Can DUI Convictions Change in GA?
There is only one way to change a DUI conviction in Georgia, and that is to appeal the decision.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it is imperative that you work with a Georgia criminal defense lawyer from the very beginning of your case. If you are convicted of DUI, either by a jury or by a Judge, there is usually little you can do to change the outcome, besides filing an appeal. However, people rarely have their convictions overturned on appeal, so having a strong defense from the outset is critical.
A DUI Never Comes Off Your Record in Georgia
In some states, DUIs are stricken from a person’s criminal record after a certain number of years have passed. Usually, the timeframe is 5 to 10 years. There is no law that allows for this in Georgia. If you are convicted of DUI in Georgia, the conviction will remain on your criminal history permanently. DUI convictions and arrests are also not eligible for expungement or record restriction, meaning that you cannot petition the court to expunge or restrict the conviction or arrest from your record.
Pre-Trial Diversion Programs and First Offender Pleas Not Available in DUI Cases
Georgia has many options that allow a person to avoid a conviction. Pre-trial diversion programs and first offender pleas are very common in criminal cases in which a person does not already have a criminal history. Unfortunately, DUI cases are not eligible for these options, meaning you cannot simply complete a course and have your charges dismissed. If you are charged, you will either have to accept a plea bargain deal from the prosecution, work with an attorney who can get your charges dismissed or reduced, go to trial. If you are convicted at trial, there is little you can do to change the outcome.
Appealing a DUI Conviction
If you pleaded guilty to a DUI charge, your options for appealing a conviction are significantly limited. However, if a jury verdict went against the weight of evidence or there was a legal error made during your trial, you can petition the court for an appeal. For example, if evidence was obtained during an illegal search and seizure, and the judge allowed the evidence to be admitted during the trial, that is a legal error that could help your petition for appeal be granted.
Although you can appeal a DUI conviction, you have a very limited amount of time to do so. Your motion for a new trial must be filed within 30 days of the conviction. If your lawyer advises you that the best strategy is to file an appeal directly, you can also go this route.
Let Our DUI Lawyers in Georgia Defend You from the Very Beginning
If you have been charged with DUI, there is a lot on the line, and you only have one chance to defend yourself. At Zimmerman & Associates, our Georgia DUI lawyers know the defenses available in these cases and will use them effectively to give you the best chance of a positive outcome. Call us now at (770) 350-0100 or contact us online to schedule a free meeting with one of our seasoned attorneys.