If you’re concerned about losing your license after a DUI, getting your driver’s license back after a DUI, or a DUI license suspension, you need an attorney for the 30-day letter.
The thirty day letter, or 30 Day Rule, is a part of the DUI Arrest and is Civil in nature. This means that, technically, it has no effect on the criminal portion of the case. It can however affect the clients ability to drive AND be used against a client during the criminal portion of the case.
Prior to 2017 drivers arrested for DUI had only 10 days to send in a letter to stop the suspension of their driving privileges. After July 1, 2017 the State of Georgia (legislature) passed a new law, House Bill 205, which gave drivers 30 days from the date of the arrest to send in a request to stop any suspension from the DUI arrest.
This letter, commonly referred to as a ALS (Administrative License Suspension) 1205 form is what the client needs to stop such suspension. If not sent in, the client would face an automatic suspension of their driver’s license.
This is why it is so important that clients hire a DUI lawyer who is experienced with DUI driver’s license suspensions.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer experienced with DUI license suspensions understands the workings of these cases and knows how the small but extremely important details affect a client’s situation.
- This form must have the clients general information, such as license number, address, date of the stop, reference to officer information, a money order for $150.00 and the additional required information found on the back of the form and should be sent via certified mail to the address found on the back of the form, as well.
- Issuance of the form by the officer to the driver is called service. This “Service” must be done in the proper manner in order for the driver to be placed on notice that they have 30 days to send in their response or face the civil consequences of the arrest.
- All of the information is handed down by the administrative court which runs these hearings [the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH)]. The information of how their process is managed is found on their website. The site also has links to check your hearing time and date OR to obtain the decision of the hearing.
Understanding DUI driver’s license suspensions & the 30 day letter
A common misconception is that since the officer didn’t issue a Department of Driver Services, or DDS, 1205 suspension form OR because the client still has their driver’s license that the client does not need to worry about the response letter or the suspension.
While it is true that service in this instance would be improper, a suspension will still issue on the driver’s license until the suspension issue is “cleared up.”
This reason is why it is so important the clients hire a Criminal Defense Attorney experienced with DUI Suspensions. A lawyer experienced with DUI License Suspensions understands the workings of these cases and can determine whether the letter is important.
Sometimes the officer may not take YOUR license OR issue you a 1205 suspension form. However, the officer may still send the notice of suspension to the department of driver services which would cause a suspension of your license. This is just one reason why a consultation with an attorney is important.
The ALS Suspension hearing
Of course, what happens at the ALS Suspension hearing can also affect certain situations for the criminal portion of the client’s case as well. Although the Civil portion has no “direct” affect on the criminal portion, any agreement or discussion in the ALS portion can be used against the client in the criminal portion of the case.
This is yet another reason why it is so important that YOU hire a Criminal Defense Attorney experienced not just with the charge itself but also with the Suspension aspect as well.
An experienced DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer understands the workings of these cases and can determine how the interactions at the civil level may effect the criminal portion.
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Just because you have been charged with a DUI does not mean that you have to accept guilt. It means you need to hire an experienced attorney to mount a proper defense for your charges.
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