In Atlanta, the most common jail that the police take a driver to following a DUI arrest in Atlanta is the City of Atlanta Jail in downtown Atlanta. However, there are other jails run by the counties that are also common destinations—DeKalb County Jail for people arrested in DeKalb County, and Gwinnett County Jail which is the most common destination for people arrested anywhere in Gwinnett County. Regardless of which jail a driver is taken to following a DUI arrest in Atlanta, they should consult with an Atlanta DUI lawyer who can help them deal with these charges and the potential penalties.
Generally DUI penalties in Atlanta will include having to go through a booking process in one of the several jails around Atlanta—Fulton County especially. A drive charged with DUI may face an extended stay in jail, generally at least a day before they can get out, sometimes several.
Turn around in the the City of Atlanta Jail, which handles most of the DUIs in the City of Atlanta proper, is efficient, usually between four to six hours following an initial booking to release. Gwinnett County Jail may be a little bit longer than that, usually around eight to 10 on average, and DeKalb County Jail is roughly the same. But, while the jail-related penalties that a driver can face in the context of a DUI conviction vary from county to county and courtroom to courtroom, there is a mandatory minimum of 24 hours in jail under Georgia law that they must serve if they are convicted of DUI.
Many jails, in an attempt to limit overcrowding, will consider every hour a driver serves to be worth two hours, and certain judges will give credit for time served in the context of a first DUI.
But the more DUIs someone gets in a certain timeframe—typically seen as five years, sometimes a 10-year stretch, depending on when their case arose—the longer the minimum times that they must serve in jail; ; a second conviction in five years carries a 72 hour minimum, while a third conviction in five years will carry a minimum of 15 days. When facing a repeat charge it is all the more important to consult an Atlanta DUI lawyer.
Different judges see mandatory minimums differently. Some judges in Atlanta will make a convicted driver serve every minute of the mandatory minimum—whether it is 24 hours, 72 hours, or 15 days in the context of a third conviction within the five years.
Some judges will give a driver credit once they have done half their time, or close to 12 hours. They will let the driver go after they have been convicted of that first DUI. Other judges will allow the driver to remain in the courtroom for the day to serve out their sentences, rather than spend taxpayer dollars to book them into the jail, feed them a meal, and then let them out later in the day. How these sentences are dealt with really just depends on the judge. Having an Atlanta DUI attorney who knows the different judges in the courtrooms around Atlanta can really help a defendant rest at ease, because they will know what they are dealing with early on in the case, and the attorney will know how to handle any possible extra jail the defendant might be faced with.