Being charged with a DUI in Cherokee County can be overwhelming, causing distress, fear, anxiety and shame.
People often aren’t quite sure what to do, and many don’t realize just how much a good defense can seriously alter the course of a case.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI, don’t wait to seek legal advisement from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
DUI cases can be complex and challenging for those without legal representation, and trying to self-defend is not a good option.
Even a first-time DUI charge can have serious consequences, including severe penalties and even prison time, so it is important to seek out qualified legal counsel as soon as possible.
A DUI lawyer can provide valuable advice on how to navigate the court system, ensure their clients’ rights are protected, and work to minimize the penalties associated with a DUI.
What is a DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to the illegal act of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
DUI can be determined by a law enforcement officer’s observation of your behavior, results from field sobriety tests, or from a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.
A BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered legally impaired in Georgia.
Blood alcohol content of over 0.04% is considered over the legal limit for commercial drivers, and any blood alcohol content over 0% is considered DUI for drivers under 21.
If a driver’s blood alcohol levels are below the legal limit, they can still be found guilty of DUI if it is demonstrated that the alcohol impaired their ability to drive safely. This is known as DUI Less Safe in Georgia.
The Consequences of Getting a DUI
DUI charges are serious in nature and can result in criminal penalties including jail time and probation.
In addition to criminal charges, those convicted of a DUI offense face civil penalties such as driver’s license suspension or revocation, mandatory participation in alcohol treatment programs, fines community service and increased insurance premiums.
An ignition-lock device may be required by the court in some cases, as well.
The potential consequences of a DUI are even more severe if there was a child in the car, if the driver caused property damage or injuries, or if the driver had a previous DUI.
Given the seriousness of DUI penalties in Georgia, it is important to seek a good legal defense from an experienced DUI lawyer.
What is the Cost of a DUI?
Forbes estimates that a DUI can cost you as much as $20,000.
That includes things like fines and penalties, bail fees, probation and monitoring fees, towing fees, DUI class costs, ignition interlock cost, higher insurance costs and attorney fees.
While some may want to minimize those attorney fees by seeking a low-cost attorney or even forgoing a lawyer, it’s almost never a good idea.
A good lawyer can provide solid legal advice and a criminal legal defense that can keep you out of jail, help you keep your driving privileges, and reduce fines and monitoring costs.
In some cases, an expert lawyer can even get your case thrown out of the charges against you reduced.
Spending money on a qualified DUI attorney is probably the #1 thing you can do to improve your situation.
What Defense Lawyers Do in DUI Cases
Defense lawyers play a crucial role in representing clients who have been charged with DUI offenses.
These legal professionals are responsible for ensuring that their clients receive a fair trial by examining the evidence, interviewing key witnesses, and developing effective defense strategies.
In order to effectively represent their clients, DUI defense lawyers must have extensive knowledge of Georgia DUI laws and experience defending in these types of cases.
DUI defense attorneys must also be well-versed in the proper procedures for charging and processing drivers suspected of DUI.
If the arresting police officer did not follow proper procedure during the DUI stop or violated your legal rights, a good defense lawyer may be able to have the charges reduced or dropped.
Common DUI defenses that can exonerate clients include:
- Absence of legal justification for the traffic stop
- Improper administration of Field Sobriety Test
- Breath alcohol testing error or inaccuracy
- Proof that client was not driving the vehicle
- Failure to inform client of Miranda rights
- Client denied access to a lawyer after arrest
Proving that a client’s rights were violated or that testing was inaccurate requires technical expertise and legal experience.
Moreover, even if DUI can be proved by the prosecution, penalties vary and much is left up to the discretion of the court.
A DUI attorney can examine police reports and other relevant documents, interview witnesses, and engage expert witnesses if necessary.
They can also propose plea bargains or alternative solutions, such as alcohol treatment programs, that can result in a favorable outcome for the defendant.
In short, a good DUI attorney can make a strong case for the defense and negotiate a lighter and fairer punishment even if wrongdoing is proved.
A strong defense will give you a better chance of a favorable outcome, so you should immediately seek expert legal representation as soon as you are charged.
Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer in Cherokee County
When facing a DUI charge, selecting the right legal representation can make all the difference in the outcome.
Not all attorneys specialize in DUI defense, and not all of them have the same level of experience and skill.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a DUI lawyer:
- Specialized Knowledge and Experience
Georgia DUI laws are complicated and constantly evolving. A DUI attorney with specialized knowledge and experience can better understand those complexities and provide tailored advice and representation.
It is essential to choose an attorney who focuses on DUI defense and has a deep understanding of the specific laws and procedures of your jurisdiction. Moreover, experience matters when it comes to navigating the legal process, arguing the case, and negotiating with the prosecutor.
- A Good Track Record and Reputation
A DUI lawyer’s reputation in the legal community can have a significant impact on your case. It is essential to research potential attorneys and check their track record of success.
An attorney with a history of successfully representing clients in DUI cases is more likely to achieve a favorable outcome in your case. An attorney’s track record and reputation can be evaluated through online reviews, testimonials, and peer evaluations.
- Compatibility and Trust
Choosing a legal representative is not only about knowledge and ability; it is also about trust and compatibility with the person representing you. During a DUI case, you will have to work closely with your attorney and disclose personal information that may be embarrassing or uncomfortable.
Because of this, it is crucial to select an experienced attorney you feel comfortable with and trust to represent you. A good attorney will take the time to listen to your concerns, answer all your questions, and keep you informed throughout the legal process.
Choosing the right legal representation can make a significant difference in your DUI case.
Taking the time to find the right lawyer can help you achieve the most favorable outcome and return to your normal life as soon as possible.
Contact a Speights Law DUI Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI in Georgia, Speights Law can help.
We have years of experience defending DUI clients, and we will fight hard for your rights and help you through this difficult time.
Call and speak to our DUI lawyers now at 770-479-1500 for a confidential consultation.
Archie Speights is a co-founder and lead criminal law attorney of Speights Law in Cherokee County. He is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who handles an assortment of major felony cases, including murder, sex crimes, aggravated assault, and drug crimes in the state of Georgia. To contact Archie, please visit our contact page.