We have helped many out-of-sate clients with DUI charges in Alpharetta. Many times we can negotiate with the prosecutor and have the prosecutor approve of a “call-in/write-in” probation. And then we make the request to the judge and the probation officer. That enables our client to not have to come back to Alpharetta for probation. They just check-in with their probation officer over the phone and via the mail. They save a lot of time and money. Many times a client can complete all of their probation requirements in the other jurisdiction and not have to do them in Georgia. They can complete community service, DUI School and other probation conditions in their home state.
Under Georgia law, if you are convicted of a DUI you will be placed on probation. In the city of Alpharetta, sometimes probation can become non-reporting after all the probation conditions are satisfied. With non-reporting probation, you are still technically on probation, but you are not required to report to your probation officer each month. Non-reporting probation is usually only available when someone is convicted of a first-time DUI, but there are exceptions. In most jurisdictions, including in Alpharetta, meetings with your probation officer usually take place once a month. As for needing to travel for work, we have had numerous clients in Alpharetta and travelling while on probation, whether for business or pleasure, has not often been an issue. Generally, when you are on probation for DUI, you are allowed to travel.
When you are on probation for DUI you are not allowed to drink. That would be a violation of your probation. If you are found by a judge to have violated probation, you can be sent to jail. A probation violation is initiated by your probation officer. The fact that you feel like you must drink for work will not help your defense. Social drinking or drinking for work is not considered a viable “loophole” to the prohibition. Certainly, we all know that some people drink while on probation. The body processes alcohol relatively quickly. But it is still a violation, and if you are caught, you run the risk of punishment.
Probation officers have the right to administer drug or alcohol tests to people who are on probation for DUI. These tests are random, meaning that the probation officer can make you take one any time they choose. They don’t have to warn you that a test will be administered. The tests can be of your blood, breath, saliva, hair follicle or urine. The probation officer does not need any reason for the test. They do not have to suspect that you were drinking or smoking pot. They can test you simply because they want to. When you did your plea to the DUI in Forsyth County you agreed to submit random testing. If you should fail a drug or alcohol test by testing positive for marijuana or alcohol, then the judge can sentence you to serve jail time.
Probation begins after the judge pronounces your sentence. A sentence only takes effect after you have pled or been convicted. So you cannot start probation until you have been to court. Again, you cannot start probation before your sentence is imposed. In most courts, after sentencing, you will meet a probation officer who will explain to you the details of your probation. The probation officer will explain the details of your sentence and any time limits that exist. If this is a first DUI charge, then your probation is likely to be for 12 months or slightly less if you are given credit for time that you served in jail. If you must serve jail time, that will shorten the probation period, because instead of being on probation you will be incarcerated.
Under Georgia law, if you are convicted of DUI you must be placed on probation. Probation for a first DUI is usually 12 months. In some courts, the prosecutor and the judge will agree that you can do “non-reporting probation” once all of the conditions of the sentence are fulfilled (that's things like paying your fine, doing community service, completing DUI school, etc.). On non-reporting probation, you are technically on probation, but you do not have to report to a probation officer every month. The conditions of probation, however, are still in effect (like no drinking or illegal drug use). You need to have your attorney speak with the prosecutor and request non-reporting probation to the judge. Some judges will allow non-reporting probation and other judges will not.
The fines in the Johns Creek Municipal Court are not due at your court date. You will have a number of months to pay off the fines and court costs. Fines are traditionally paid through probation.
If you are convicted of or plead guilty to DUI, probation is mandatory. State law explicitly provides that you serve probation. However, if you need to move out of state, your probation can become what is referred to as “call-in/write-in,” as long as that is approved by the court and the probation officer. That way you do not need to appear each and every month in Cherokee, but you can “check-in” via the phone or Internet. We have handled many DUI cases for non-Georgia residents where probation either starts off as call-in/write-in or it becomes that due to a move out of state. You will want your attorney to negotiate that at your court date.
Under Georgia law probation is mandatory for a DUI. It may not have been your first DUI charge or you may have had other charges stemming from the same incident.