Generally, in Georgia, a person who operates a motor vehicle must possess and be able to show a valid driver’s license. It is unlawful to drive without a valid license in Georgia.
What are the different types of offenses included under DWOL?
DWOL includes the following offenses:
- Not being in possession of your valid driver’s license;
- Driving without a valid license; and
- Driving while on a suspended, restricted, or revoked license.
What if I am a non-Georgia resident driver with a valid driver’s license?
If you are a non-Georgia resident driver with a valid driver’s license from either your home state or country, you do not need a Georgia license to be able to drive in Georgia.
What if I have an out-of-state license but am currently residing in Georgia?
In this case, you can also be convicted of DWOL if you have resided in Georgia for more than 30 days and have not obtained a Georgia driver’s license.
What are the penalties for a DWOL conviction?
In Georgia, DWOL is considered a misdemeanor. If you are convicted of DWOL, a judge can require you to serve between 2 days and 12 months in jail and pay a fine of $500 to $1,000. In some cases, having multiple DWOL offenses in a five year period may lead to felony DWOL charges.
What if I have more than one DWOL conviction?
When you have more than one DWOL conviction, the likelihood of having to serve jail time and fine amount increases as well as the consequences and requirements a judge can impose in your case. The days to serve in jail and fine amount depend on how many previous DWOL convictions you have on your record.
Am I required to have an attorney if I am charged with a DWOL?
You are not obligated by law to have an attorney for your DWOL case, however, it is highly recommended that you retain one since the consequences of a DWOL conviction are very serious and can have a long-lasting negative effect on your criminal record.
What if I’m not a United States citizen?
If you are not a United States citizen, a DWOL can complicate any pending or possible relief that you may be eligible for, either before an Immigration Judge or with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will need to consult with an experienced immigration attorney on any and all legal consequences that may arise in your case.