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If you are charged with DUI, is jail avoidable?

Yes, you can avoid jail if you are charged with a DUI. I’ll break it down in this post.

Mandatory Minimum Penalties for a DUI

If you want a guide to the penalties for a first DUI click here, second DUI click here, and third DUI click here. Generally, the minimum penalties for DUI are:

  • Jail time for 10 days and possibly up to one year (this can actually be reduced to 24 hours)
  • Fine of $300 minimum, up to $1,000
  • License suspension of up to one year
  • 40 hours of community service, minimum mandatory
  • $210 license reinstatement fee
  • DUI school

 So really if you are convicted for DUI you will serve at least 24 hours in jail.


But, you said I wouldn’t have to serve any time in jail!


Right, and you may not have to.  Here’s how to avoid jail.


Call (770) 387-4529 for a free consultation and learn more about how to avoid jail.


To avoid jail you have to get rid of the DUI charge

Since there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence for DUI, the only way to avoid jail is to get rid of the DUI charge. In Georgia, there are a few ways of doing that.

First, is reducing the charge to reckless driving. Second, is Pretrial Diversion. Third, is getting the case dismissed. Fourth depends on the amount of time you stayed in jail after your arrest. And fifth, is getting a not guilty verdict after a trial.

Get the charge reduced to reckless driving

Here are the good and bad things that come from reducing your DUI to reckless driving.


  • No mandatory jail;
  • No mandatory fine (though the fines are typically about the same);
  • No driver’s license suspension;
  • No ignition interlock requirement; and
  • Possibility of no probation


  • Steep fines (similar to what you would have to pay in a DUI case);
  • Usually prosecutors will only let you reduce a DUI to Reckless Driving 1 time;
  • 4 points on your driving record; and
  • Potentially would impact your insurance rates


Call (770) 387-4529 for a free consultation with a DUI attorney.


 Pretrial Diversion

Here are the good and bad things that come from entering a pretrial diversion program.


  • No Mandatory Jail;
  • Case is dismissed after successful completion of the program;
  • No effect on your driver’s license ;
  • Insurance company won’t be notified;
  • Does not go on your criminal record; and
  • Arrest may qualify to be expunged from your arrest record


  • Each county decides if they will offer a diversion program and what cases are eligible for it;
  • Each program is different. It may have requirements like community service, probation, fees, classes, or drug and alcohol testing; and
  • Like being on probation and you will likely have to report to a probation officer


Call (770) 387-4529 for a free consultation or to learn more about how to avoid jail.


 Case Dismissed or Not Guilty Verdict

This is the best case scenario out of all of the scenarios because you walk away with no punishment AND keep your good name intact. As you might guess, this kind of resolution is very hard to get. It involves the prosecutor admitting they are wrong or proving they are wrong – both are very tall tasks.


Time already served in Jail

The last scenario is based on the fact that in Georgia you are given credit for time served after your arrest.  In many counties, the local Sheriff  may calculate the amount of time that was served and give “good time” incentives that range anywhere from 2 for 1 time to 4 for 1 time. This means, if after your arrest you sat in jail for 12 or more hours before you bonded out you would likely not have to serve any more time for your DUI charge or conviction

This is the Reason You Hire Us to be Your DUI Attorney – to Get Results

This right here is the reason you hire your DUI Defense Lawyer. You hire them to get you as far down this list as possible.

That’s why you should consider hiring my firm. I focus on this stuff every day. I do whatever it takes to get results. And I’d like to be your DUI lawyer and do what I can to get you results.

 Call (770) 387-4529 now to schedule your consultation!Cartersville Attorney DUI Avoid Jail Block Law