What You Should Know About DUI
When a person is arrested for a DUI, they will wonder what their options are and what actions they should take. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind if you or a loved one has been arrested for driving under the influence.
What should I do following my arrest?
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, there are a series of recommended steps that will help you to later build a strong DUI defense. It is important to realize that you have only been charged with driving under the influence, not convicted. The consequences of a DUI conviction are immediate and life-long, so it is important that you begin preparing immediately following the arrest as if your DUI case is going to trial. Arguably the most important step in building a strong DUI defense is seeking legal counsel from an experienced, qualified Georgia criminal defense lawyer.
There are many possible DUI defenses, so hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney to help you in building a defense best suited for your DUI case is crucial.
After hiring a quality DUI lawyer, there are certain tasks you can complete to strengthen your DUI defense. This includes photographing the scene of the arrest. Having photographic evidence of the area in which you were arrested may become useful in attempting to point out any discrepancies in the police report concerning the stop. Photographs of the arresting scene may also prove useful in analyzing and discrediting the legitimacy of any field sobriety evaluations you completed.
Following your arrest, you should obtain a 7-year driving history from the Georgia State Patrol and a criminal history from the Georgia Criminal Information Center (GCIC). This will additionally help to build a strong DUI defense for your DUI case. This information can help your DUI attorney in advising you of your best strategy and approaches to take in fighting your driving under the influence charge.
Within the ten-day time period following your arrest, you will need to request a hearing with the Georgia Department of Driving Services (DDS) to prevent a pending administrative license suspension (ALS) from automatically occurring following 30 days after your arrest. If you are a first-time offender, completing and obtaining a DUI school certificate can prove useful in avoiding a one-year license suspension and getting your driving privileges back in an ALS hearing prior to trial.
How do I hire an experienced, quality DUI attorney who will fight for my DUI case?
When searching for a quality DUI lawyer, be wary of unreasonably low legal fees. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows that every DUI case has potential if and only if every fact is investigated thoroughly. This includes, at the very least, a time investment of reviewing the uniform traffic citation, accident report, police incident report, DUI supplement and incident reports, and tapes of the 911 call and the arrest. An experienced, competent DUI lawyer cannot meet with his client, attend court, and thoroughly investigate your DUI case at a legal fee of $250 per hour in a total of two hours. Notice an unreasonably low legal fee as a red flag, most likely a warning sign that you have encountered a “plea lawyer.” Plea lawyers do not thoroughly investigate all the facts of your case in hopes of fulfilling your DUI case’s full potential and obtaining your best outcome. Rather, they are quick to agree to plea deals from prosecutors that produce displeasing results for their clientele. To ensure that you do not hire a plea lawyer, ask DUI lawyers about their most recent time taking a DUI case to a jury trial.
How do I get my license back? Can I avoid a year’s license suspension?
If you have lost your license as a result of DUI charges, it is possible to get your license back. Following your arrest, law enforcement is required by Georgia DUI law to issue the form DDS-1205 to individuals who refuse state-administered testing or who submit and are over the legal limit of .08 grams within 3 hours of driving. This form explains the state’s legal right to automatically suspend your license after an immediate 30-day period. If your license has been taken because you’re suspected of driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, Georgia DUI law states that you have ten business days following the date of the incident to file an appeal with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). After this 10-day period, you will no longer be able to file an appeal of your pending license suspension, and you will automatically lose your license for a minimum of a full year.
At Dove law firm, we understand the grave impacts resulting from losing your license.
We know how important the legal right to drive is, and we understand the process of filing an appeal of your pending license suspension with the GA DDS. Along with the written proposal, there is a filing fee of $150 that must be paid. We can help you get your license back by requesting an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) appeal on your behalf. We understand the complex Georgia implied consent law and how it affects your case.
Georgia law requires law enforcement to immediately read aloud the implied consent law following the arrest of a motorist. Our attorneys know the requirements the implied consent law imposes on law enforcement and are experienced in DUI cases. They can determine if the officer recited the implied consent law incorrectly or failed to read the implied consent warning in its entirety, and they can use these facts to your advantage in court to have your pending license suspension removed from your GA DDS records.
Our attorneys will use your license suspension hearing to keep your license and question the officer that arrested you, any completed field sobriety testing, as well as other details of your case. We can often use the officer’s statements at the administrative hearing to your case’s advantage. Don’t miss the 10-day window of opportunity to save your license and strengthen your case. Act quickly, and hire a veteran DUI attorney. Call us today for a free consultation at 229-468-0832, or submit information about your DUI case for a free case evaluation with our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
Do I have a case? Am I able to win my DUI case?
Every DUI case has potential. The ultimate goal is to either obtain a significant reduction of charges or total dismissal of charges. It is crucial you hire an experienced DUI attorney to handle your case immediately following your release from jail. The more time a quality criminal defense lawyer has to prepare and gather evidence to build your DUI defense, the greater is your case’s potential to be won. Upon being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, you will first be required to appear at your court arraignment, in which you will enter your plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.”
Following your arraignment, the discovery process begins. This time period is of the utmost importance to your case’s success.
A knowledgeable DUI attorney must gather and evaluate all evidence pertinent to your DUI case in order to properly assess your case’s potential options and outcomes. This requires significant knowledge of complex Georgia DUI law and DUI court processes. Gathering evidence includes collecting the following: video footage of your driving and the arrest, reports filed by the responding officer, all breath/blood tests providing evidence of intoxication, breath/blood tests refused, evidence of the responding officer’s adherence to state law during the arrest, eyewitness statements, evidence of the testing machine’s calibration, etc. At Dove Law Firm, our experienced DUI attorneys are knowledgeable of the ways in which they may gather this crucial evidence, including statutory discoveries, exculpatory evidence, sending letters ordering the preservation of evidence, and subpoenas ordering that evidence be brought to court.
At Dove Law Firm, our quality criminal defense lawyers are experienced in complex Georgia DUI law and understand the Georgia DUI court process. They are familiar with the proper methods and strategies to use in building a successful DUI defense using tools provided by the Georgia courts. For example, pre-trial motions such as motions to suppress evidence may be filed to exclude any harmful evidence from the court’s consideration. At Dove Law Firm, after our experienced DUI attorneys evaluate the details of your DUI case, we will assess the best methods for your success in court and the best path to take in building your DUI defense.
What if I submitted to state-administered testing of my blood, breath or urine? Is my case hopeless if I blew over the legal limit of .08 in a state-administered chemical testing of my breath?
Building a strong DUI defense requires a deep understanding of the complex science involved in and the testing machinery used for the state-administered testing of your blood, breath, or urine. This is all the more reason it is of the utmost importance that you select a DUI lawyer who is knowledgeable, experienced, and willing to review your case to discover the potential ways your Breathalyzer test results were inflated by factors outside of your control. Do not be fooled into thinking you must plead guilty simply because you blew over .08%. These machines are outdated and make common errors every day. It is very possible your Breathalyzer results are inaccurate. Contact our attorneys today to discuss whether we can challenge the maintenance, calibration, or operation of the Intoxilyzer 9000 in your DUI case. Call us at 229-468-8032 to speak with our experienced attorneys for a free consultation, or submit a request for a free case review. At Dove Law Firm, we understand how to build a strong DUI defense using our knowledge of science and our experience interacting with breath analyzers.
Is it possible to challenge Breathalyzer results?
There are countless factors that can influence Breathalyzer readings. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the possible issues we can explore to get your positive BAC readings suppressed and thrown out as inadmissible evidence in court. We attack the admissibility and the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 9000, making sure its maintenance, calibration, and operation met the quality standards set by Georgia DUI law.
If you took a breath, blood, or urine test, there are issues that can result in inaccuracy, including: residual mouth alcohol, radio frequency interference, outdated Intoxilyzer equipment, failure to follow the requirements of implied consent, mishandling of the blood or urine sample, use of an alcohol swab prior to taking the blood sample, failure to refrigerate the blood sample, improper or uncompleted paperwork by law enforcement, and health factors that can inflate the results.
There are countless personal health factors that can also lead to an inaccurate breath test, including dental work, hypoglycemia, diabetes, a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins, the use of an inhaler due to asthma, and more. While state-administered chemical testing by breath analyzers, blood samples, and urine samples is far more accurate than handheld breath tests, there is still a great margin of error. However, these important errors may go unnoticed by DUI attorneys lacking in experience or education about the complex science and medical issues involved in building a strong DUI defense. Challenging your breath, blood, or urine test is very possible, and our DUI attorneys are dedicated to exploring every potential issue in their clients’ DUI cases.
What can I expect during this process? What are the penalties of a DUI charge/conviction?
Expectations and penalties vary, depending on the circumstances and details of your case. Typically, for your first DUI offense, you can expect a minimum of three court appearances, legal fees ranging from $1,500-$7,000, and anywhere from three to nine months to receive your sentencing. If you plead “guilty” or are convicted of your DUI charge, you can expect to spend $3,000-$4,000, limitations on your driver’s license, 24 hours of jail time, a mandatory Drug and Alcohol Evaluation by a licensed counselor or psychologist for $100-$300, mandatory recommended treatment, 40-240 hours of community service, 12 months of probation with a supervision fee of $44 per month or probation, random tests of your blood or breath or urine during your probation, and a DUI conviction permanently on your criminal record and driving history.
You may lose your job if you use a commercial driver’s license at work. You may be under professional investigation if you are a licensed professional under the authority of a governing board or commission with the state or federal government. More than likely, you will experience penalties in your employment and future employment opportunities. A DUI conviction has lifelong penalties that outlast probation, community service, and expensive fines.
At Dove Law Firm, we understand the grave consequences that accompany a DUI conviction. Contact our experienced DUI attorneys at 229-468-0832 for a free consultation, or submit information about your DUI case online for a free case evaluation by our quality criminal defense lawyers.
Connect With Us
We are proud to serve the counties of Irwin, Ben Hill, Crisp, Wilcox, Jeff Davis, Coffee, Tift, Dooly, Atkinson, Colquitt, Berrien, and Dodge. We are appreciative of the opportunity to serve the cities of Ocilla, Fitzgerald, Abbeville, Eastman, Hazelhurst, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie, Nashville, Enigma, and Cordele.
Request a Free Consultation
If you believe you may have a case, fill out our online contact form or call us when you’re ready, at (229) 468-0832.