If you are pulled over and arrested in the Atlanta Metro Area, your case will have its initial arraignment the Monday morning after your arrest. Arraignment is the beginning of the criminal legal process. In addition, there is a civil case pending against you by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). the Howard Law Group can appear for you on Monday morning so you can return to work, school, or your other commitments. When we appear for you, it does not violate your bond or the terms of your release. It is as if you appeared yourself. Every Monday morning, someone from our office appears in Atlanta Municipal Court.
What is the Cost?
Each year in Georgia about 200,000 people are arrested for DUI charge in Atlanta. In the five county Metro Atlanta area, there are more than 20,000 arrests each year. Their conclusion was that a DUI will cost on average about $10,000.00. That means that every year Atlanta individuals spend $2 Billion dollars on DUI Defense and associated costs!
That is Billion with a B. In Metro Atlanta, DUIs costs people Two Hundred Million Dollars annually. I would estimate that the government spends at least that amount on arresting and prosecuting DUI drivers which includes police salaries, training, vehicles, equipment (the State Administered DUI Breath test machines cost $10,000 a piece), law enforcement to calibrate the breath test machines, jails, jail staff, courts, court staff, jury fees.
That amount totals $4 billion dollars a year or more to prosecute, fine and jail people who are arguably not drunk at 0.08. Four Billion dollars could have bought Marvel Comics, Netscape or be the trade surplus of S. Korea.
Bail: $150-$2,500 (out of pocket expense). Cost of DUI bail depends on how many offenses you’ve had, circumstances of arrest and your blood alcohol level.
Towing / Impound: $50-$200. The cost of towing and impounding a car can add up daily. Some cities even auction your car if you can’t afford to get it back after 30 days.
Insurance: $4,500 or more. One of the biggest expenses a person arrested for DUI faces is insurance premiums increases.
Legal Fee: $2,000-$25,000. Some lawyers charge as little as $1,500 for a quick plea or a one time court appearance. Since so much is at stake, many people arrested for DUI chose to fight the charge. Legal fees get much higher with lawyers who will investigate and fight a DUI charge. There are a small number of DUI attorneys in Atlanta that routinely have DUI jury trials while the majority of lawyers just scare their clients into a plea agreement at the first opportunity. The way to tell the difference is by the fee charged and simply asking a lawyer how many DUI jury trials they have tried. A lawyer who is going to explore every opportunity to beat a DUI will average that time into his or her fee. No lawyer can intelligently inform you on your decision to plea to a DUI until at least reviewing the police report, viewing the arrest video and talking to the police officer, maybe even having a motion hearing. The least that can reasonably costs is about $3,500.00
Fines: $300-$5000. Depending on your offense and criminal history.
Alcohol Evaluation: $95-$300. An evaluation is required of anyone who is sentenced by court for drunken driving.
Alcohol Education and Treatment: $500-$4,000 for basic treatment. If you are convicted, you must usually go through an education or treatment program, especially if your license has been suspended.
License Reinstatement Fees: $210-$410. If you are convicted of a DUI in Georgia (or any other state), you can expect to face several fees to secure the reinstatement of your driver’s license. After you have completed a state-certified risk reduction program, which costs $287, you can reinstate your Georgia driver’s license for a fee of $210-$410.
In addition to the “standard” costs of a DUI conviction, there are some consequences that are more difficult to place a number value upon, but can be devastating to many people. DUI arrests and convictions cost money, time, and can lead to job loss or prevent future employment opportunities by showing up on employment background checks. In short, a DUI charge is very serious, the outcome of which may affect many important aspects of your life. Do not take a DUI charge lightly. Seek out an experienced, professional lawyer for representation.
The best way to avoid a Atlanta DUI of course is don’t drink and drive. However, sometimes bad things happen to good people. If have been charged with a DUI in Atlanta, then contact us ASAP so we can help you through this challenging time, and hopefully get your case dismissed.