How quickly should you hire an attorney if you were arrested for DUI? Preferably, within days of your arrest as some of your rights disappear. Most notably, the right to appeal your driver’s license suspension at an ALS hearing.
If you were arrested for a DUI in Georgia, it is likely your license was confiscated. The officer should provide a 1205 Form which begins the process of administratively suspending your license by the Department of Driver Services (DDS). If you do not take the appropriate actions listed on the 1205 Form, your license will likely be suspended until your day in court to resolve your DUI by trial or plea, which is often several months or more after your arrest.
Fortunately, there is a way to lift the initial DDS suspension by immediately requesting a hearing to appeal it. This is known as an “administrative license suspension hearing” or “ALS hearing.” However, the request for an ALS hearing must be made within 10 business days from the date of your arrest, and must be accompanied by a $150.00 payment. If you do not successfully obtain a hearing date, your license suspension will be enforced for the duration, usually six months but even up to 5 years depending on the age and driving history of the arrestee. If you do obtain an ALS hearing, an administrative law judge will listen to the evidence and determine whether the suspension would be enforced or not. There are numerous reasons why a suspension may not be enforceable, so it is vital to have an attorney representing you at one of these hearings if one has been scheduled. If you have not requested a hearing, contact an experienced DUI attorney to ensure your rights are protected.