four months of conviction
  • Clinical evaluation
  • Required completion of a substance abuse treatment program if clinical evaluation deems needed

Anyone that causes injury or death while DUI in the state of Georgia will face the following punishments with felony charge that results in the following: 

  • Victim’s deprived of any part of their body
  • Victim’s body is rendered useless
  • Victim’s body or body part is seriously disfigured 
  • Victim suffers organic brain damage

A person convicted of a DUI that results in another person’s death will be sentenced to a minimum of 3 years to a maximum of 15 years in prison. If a person convicted of a DUI result in another person suffering a severe injury, punishment can range from a minimum of 1 year to a maximum of 15 years of prison sentencing. 

How long can you go to jail for a DUI?

There are significant consequences when charged with DUI in the Peach State. IF DUI bail is allowed and has been posted, the consequences include:

First DUI Conviction: Minimum fine of $300 and twenty-four hours in jail. Other possible consequences can include:

  • 40 hours of community service
  • 12 months of probation
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Courses
  • Substance abuse evaluation
  • Maximum fine of $1,000, maximum 1 year in jail, or both fine and jail time. 

Second DUI within a 10-year period: 

  • Minimum is seventy-two hours in jail, $600.00 fine, 10 days community service, 1-year probation, required DUI School, and substance abuse evaluation. 
  • Maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 1 year in jail. 

Third DUI and beyond within 10 years:

  • Aggravated misdemeanor charge with a minimum fifteen days in jail, minimum $1,000 fine, 10 days community service, required DUI school, 1 year probation, required substance abuse evaluation, and any additional orders by the judge. 
  • The maximum penalty includes 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

How much does a DUI Bail cost? 

The range of DUI Bail in Georgia is between $150 and $2,500 with the bail bond typically 10% of the bail amount. A DUI bail amount will vary on several factors including the defendant’s previous criminal history, surrounding facts of the arrest, and the defendant’s community standing. 

How do DUI bail bonds work? 

Once a judge sets the DUI bail amount, the defendant can post the full amount with the court. Other options are to call a criminal defense attorney or have somebody post bail with a bail bond agency or agent. Once the defendant has completed all required court-ordered mandates and the court date has been completed, the bail amount posted is refunded minus any fees. 

car keys, a glass of alcohol, and handcuffs sitting together on a table

In Closing 

A common question from first-time DUI offenders is, “Can DUI charges get dropped?”, and the answer is maybe. You’ll need to hire an experienced lawyer. What types of lawyers work on DUI cases? You want one that has criminal experience for DUI charges with positive results. 

They will review the case, your background, and community standing then file for dismissal. The prosecution will have a say in the matter and your defense lawyer needs to be able to show reasonable doubt on the arrest and the surrounding situation. 

How serious is a probation violation?

close-up of an individual wearing an ankle bracelet

What is probation?

In Georgia, the purpose of probation isn’t just to relieve the expense of feeding and housing another prisoner. It isn’t to relieve the stress of overcrowding in the jail system either, although both are key factors. Probation is an alternative to incarceration and allows the defendant to remain at home with family and the community. But when the defendant has a probation violation, the probation violation bail after the arrest can be higher than the original bail, and they find themselves behind bars again. 

What happens when you’re on probation?

When a defendant receives probation in Georgia, it is allowing them to satisfy their jail sentence without being in custody, aka, incarcerated. A judge will determine the terms of your probation, but the conditions will typically include one, a mixture of, or all the following:  

  • Do not violate any laws.
  • Avoid alcoholic intoxication and narcotic habits as well as other non-prescription drugs.
  • Avoid disreputable persons or places.
  • Report to the probation officer as directed.
  • Allow probation officers home or job visits. 
  • Maintain suitable employment.
  • Advise court if you move or leave the city, county, state, or country.

Other conditions that can be required for probation are: 

  • Attend alcohol/drug awareness courses.
  • Attend and complete defensive driving school.
  • Attend a MADD, (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Victim Impact Panel.
  • Submit to substance abuse evaluation, aka blood, hair, or other samples, and follow any recommended treatment.
  • Undergo evaluation for anger management, deviant behavior, sexual deviancy and/or counseling for other special needs. 
  • Pay all fines and/or any restitution as directed by the courts or probation officer.
  • Perform required community service hours.
  • Pay monthly probation fees.
  • Do not consume or use any alcohol or drugs without a prescription.
  • Submit to random alcohol and drug tests at your expense as directed by the judge or probation officer.

If a defendant misses any or all the restrictions imposed upon them by the judge or probation officer, it is considered a probation violation, bail may or may not be offered by the judge. 

What is a probation violation?

Probation is preferable to doing time behind bars, and there is some flexibility that incarceration doesn’t have. The requirements and rules are spelled out at sentencing and again with the first parole officer meeting. 

The probation order of requirements is those we listed above with the offender’s conduct being the key factor to obeying those requirements. When the common terms and conditions are avoided, disobeyed, or missed, it is a probation violation. Bail may or may not be allowed by the judge based on the original crime and if a crime was committed as part of the violation. 

Is probation violation a new charge?

Yes, it is a separate charge and there may be a probation violation bail issued by the judge, or they may determine the defendant should not be released before their original hearing.

What happens if you violate probation?

An arrest warrant is issued by the presiding judge. You will be placed in jail to await your hearing for probation violation and the original probation may be revoked. If the probation is revoked, you’ll be returned to jail to await trial for your original offense. 

Any success in getting a probation violation bail is slim, but an experienced criminal defense attorney will know how to get a bond for the violation of probation and can present your case in court. 

A “technical probation violation” is more likely to be granted another bail release. A violation of probation based on a new arrest” however indicates you were committing another crime and chances of getting released on new probation aren’t likely.

Does a probation violation go on your record?

In most cases, yes. With the assistance, guidance, and knowledge of an experienced criminal defense attorney, they can petition the court to have it removed or the records sealed.  This is typical for a first time offender, but a repeat offender, the petition will likely be rejected. 

Can you get a lawyer for a probation violation?

Absolutely – it is recommended that if you don’t have a criminal defense attorney already, and you have committed a probation violation, bail can be posted by the attorney or a bail bond agent. It is always recommended anytime criminal charges are involved, to hire an attorney for representation. 

Can you be bailed out of jail for a probation violation?

It will depend on the cause of the probation violation; bail may not be granted by the judge. A technical violation will have a good chance of getting bailed out again. However, you will still have two trials to attend, one for the original crime and the second for the probation violation. 

individual in handcuffs signing documents next to a police officer

In Closing- Can you violate probation and not go to jail? 

Yes, if the probation violation is a technical violation, which are minor issues like missing an appointment, you will not necessarily face jail time. This is a decision the probation officer makes whether they feel they need to notify the judge and recommend further action.

What happens if you get charged with disorderly conduct?

close-up of a man's hands in handcuffs

Understanding Your Charges

Sometimes, people gather for a sports game or some type of celebration, and things get a little out of hand. Or maybe there is a domestic dispute that gets out of hand. In either case, somebody is arrested, leaving family and friends getting funds together for disorderly conduct bail money. 

Getting a Lawyer for Disorderly Conduct Charges

When a person is arrested and needs disorderly conduct bail, they may question, “Should I get a lawyer for disorderly conduct?” And the answer is yes. Having legal representation is always recommended in a criminal defense situation. 

In the State of Georgia, disorderly conduct definition is broadly defined, as are many other crimes. In Georgia, the law defines disorderly conduct as a tumultuous or violent act committed towards another person(s), causing them to fear the person exhibiting disorderly conduct. This can include any obscene language being used in the presence of a child 14 years old or younger, or any language that could incite violence.

This makes a wrongful conviction a strong possibility, which supports the fact that having legal protection and representation is a must. With a criminal defense lawyer on your side, the disorderly conduct bail set by the judge could be negotiated down, requiring a lower amount of disorderly conduct bail.

What kind of crime is disorderly conduct?

The purpose of disorderly conduct laws is to protect the general public, not for the local or state to collect disorderly conduct bail monies. Disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace are both considered to be acts that can cause or create alarm or anger in other persons. An arrest requiring disorderly conduct bail may include any behaviors that can lead to potential illegal acts being conducted.

The following are examples of commonly disorderly conduct charges:

  • Abusive and/or obscene language
  • Excessive loud noises in public places
  • Physical attack on person or persons
  • Traffic obstruction

How bad is a disorderly conduct charge?

A disorderly conduct arrest is often considered to be a catchall arrest that law enforcement uses when they are being confronted by a person(s) they feel is a threat to the general public. Many that have been arrested and had to pay disorderly conduct bail believe this charge is used to “teach a lesson” or be made an example to others. Many defense lawyers claim that law enforcement uses it when they are irritated, and this is an arrest grounds that shouldn’t exist. 

In Georgia, a disorderly conduct charge is classified as a misdemeanor offense. A judge sentence of 1 year maximum jail time with a $1,000 fine. This is at the judge’s discretion. They may also choose to sentence a defendant to probation instead of time behind bars along with the fine and community service. In some cases, depending on the surrounding situation of the arrest, they may order the defendant to attend an alcohol awareness class. This all takes place after the judge has set a bond and the defendant is still required to post a disorderly conduct bail to be released originally. 

Is disorderly conduct considered a violent crime?

Disorderly conduct is classified as a misdemeanor or an infraction of the law. However, law enforcement officers will utilize this law to maintain a peaceful protest and keep things from getting out of hand and turning violent.

Will disorderly conduct affect employment?

It could, depending on the employer and the position you hold within the company. While disorderly conduct is classified as a misdemeanor and a relatively minor crime, it will still be a permanent mark on your criminal record. With that, it could show on a background check for any potential employer or landlord. 

What happens when you go to court for disorderly conduct?

After being arrested on disorderly conduct charges and posting disorderly conduct bail, you will be given a court date to appear before the judge. At that time, the judge will read the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea.

At this time, if you have hired a defense attorney, they will enter the plea for you, and if they plead not guilty, they will be required to present the facts in your favor. Because a disorderly conduct charge is often subjective, your lawyer has a strong possibility of proving your innocence. With all the information from you, they will be able to create a defense that could get the charges dropped, or perhaps probation in lieu of time served. 

protester with a mask covering her face

At The End of Your Court Date – Can disorderly conduct charges be dropped?

Because the disorderly conduct law is a very subjective crime, it can often be beaten by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. With a well-informed defense lawyer, meaning the defendant must tell them everything about the situation where the disorderly conduct arrest happened, they are often shown the charges are based on vague grounds. Thus the charges are dropped. 

Why Theft is a Crime

thief breaking into a car

Can you go to jail for theft?

For the average person, the statement of, “why theft is a crime”, seems – well, dumb, right? Theft is a crime because it is wrong. But what is considered theft? Any crime where a person takes something that belongs to another without the rightful owner’s permission is a form of theft

Yes, though it will depend on what was taken and the value. In the State of Georgia, theft can be categorized as a felony or a misdemeanor. Theft of property with a value of $500 or less is a misdemeanor. The penalty for a misdemeanor theft is a maximum jail time of one year and a maximum fine of $1,000.

What are the different types of theft?

Theft is rooted in the earliest records of civilization, making it one of the oldest crimes in history. As times have changed and evolved, so has theft. We have gone from stealing a chicken to stealing cars to identity theft. In general, the severity of the theft is related to the dollar value of the property. 

The severity of the punishment in Georgia or any state is based on the value of the allegedly stolen material, prior convictions of the accused, and other factors. A general look over the different types of theft identified in the State of Georgia’s statute is as follows: 

  • Theft by Deception: When a person commits theft by deception, they have deceitfully obtained property with the intention of denying the owner of the stolen property. 
  • Theft by Shoplifting: A shoplifting offense is when a person or persons take merchandise for their own use without paying for the merchandise, depriving the rightful owner possession of the property. 

Is theft a felony?

Theft is a felony when the property involved is worth $500 or more. It is the judge’s discretion to determine the theft as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. If the judge decides it is a felony, the punishment issued can be one to ten years prison time. Other particular circumstances that make the theft a felony in the state of Georgia include:

  • Employee theft of government or bank property. A guilty verdict can be punished with a fine and prison time of  one to fifteen years.
  • Theft of cemetery or gravesite decoration. A guilty verdict can be punished by prison time of one to three years.
  • Theft of a motor vehicle or parts valued at $1,000 or more can be punished with up to ten years in prison if found guilty. 

What are the degrees of theft?

Shoplifting and theft offenses can add up quickly to felony penalties in Georgia. An offense resulting in one-year incarceration is considered a misdemeanor. A punishment of more than one year could become a felony with a fine of $100,000. The state penalizes the majority of theft offenses by the type of theft and the value of the property or service. There are separate penalties for extortion and shoplifting.

Misdemeanor Theft

Property or service valued at a max of $1,500 or less is punishable by up to 1 year of jail time and a fine of $1,000. After 6 months of the sentence is served, the offender may be allowed at the judge’s discretion to complete the sentence on weekends or non-working hours.

With two or more previous theft convictions, the misdemeanor penalty is bumped to a felony wobbler. With this, the judge can decide to impose a 1-year jail sentence as a misdemeanor or a felony with a 1 to a 5-year prison term. 

Wobbler Offenses: Felony or Misdemeanor Theft

Property or service theft of over $1,500 but under $5,000 will carry a prison term of 1 to 5 years. Property or service value over $5,000 and under $25,000 is punishable with a 1 to 10 years prison term.  A wobbler offense means the judge can decide to skip the felony penalty and give the defendant a misdemeanor penalty.

Felony Theft

Felony penalties are handed down for the following theft offenses:  

  • Theft of property or service with a value of  $25,000 or more may be sentenced to incarceration of 2 to 20 years
  • Theft of property containing a breach of a fiduciary agreement may be sentenced to incarceration of 1 to 15 years
  • Theft by a government or financial institution employee involving a breach of duties is punishable by incarceration of 1 to 15 years
  • Theft by deception of any property valued over $500 from a person of 65 year old or older is punishable by 5 to 10 years’ incarceration
  • Theft of anhydrous ammonia in any amount is punishable by 1 to 10 years of incarceration
  • Theft of an explosive, firearm or any destructive device is punishable by incarceration of 1 to 10 years with a 5-year minimum if it is a 2nd or subsequent conviction
  • Theft of a gravesite or memorial is punishable by 1 to 3 years of incarceration.
  • Theft by extortion or threats will carry a penalty with the sentencing of 1 to 10 years prison time. Theft of trade secrets is a misdemeanor up to a $100 value. Over $100 it becomes a felony charge with a punishment of 1 to 5 years of incarceration.

Recidivist Enhancement

Harsh penalties are imposed for repeat felony convictions with the 2nd or a subsequent felony conviction, the maximum sentence will be mandated. In a 4th or subsequent offense, the offender becomes ineligible for parole

What is theft without intent?

In the State of Georgia, theft requires that the person accused of theft has intent to deprive the original owner of their property. The burden is on the prosecution to prove this was the intention. An experienced defense attorney will be able to review and build navigation to disprove the prosecution. 

Theft vs larceny – what is the difference? 

Broadly speaking, “theft” is an umbrella term that many types of stealing are placed under, from identity theft to intellectual theft, and more.  In Georgia, larceny is typically a reference to theft by taking. This means that larceny is physically taking property that belongs to another person. 

burglar breaking into a glass door

In Closing 

One other type of theft that is all too common is the theft of services.  What is theft for services? This crime is when you have received a service and didn’t pay the bill. An example would be skipping out a restaurant tab. If you need help with bail for theft, you can reach out to our team by calling at 706-353-6467.

What are the two types of arrests?

Woman in a pink hoodie handcuffed and being escorted by two officers.

What You Should Know About Arrests

The arrest procedure is scary for most. Unfortunately, it is too common an occurrence. However, when is an arrest not mandatory? An arrest procedure is typically made by a person of authority, like law enforcement. An arrest can take place because there is a warrant for a person’s arrest, or certain circumstances give law enforcement incentive to start an arrest procedure. 

It is important for a person going through an arrest procedure to be mindful of what they say during the process. As the Miranda Rights state, “anything that you say can and will be used in a court of law”. Remaining calm and keeping a polite attitude are key during the arrest procedure. 

What is the arrest procedure?

An arrest procedure begins when a law enforcement officer uses their legal authority to restrict a suspect’s freedom. The arresting officer must have probable cause for the arrest process to begin, or else have an arrest warrant issued by a judge. 

There is also a citizen’s arrest procedure in the State of Georgia. This arrest procedure was established over 150 years ago with the goal of providing the citizens of Georgia greater protection when communication methods and travel distances inhibited law enforcement from being present. 

Law-abiding citizens were allowed to intercede and arrest or detain a suspect until they could be presented to the courts and justice served. While this law is still valid in Georgia, there have been many changes over the years. The laws for a citizen arrest procedure are under scrutiny and the proponents of citizen arrest are defended vigorously. 

What is an arrest and when does it occur?

The arrest procedure occurs is protected by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and occurs when law enforcement officers take a person suspected of a crime into custody. Once that suspect is unable to walk away freely from that arresting officer, they are under arrest and advised that this is the case at that time. 

An arrest procedure is only supported by the 4th Amendment when law enforcement has probable cause, meaning they have reason to believe a crime has been committed by the suspect. The courts and legislatures have picked up from where many believe the Fourth Amendment stops and have developed further rules including when and why an arrest procedure can take place. 

What do they say when they arrest you?

Any law enforcement starting the arrest procedure and detaining a subject must provide the individual their “Miranda Rights” before they can begin any questioning. The Miranda Rights are provided to inform the person being arrested of their constitutional rights and contains the following information and statements, though not in any particular order or specific verbiage. The goal is to convey an individual’s rights in a clear and understandable manner: Information conveyed to individuals includes:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be used in a court of law.
  • You have the right to an attorney during questioning.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. 

What happens when you are under arrest?

Being arrested can be confusing and intimidating, which is why you want to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can walk you through the entire arrest up to the sentencing process and follow up to ensure your rights have been upheld and honored. 

The arrest process will follow these steps: 

  • The Booking. After your arrest, you are taken into custody. You’ll then be fingerprinted and photographed at the police station. At this time, the police have the right to hold you waiting on bail or release you with the understanding you’ll be required to appear for your court hearing.
  • The Arraignment. At this time, you will be instructed to enter a plea before a judge. The guidance of a defense attorney is valuable before you get to this point. Your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest can be a factor in how the rest of your arrest procedure turns out. 
  • The Plea Bargaining: Plea bargaining is typical and allows the defendant to have the charges against them dropped or reduced. Again, having a defense attorney is helpful at this point. 
  • The Trial and Sentencing: If a plea bargain isn’t reached, the case will proceed to the trial phase. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge then issues sentencing.

Is resisting arrest a misdemeanor or felony?

In the State of Georgia, resisting an arrest procedure by a law enforcement officer knowingly and willfully is a misdemeanor and punishable by a year in county jail. This is in addition to any charges made due to the original arrest. 

Woman wearing an orange jumpsuit sitting in a prison cell.

In Closing – Is an arrest without a warrant legal? 

There are numerous laws that regulate the arrest procedure, and there are numerous laws regulating search and seizure. The purpose of these laws is to ensure everyone is treated fairly in any situation with an arrest procedure. An arrest is usually made by authorized law enforcement and may take place with or without a warrant. A warrant provides documentation giving law enforcement the right to arrest a specific individual. However, do note that an arrest procedure can still take place without a warrant if the arresting officer has the aforementioned probable cause. If you need legal help with an arrest procedure in Jefferson, GA, contact Double "O" Bonding by calling 706-353-6467

Is a Felony or a Misdemeanor Worse?

misdemeanor arrest

Felony vs Misdemeanor

Neither felony and misdemeanor arrests are not good, but in Georgia, or any state, when comparing felonies vs misdemeanors, a felony charge is worse than a misdemeanor charge. Felony and misdemeanor charges both stay on your record, both can affect your employment, but the felony has more repercussions. How is a felony different from a misdemeanor? 

The law in Georgia law has established two classes of misdemeanors. Each misdemeanor has a specific range of penalties. The state law also assigns penalties based on crime-by-crime for felonies. These are what makes it challenging for the average common person to identify the potential penalties they may be faced when they are convicted of felony or misdemeanor charges. 

The following is a brief  outline of the statutory penalties the state of Georgia has established for misdemeanors and standard misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature. 

1. Misdemeanor Penalties 

Twelve months is the dividing line between a felony and misdemeanor. A felony can carry  a punishment of  over a year, even multiple years, in the state penitentiary. All misdemeanors can face a punishment up to 12 months in jail.

  • Penalties for Standard Misdemeanors – Up to 1 year in jail or diversion center with a $1,000 fine with possible probation and a suspended sentence. 
  • Penalties for High and Aggravated Misdemeanors – Up to 1 year in jail with a $5,000 fine with possible probation and a suspended sentence.

The difference between a standard misdemeanor and a high and aggravated misdemeanor is based on a criminal history of repeat offenders and other circumstances. Those other circumstances can include battery against a family member, senior, or expectant mother and aggressive driving. 

2. Felony Sentences Examples 

A felony penalty can  be sentenced to one year in prison or a death penalty and various other levels in between. Examples of these possible penalties: 

  • Aggravated assault – One to twenty years prison time, a minimum sentences of 3 to 5 years when assault is against the elderly or peace officers.
  • Aggravated battery – One to twenty years prison time, including a fine, a minimum sentences of 3 to 5 years when assault is against the elderly or peace officers.
  • Marijuana possession –  for personal use of over 1 ounce or the possession with intent to distribute in an amount of ten pounds or less could face one to ten years prison time with a $5,000 fine.
  • Rape – Minimum of 25 years in prison followed by life probation, death, or life.
  • Robbery – One to twenty years prison time with 5 year minimum sentence for offense against a person of 65 years old or older. 

What is the lowest misdemeanor?

The standard misdemeanor charges are the lowest of all charges in Georgia. Crimes that face a standard misdemeanor charge are the act of battery against a family member, senior, or expectant mother and aggressive driving. These are punished by the following: 

  • a $1,000 fine minimum
  • up to 1 year in county jail
  • a fine and time behind bars, or
  • up to 1 year in a state diversion center.

Minority crimes can include various degrees of the following:

  • Assault and battery.
  • Disorderly conduct.
  • Drug charges.
  • DUI.
  • Perjury.
  • Probation violations.
  • Reckless and careless driving.
  • Weapons charges.

How many misdemeanors is a felony?

Because of the severity differences of felony and misdemeanor, there isn’t a set number of misdemeanors to change into a felony. To upgrade from a misdemeanor to felony is determined by either the surrounding circumstances of the arrest and the arrested person’s criminal history. 

What happens if a felon gets a misdemeanor?

When a person is arrested on a misdemeanor and they have prior felony conviction, punishment will be the judge’s discretion. Factors that are considered is the surrounding circumstances of the misdemeanor arrest, the felony history, and other factors of the arrested person. 

What are the 7 felonies?

 In 1995, the state of Georgia pass a law referred to as the “Seven Deadly Sins” law. The punishment for the list of crimes that follows was a first felony minimum 10 years prison time and no parole and a second felony punished by life in prison with no parole. Among those felonies, the top 7 that can be faced with these punishments are: 

  • Assault.
  • Arson.
  • Drug Crimes.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Prostitution Promotion.
  • Rape and Sexual Assault. 
  • Theft.
arrest

Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor?

Yes, in some cases, felony charges can be reduced to a misdemeanor charge with any of these situations: 

  • Plea bargain.
  • Mistake by arresting officer.
  • Mistake with investigation.
  • Good behavior during probation.

So, with the information in this article, the question of “Is a misdemeanor better than a felony?” is yes, but only by a slim 12 month incarceration. As soon as a person is arrested of felony and misdemeanor charges, the first thing they need to do is hire a criminal defense attorney. If the crime is specifically alcohol or drug related, a criminal defense attorney that specializes in those crimes. Call 706-353-6467 today for felony bail assistance in Jefferson, GA.

What is the Legal Definition of Assault and Battery?

two men about to fight

What is an example of assault?

A disagreement or verbal argument between two people can quickly turn into a physical fight, one person hitting or punching the other. Then a bigger fight ensues, and before you know it, somebody is getting arrested for assault, or assault and aggravated assault. Off to jail that person goes, sometimes all parties involved are arrested and taken to jail. 

Now, what may have been nothing more than a disagreement about something insignificant has turned into a legal mess. A legal mess that is going cost everyone money, and possibly their job and reputation.  Was that assault worth what they’re about to go through? 

Every state has their own definition of assault, but one thing for certain, any definition of assault is a form of violence. The basic, main definitions of assault are: 

Assault as physical connection: This when assault is defined as a person having the intention of using force or violence against another person. This may be physically punching a person or striking a person with an object. Some states consider assault and battery as one crime. Under this definition, “attempted assault” is the act of one person intending to physically harm another person but didn’t follow through. One example of attempted assault would be one person swung their fist at another and missed. 

Assault as an attempt to physically harm: There are other states that physical contact doesn’t have to be made for assault charges to be filed. The definition of assault is the attempt to execute a physical attack. This can include threatening actions that creates fear of violence in the intended person. If that person’s attempt is successful in these states, the charges turn into to battery. Under this methodology, “attempted assault” isn’t the crime because the assault itself was the attempt.

A verbal threat typically doesn’t constitute an assault in this methodology and an action of a fist raised or an abrupt move toward the other person is required to constitute a charge of assault. 

What is the legal definition of assault and battery?

In the state of Georgia, the difference between assault and battery have varying degrees for both, breaking down into category of aggravated or simple. The basic definition of each are: 

  • Assault: Attempted harm or the threat of harming another person.
  • Battery: Actually having physical contact with potential harming a person.

Which is worse battery or assault?

In the state of Georgia, there are five categories under the assault and battery crime: 

  • Simple Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Simple Battery
  • Battery
  • Aggravated battery

The punishment for these charges are: 

Simple Assault Charges

In Georgia, Simple Assault is a misdemeanor and is describe as one person trying to physically injure another person. This can be attempting to hit a person by hand or with an object and missed. Simple Assault is also defined as the act of intention or threat by one person to another, creating a fear of impending violence. Example would be the threat to beating up or knocking another person out with an angry or menacing manner. 

Simple Battery and Battery Charge

A Simple Battery charges is a misdemeanor. This is actual physical contact like hitting a person an object or punching them with a fist or shoving another person intentionally not accidently or in a jokingly manner among friends where no specific intentions were made to injure. 

Simple Assault, Simple Battery and Battery as Aggravated Misdemeanor Charge

In the state of Georgia, a Simple Assault, Simple Battery and Battery are each a misdemeanor.  There are specific cases where these crimes can be an aggravated misdemeanor charge with severe penalties. Any assault or battery on specific victims are charged as an aggravated misdemeanor. Those specific victims include, but not limited to:

  • Family member.
  • Intimate partner.
  • Anyone 65 years of age and older.
  • Public school employee carrying through their duties.

Other aggravated misdemeanors include assault or battery in a public transit station or vehicle, in or on public school property, including school buses, bus stops, battery against a law enforcement officer, or against a pregnant woman.

Is pushing someone assault? 

Yes, in the state of Georgia assault charges are possible when a person has tried to cause physical injury to someone, like striking them with their hand or an object but missed. Or a person used their fist to hit another person or pushed a person during an argument. 

Is yelling at someone assault?

In general, the state of Georgia does not constitute yelling at a person as an assault. Example, yelling, “I’ll shoot you!”, but there isn’t a gun within the area, is not an assault charge. If a weapon is present, then assault charges would be validated. 

Are assault charges a felony?

In Georgia, an aggravated assault is one that includes the intent to murder, rape, or rob a person will be charged as a felony.

For charges of assault, how many years in jail?

In the state of Georgia, an aggravated assault charge is punishable by a prison sentence of one year up to twenty years.

arrested after assault and battery

Can assault be expunged?

The state of Georgia, expunging a criminal charge is a possibility for some offenses, like a first-time drug charge. However, an assault conviction cannot be expunged, restricted, or sealed from a  criminal record, even if the person has received an official pardon. Call 706-353-6467 today for assault and battery bail in Jefferson, GA.

How do I locate a person in jail?

person arrested

How long does processing take in jail?

Maybe the only thing worse than being arrested and placed in jail is being on the other side of that situation.  You know somebody is jail, but you can’t locate them. What is the process to find an inmate and is it different between city jail and county jail? What do you have to go through to find an inmate in prison? Are there different ways to approach each of these situations?  Keep reading and with answers we’ll provide commonly asked questions, we’ll find out. 

First, we need to realize that there is a period of time from when somebody is arrested and booked, to when it is public knowledge where you can find an inmate. That leads us to the first question: 

Once a person is arrested, there is a complex protocol that takes place, referred to as “being processed”.  This can make the time of trying to find an inmate difficult. Until the booking process is completed, there is no record of a person being arrested.  

  • During the booking process, the arrested person’s personal identification and other pertinent information is entered into the jail’s computer system. The person is fingerprinted and has a mugshot taken, all entered into the jail’s system records. A check for any outstanding warrant is ran as well. 
  • The time before an arrested person will be presented before the judge for arraignment can vary. The arraignment is where the bond is set by the judge. The average if they were arrested without a warrant is 48 hours.  A person arrested on a warrant can take up to 72 hours. Between the booking process and the arraignment process, it may be possible to find an inmate by calling the jail, but chances are it will not be available on an internet search until bail has been set. 
  • Once the booking process and arraignment completed, the person is given an opportunity to make one phone call. This can be to a family member, friend, or an attorney. The purpose of that call is to allow the incarcerated to have a bail bondsman contacted that will get them released until their court date. The person is then placed in a cell where they will remain until bail is posted or a judge releases them. 

In some cases, like a DUI arrest, the bail is sometimes automatically set. The defendant is advised their bond amount while being booked.  They are then placed in a holding cell after making their one phone call. 

How do I find out why someone was in jail?

In the state of Georgia, there is a website designed for family and friends to find where an inmate is located. You will need the person’s first and last names, gender, race, and age range in order to find an inmate. You can also choose the most recent institution the person has been incarcerated. This will tell you when they were booked, their bail amount, and the offense they are accused. 

Other ways to find an inmate for free is calling the city, county, or state jail where you believe they may be located. You can also enlist the help of a bail bondsman to find an inmate, but they may charge a small fee. They can also offer to bail the person out once they have learned the bail amount, this will require you to put the bail amount up and sign the contract taking responsibility for the person once they are released. 

How do I find out the release date of an inmate?

The same website where you can find an inmate will provide any tentative dates set for release. You can also find when a previous convicted person was released on this website, or a phone call to the city, county, or state jail will give you this same information. 

What does it mean when you can’t find an inmate?

 After making a thorough search on the state data base, calling city, county, and state jails, if you can’t find an inmate through inmate search, this could mean one of two things:

  1. They are in a federal prison which will require different search methods.
  2. The institution they are being held is not linked to the state database or hasn’t updated their information. 
behind bars

Can a person bond themselves out of jail?

There are twenty crimes in the state of Georgia that do not have any constitutional right to bail. These bail restricted offenses include aggravated sexual battery, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and rape.  , 

For less serious offenses, bail is set by the judge and if the offender is over the age of 18 and has the funds on them to pay their full bond, the judge may release them immediately, although in jail time “immediately” can still be several hours for processing. 

Once arrested, it is advised the person arrested makes their one phone call to a criminal attorney or instruct the person they do call to contact a criminal attorney.  There are many levels and processes in the court of law that the ordinary citizen won’t know.  The experience of an attorney will give you a benefit that you wouldn’t have otherwise. In need of bail in Jefferson, GA? Call 706-353-6467 today!

What are 3 ways you can avoid a DUI?

man deciding between driving or not

What is the best way to avoid getting charged with a DUI?

DUI is not something that anybody should want, and you certainly don’t want your insurance company to know about it. DUI = Driving Under Influence of either alcohol or drugs. A DUI means you were drinking, or have behavior affecting drugs, in your system and chose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive. At the point you’re a pulled over law enforcement is an indicator you shouldn’t have made that decision. 

Now, you’re faced with DUI charges which can bring about a lot of other issues. You’re going to have a criminal record. You’re going to be out a lot of money, you could possibly lose your job, (which won’t help with the money you’re going to need.), and a possibility of so much more negative things are on the horizon.

The first thing that may come to mind would be “Don’t drive and drink”, but there are other things that we’ll share with you on how to avoid getting arrested for DUI or DWI. Either of these will be devastating to your life as you know it today. Not only are you going to have a criminal record and could lose your job and your reputation, among other things, you put other’s lives at risk. Here are ten tips on ways to avoid getting charged with a DUI. 

  1. A Designated Driver: If you’re planning on drinking, predetermine a designated driver. This is a person with a valid driver’s license and will not be drinking alcohol.  The designated driver should have the address of every person in the group that will be drinking along with their emergency contact information.
  2. Take Public Transportation: What if you can’t or don’t have a designated driver? Do your drinking where the is public transportation. Take a bus, cap, taxi, or train. During holidays, there are organizations that offer free pick up service when people are going to be out drinking. As the bartender to help you arrange transportation, some will offer this service in order to help people from irresponsible driving and getting a DUI or DWI.  
  3. Stay in a Hotel: Some holidays or special events, like New Year’s Eve, when you know that you’re going to be drinking and partying, book a hotel room ahead of time. Sleep it off and have a free continental breakfast the next morning. 
  4. Take Their Keys: If you’re in the presence of somebody that is heavily drinking, take their car keys. If you’re the one drinking, before you get too intoxicated, hand your key’s over to somebody that won’t let you drive. 
  5. Alternate Drinks: A responsible party host will have non-alcoholic beverages to offer their guest. If you’re the host, in addition to alcoholic beverages, have coffee, fruit juice, sodas, teas, and water to offer. When a party is winding down, start offering the guests other beverages to help combat the alcohol they consumed. This can help them avoid a DUI or DWI.
  6. Food: Another thing that responsible hosts will have available is plenty of food. This doesn’t have to be a sit-down meal, but plenty of finger sandwiches and other snack foods. When we eat while drinking, the food will absorb some of the alcohol consumed and can often be what keeps a person from getting a DUI when they leave. 
  7. Cut the Alcohol Off  Early:  Sometimes being the responsible host isn’t the fun host. This means as the night starts ending, remove the keg and put the alcohol away.  By doing this, you can be sure that your guests have had some time to sober up before they attempt to drive and risk a DUI or DWI.  
  8. Mingle with Guests: Any hosts know they should mingle with all their guests, but this needs to be done not only socially but under a watchful eye. When you notice that somebody is consuming a lot of alcohol, you don’t want to let them leave drunk. Offer them non-alcoholic beverages, food, alternate transportation, or a place they can sleep it off. 
  9. Call Family or Friend: If you have a guest that has to consume a lot of alcohol and is at risk of driving and getting a DUI, offer to call a family member or friend to come to pick them up. 
  10. Early Start: Don’t wait until the party is hours in progress to start watching your guests, especially guests that have arrived early and started drinking, or may have already been drinking when they arrived. 

As a party goer or a host, you should take any necessary precautions that will protect you and others from getting a DUI or DWI.  

What usually happens when you get your first DUI?

More states are taking a serious approach when responding to a DUI or DWI, even a first DUI.  There isn’t a first offender act for a DUI conviction, meaning that the DUI charge will not be expunged from your record, leaving you with a criminal record. There is not any diversion offered or any possibility of withholding judgment. 

Your driver’s license is confiscated and surrendered to the DPS, taking away your legal right to drive for a period of time. The arresting office can petition for the state to suspend your driver’s license when your blood alcohol is at a certain limit or if you refuse to be tested. 

Other factors you could face with a DUI is twenty-four hours or longer behind bars, a probation period, required community service, a fine between $300 up to $1,000 or more depending on what the judge rules, and possibly required to attend an alcohol and drunk driving education program. The judge may place you on a one year probation with the possibility of being jailed if you repeat the offense during that year. 

Are there different types of DUI?

The State of Georgia has six categories of DUI charges, two of which are DUI based with the other four having a focus on DUI from other substances. The six categories of DUI charges are: 

  • Per Se: Under the laws of Georgia, a DUI-Per se statute, operating a motor vehicle with .08 gram blood-alcohol level is illegal and evidence of impairment is not required. 
  • Less Safe:  This DUI is not as well-known as the above, and blood alcohol level is not required for evidence. Meaning that law enforcement can arrest a person they believe is not capable of operating a motor vehicle safely. 
  • Drugs: This DUI charge is for a person that is thought to be under the influence of drugs and the law enforcement agent feels they cannot operate a motor vehicle safely. This can be an illegal drug or a prescription drug. 
  • Inhalants:  This DUI is when a law enforcement agent believes a person has intentionally inhaled any aerosol, glue, or other toxic vapor that has put them at a risk of operating a motor vehicle. 
  • Multiple Substances: This DUI charge is for any person that law enforcement determines them under the influence of several products simultaneously such as alcohol, drugs, and/or inhalants, making it unsafe to allow them to operate a motor vehicle. 
  • Marijuana or Other Controlled Substance: This DUI charges is when law enforcement finds a person to be under the influence of a controlled substance such as marijuana while operating a vehicle. If a person is licensed to legally use the controlled substance, i.e. medical marijuana, could result in being charged with Per Se or a Less Safe as described above.

How can I avoid a DUI when pulled over?

Those flashing blue and red lights are pretty when they aren’t behind you, but when they are, keep  calm and follow these tips. They are not a guarantee you won’t get arrested for DUI, but it could minimize the chance of it happening.

  • DUI checkpoints Many cities have the standard spots they set these up. If you’re planning on drinking and driving, but please don’t, avoid these areas. 
  • Pull Over: Don’t’ keep driving like you don’t see the lights and don’t start driving faster, trying to “lose” the officer. 
  • Have Your Papers: Before the officer approaches your vehicle, have your driver’s license and proof of insurance readily available. Fumbling and searching for these could quickly lead to a DUI.  
  • Keep Passengers Calm: Advise any passenger to remain calm and keep quiet unless the officer speaks directly to them, then only offer a short answer. 
  • Be Polite: Being polite to a law enforcement officer is always smart.  Their job is tough enough without having to handle inappropriate conduct or making statements that can come back to you. Remember, there are body cams and dash cams now, watching everything that is happening. 
  • Speak Carefully and Little: Your speech could be what gives you away as being impaired. Say as little as possible but answer questions without hesitation. 
  • Decline Field Sobriety: Decline any field sobriety test, even if you are sober. If you have the slightest indication of failure, it can be used against you. 
  • A Chemical Test: Any consumption of alcohol, prescription or non-prescription drug can show up on a chemical test of blood, breath, or urine.  If you have consumed any of those, refuse a chemical test. The slightest amount, even prescription drugs can get you a DUI or DWI. 
  • Request a Lawyer: At any point of time when you’ve been pulled over, you have the right to speak with your lawyer. Once you have made that request, do not answer any more questions, do not make any statements, and refuse any further testing. 

Can cops search your car after a DUI?

Yes and now. If you are pulled over for a minor traffic offense, a headlight or taillight is out, you didn’t make a complete stop, etc., the officer probably won’t search your vehicle if they don’t feel there is a reason – BUT – just as an employer can always find a reason to fire a person, an officer can find a reason to search your vehicle without a warrant. This is called a “probable cause” and could be for any of the following or others:

  • They asked and you agreed, meaning you waive your Fourth Amendment rights.
  • You have bloodshot eyes, smell of alcohol or marijuana, or see alcohol containers in your vehicle. 
  • They think you have a weapon. 
driving with open bottle

Is a dui is a misdemeanor or felony?

In the State of Georgia, A DUI charge is usually a misdemeanor offense, but depending on surround circumstances, a DUI charge can become a felony offense. Situations that make a DUI a felony charge would be repeat offender, child endangerment, serious injury to self or others, vehicle homicide, or vehicle feticide, or interfering with traffic device. 

Is dui or dwi worse or are they the same?  A DWI is typically the more severe of the two because it indicates there is a higher level of alcohol or drug evident. A DWI will have tougher penalties than a DUI, however, a first-time offender with a good legal representation can get a DWI reduced to a DUI. Still, both are serious charges and have last implications that will follow you for life. Call 706-353-6467 today for your bail needs.