If you’ve just been arrested for a DUI in Georgia, there are a few very important dates and deadlines you must keep in mind. First and foremost, you only have 10 days to send the Georgia Department of Driver Services an administrative suspension appeal letter. (the “Georgia 10 day letter”) If you were placed under arrest for suspected DUI, and the arresting officer asked you for a blood, breath, or urine test, then chances are that he or she will be moving to suspend your Georgia Driver’s License, unless you came back under the legal limit. The arresting officer is supposed to give you a Georgia DDS form 1205, however, often times this paperwork gets lost in the shuffle at the jail, so don’t depend on having it or not to determine whether you need to send the “10 day letter”. You need to contact an attorney and have this administrative appeal letter drafted and sent certified mail to Georgia DDS as soon as possible. Otherwise, your license will be suspended for up to 5 years (depending on whether you’ve had any prior DUI arrests in the past 5 years) on the 31st day after your Georgia DUI arrest.
The second most important date to keep in mind is your arraignment date for your criminal DUI case. This date is most commonly found on your Georgia Uniform Traffic citation (UTC). At this hearing, you and your attorney will need to be prepared to enter a plea to your charges- typically “Guilty”, “Not Guilty”, or on rare occasions, “No Contest”. There is critical evidence in your case that needs to be analyzed before this hearing, so hiring a DUI attorney well ahead of this arraignment court date is always advised. In rare situations, you may have a 1st appearance, probable cause hearing, or other less common type of court appearance. However, 95% of Georgia DUI cases will have an arraignment date first, and they are of great importance.