If there were no reasons for fighting a DUI conviction before, there is now. As part of a new overhaul of the criminal code in Georgia, effective July 1, 2012, the “penalties” added onto fines will equal 50% of the fine. This means that if you plead guilty to a DUI and are assessed a fine of $1000, you will still owe an additional “fee” of $500. This is in addition to other fees that go to the Peace Officers Retirement Fund and the Probate Judges Retirement Fund.

The new penalties will go to fund what will be known as the “County Drug Abuse and Treatment Program.” The penalties do not just apply to DUIs. Now a 50% penalty will be applied on possession of alcohol by a minor, serious injury by vehicle, and fleeing and eluding, as well as all drug possession convictions.

In essence, the total amount due for fines and fees now on a DUI, minor in possession, etc. could be as high as 100% of any fine amount! Although the best way to avoid such fees is not getting arrested for DUI or drug possession, etc., you can hire a qualified DUI defense lawyer to aggressively fight and win your DUI case if you are faced with such fees. The days of hiring a cheap “plea dog” lawyer are over.