Commonly Asked Questions

  1. What are the consequences of a DUI in Georgia as far as jail time and my driverís license?
    For a first offense DUI, the penalty includes 24 hours in jail, a mandatory 12 months of probation, community service and a driverís license suspension. The license may be suspended for as much as 12 months without any sort of permit to drive to and from work or school, or as little as 120 days with the temporary work or school permit. Obviously, with these serious consequences, any person charged with a DUI should hire an attorney to help them obtain the best results in court to minimize any adverse consequences. Penalties for repeat offenses are much more severe, and in some cases, involve months in jail and total license suspensions. Call me at 404-231-9229 or email me at law@leeperkins.com to discuss your case.

  2. Can I drive on the temporary permit the police officer gave me when I was arrested until I go to court?
    No, the permit is only good for 30 days, and actually is a notification that your license will be suspended after that 30 days, if you do not write a detailed letter requesting a hearing to the Georgia Department of Driver Services within ten business days of your arrest. Therefore, you need to talk to an attorney sooner than later if you want to keep driving until your DUI case is resolved.

  3. Do I need a lawyer for a traffic ticket?
    With the constant changes in the law, and the effect some convictions can have on your insurance rates, driver's license and your freedom, it is always advisable at least to consult with an attorney before appearing in court by yourself. Drivers under 21 years of age receiving tickets in Georgia should always consult an attorney because of the mandatory suspensions that will occur as a result of certain traffic ticket convictions.

  4. Can I represent myself in court?
    In almost all cases, there will be a prosecutor in court representing the State or City. He or she will be looking out for the State's interest, not yours. He or she will be experienced and familiar with the law. Therefore, you are taking a big risk if you go to court without an experienced attorney defending your interests.

  5. If I am guilty, why should I bother with paying an attorney?
    You should always consult with an attorney to make sure there is not a technical defense available that would result in your being found not guilty. Even if the attorney agrees that a guilty plea is appropriate, he or she will be able to seek the most favorable plea with the fewest adverse consequences to your liberty and driver's record.

  6. My court date is two months away. Do I really need to contact an attorney now?
    It always is advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after being charged with a crime or having received a traffic ticket. An attorney can give you advice to keep you from accidentally hurting your defense. Additionally, you may lose certain rights by inaction. For example, you can lose your Georgia driving privileges as a result of a DUI arrest if you do not send a letter appealing a potential DUI suspension within ten business days of the arrest.

  7. Should I tell an investigating police officer everything I know about a situation without talking to a lawyer?
    Absolutely not. You should talk to an attorney first before giving any statements to a police officer. Many people hurt themselves by giving statements that permit the police to make a case against them that they otherwise cannot make. Always talk to an attorney before agreeing to come in for an interview.

  8. Is it important to hire an attorney on my criminal case as soon as possible?
    Yes. You should talk to an attorney as soon as you bond out of jail, as witnesses can move, or change their testimony, or become forgetful as the time goes by until the case is brought to court. the initial investigative stage of a case is very important, and you should hire an attorney then, and not wait until months later when you get a notice to appear in court.


    I received a traffic ticket while driving through Georgia. In Florida, lawyers will write a letter to a central state agency and often the ticket is dropped entirely for a legal fee of $75.00. Is this how Georgia traffic tickets are handled?

    NO, in Georgia you and/or your attorney must appear in court for any ticket to be modified, dismissed or closed. In minor traffic cases, you may pay the fine for the exact charge you received from the officer before court, but you will receive the points. Therefore, if you want a trial or a "plea bargain", you should expect to pay an attorney for his time to appear in court for you.


    Will my license be affected if I plead guilty or nolo to a speeding ticket of 24 mph or more over the speed limit?

    YES, it absolutely will be lost for six months without any work or school permit. Georgia law requires the suspension regardless of how good a student you are or how good an employee you are. Some courts will negotiate a speed reduction with some conditions such as driving school or community service. Call Mr. Perkins for information on how the court that your ticket is assigned to handles these cases.

  11. I was in a minor traffic accident, and I don't want to bother with going to court; is it OK to just send in the fine if the Court will let me?

    If you pay the fine, that action is the same as if you pleaded guilty and if you are sued for money in a civil court, this will be an admission that you are responsible for all of the other driver's damages. You could be held responsible for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages over and above your insurance policy. Therefore, it is important to plead no contest or not guilty in accident cases to avoid this admission of civil liability in the event that the other driver claims a personal injury.


    I received a ticket while passing through the Atlanta area, and the Court says I must appear in Court even though I am from out of state. Is there a way for me to handle the ticket without my appearance in Court?

    In many metropolitan Atlanta courts, an attorney can appear on your behalf without your presence through a power of attorney form and obtain a favorable result for you in Court.

If you have any other questions, please contact Mr. Perkins.