Driver’s license taken in Atlanta DUI arrest? What do I need to do?
Most of our clients, including those involved in Atlanta DUI arrests, are nervous because their driver’s license was taken by the arresting officer. When Atlanta police take your physical driver license, this is the first step in seeking to impose an administrative license suspension of your driving privileges. This pending suspension can either be for your alleged REFUSAL to submit to the requested type of roadside test the officer wanted, OR for submitting to the requested sobriety testing, and being “over the legal BAC limit.” This “loss of driver’s license” aspect of a Georgia DUI arrest scares most drivers taken to jail for suspected DUI.
Traveling around Atlanta by MARTA or private transportation like Uber is expensive, awkward, and can be unpredictable. Not having your driver’s license as your most picture ID poses problems traveling out of state, getting on planes at airports, and for presenting ID for issuing or cashing checks. Our Atlanta DUI attorneys know the value and benefit of protecting your driver’s license and right to drive.
The process of an officer seizing your plastic driver’s license and replacing it with a Georgia DDS Form 1205 is painful for anyone facing DUI charges in Georgia, whether in Atlanta or any other city.
Under GA DUI laws, the driver’s license seizure by police is legal in over 95% of all DUI arrests, to comply with GA laws on administrative license suspension. You need an experienced and skilled Atlanta DUI attorney to pursue these important aspects of your DUI arrest and fight for your right to continue driving.
Need to KEEP Driving after Your Atlanta DUI arrest?
For our clients, continuing to drive is absolutely essential in metro Atlanta, a sprawling area where half of all Georgians live. Being able to travel freely on Atlanta highways is critical to over 90% of our clients. The Atlanta DUI lawyers at our firm focus their attention and negotiation efforts on the many ways to keep our clients legally driving.
First, as you will see below, you must act QUICKLY to protect your right to legally drive by filing your administrative license suspension appeal in a timely manner. Second, you can attempt to file your own GA ALS appeal, but attempting to handle the hearing is usually a nightmare. Third, we are strict about filing this appeal for all clients, to give both of us some “breathing room” while we seek to effectively handle your ALS appeal. You just need to call us in time. A Georgia ALS can go into effect in as little as 30 days after your DUI arrest. We will help you get your appeal filed properly, and for the mere cost of the filing fee and verified delivery costs.
Once we sign on as your Atlanta legal counsel, we start 2 paths of attacking your drunk driving case:
(1) At the criminal court (Atlanta Municipal Court)
(2) At the administrative court (Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings)
If we can get your criminal case resolved in your favor, like closing out your case without putting a DUI on your permanent record and finding another resolution that is a non-DUI disposition, then your ALS case can also be resolved quickly.
Once you file an ALS appeal, you will ultimately receive a notification from GA DDS that your right to drive will be extended until a hearing determines the fate of your Georgia driving privileges. The DDS Form 1205 received after your DUI arrest in Atlanta, Georgia is only a temporary permit to drive. Learn more about ALS appeals in the next section.
10 Things to Know about Driver’s License Suspension in Georgia
1. To get an extension of your temporary driving privileges after a DUI arrest when your driver’s license is taken, you MUST file an appeal to Georgia DDS of the pending administrative license suspension (ALS) within 30 calendar days after your arrest. Otherwise, your driving privileges are suspended on the 45th day after arrest.
2. Business days mean any weekday that is not a STATE (not national) holiday. Georgia has some weird state holidays, so don’t try to assume that national holidays match up.
3. The day of arrest is NOT Day 1 (for counting purposes on the thirty days). The first weekday (Monday through Friday) that is not a State holiday after the arrest date is Day 1 of your thirty days.
4. A filing fee of $150 must accompany any DDS appeal for a DUI arrest, and it is critical that the filing be done by hand delivery, with receipt given at the Conyers DDS headquarters, or by a provable delivery method (U.S. Postal Service with return receipt requested and a date-stamped receipt for when sent out, or UPS, FedEX, or similar commercial delivery service with detailed tracking). This payment is to “Georgia DDS” and can be a personal check, money order or cashier’s check. No credit card payments or alternative payment methods like PayPal are currently accepted by DDS.
5. Retain written proof of timely USPS mailing or sending out by other confirmed delivery method, within the thirty business days (the DDS appeal can arrive on Conyers by the delivery service later than the 30 days, so long as “sent” on or before the 30th day).
6. Keep a copy of this “appeal” paperwork IN YOUR VEHICLE with your Form 1205 “permit,” in case you get pulled over. This is what you show an officer asking to see your license.
7. Most ALS hearings are set within 60 days of the date of arrest, and is held in a separate COURT and on a separate DATE and is heard by a separate JUDGE than for the criminal case. The ALS first court date may be before or after your first criminal court date (usually, the arraignment), depending on the particular court in which your DUI case is pending.
8. The legal issues at an ALS hearing by an administrative law judge (not your criminal court judge) are far more limited than what occurs at criminal court, where full constitutional rights are in play. Plus, the “standard of proof” at an administrative hearing is much lower than the proof at trial, where proof beyond a reasonable doubt is mandated.
9. The ALS judges’ department is trying to conserve paper, so you may only get hearing reset notices and final decisions by going to their Web site: http://www.osah.ga.gov
10. If a hearing is held, your Atlanta DUI attorney likely will want to obtain a transcript of the hearing, to use later in the criminal case. ALS hearings are only tape recorded by the judge, and these rudimentary recordings are often not fully audible. So, our Atlanta DUI attorneys prefer to bring a court reporter (whose services you retain) to these hearings, to create a full and accurate record, for possible impeachment purposes at the criminal case, or in the unlikely event an administrative law judge’s decision is appealed to Superior Court.