Don’t Let Your Georgia DUI Ruin Your New Year
2018 is finally here! For many, the New Year is a time of restored hope. The problems of 2017 are finally, definitively in the past. Resolutions have been made. Inspiring goals have been set.
Unfortunately, not everyone had a great start to 2018. If police stopped you near Alpharetta on charges of DUI (or other criminal counts), you’ve likely been beset by very different emotions—shame, fear, confusion and a sense of hopelessness about 2018. Is this arrest the beginning of larger problems to come? How can you start over given the painful way January began?
Let’s focus on practical steps.
First, Find and Hire a Qualified DUI Defense Attorney
Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Georgia, and the consequences can include:
- Loss of your license
- Jail time
- Court fines and fees
- Mandatory community service
- Forced installation of an interlock ignition device in your vehicle
- Indirect problems, such as hikes on your insurance premiums and loss of your job
An experienced DUI defense lawyer can:
- Potentially challenge the basis of your arrest. For instance, maybe you failed the breathalyzer test not because you were drinking but because you’re on a ketogenic diet. You wanted to kickstart that New Year’s weight loss, but the ketones on your breath caused you to register a false positive for DUI.
- Minimize your punishments. Maybe you did do something wrong. But instead of pleading guilty to a felony count—and dealing with all the issues that come with a felony conviction—you can fight back with your attorney’s help to get your charges reduced to a misdemeanor. (In other states—not Georgia, unfortunately for defendants—you can even plead down to what’s known as a “wet reckless.”)
- Give you clarity about the steps ahead. Not knowing the path can lead to anxiety and a sense of overwhelm. You can also miss important deadlines with the DMV and the court system.
Second, Clarify What You’ve Learned from the Experience
Even if you believe the police stopped you unfairly or that the charges against you are too harsh, examine your behavior. Perhaps you hung out with a “fast crowd” on New Year’s Eve. Maybe your drank too much because of emotional pain brought about (or worsened by) the holidays. In any case, be honest with yourself, and try to extract useful lessons.
Reset Your 2018 Goals and Resolutions Based on What’s True Now
What happened, happened. Don’t hide from the facts. But don’t abandon your pursuit of betterment just because you veered off course. Embrace what business researcher, Jim Collins, called the Stockdale Paradox. This blog post explains the idea nicely: “Never doubt that you can achieve your goals, no matter how lofty they may be and no matter how many critics and naysayers you may have. But at the same time, always take honest stock of your current situation. Don’t lie to yourself for fear of short-term embarrassment or discomfort, because such deception will only come back to defeat you in the end.”
There’s still (plenty!) of time left to make 2018 one of the best years of your life. First, though, you need to deal intelligently with the DUI charge. Our Georgia criminal defense lawyers are here to help. Call us at 678-459-5659.