When speaking to a potential client today, he asked me the most commonly asked question I get: "What are my chances of winning my case?" Another variation of this question is: "What should I expect will be the outcome of my case?"
People naturally want to know what is going to happen to them, so I understand why I am asked. I also know that my failure to answer the question may cost me a client, but to answer it is to automatically mislead the caller.
There are many potential legal defenses to a DUI in Georgia. A defense exists when a police officer does not follow proper procedure or incorrectly observes clues that do not exist. Your Georgia DUI Lawyer must review the incident report, any accident reports (if applicable), and the video before any prediction can be made insofar as potential legal defenses.
These defenses usually fall into the following five categories:
The Reason for the Stop: The police must have a valid reason to have an official interaction with someone. This is called articulable suspicion. They cannot just start questioning someone or just pull someone over without reason.
The Reason to Continue the Police Interaction: This is a gray area. The standard is less than probable cause to arrest. The police officer will observe a suspect's manner of speech, their odor of alcohol, their balance, and any other physical observation that tends to show impairment.
Probable Cause to Arrest: A police officer must, based on a totality of the circumstances, have probable cause to make a DUI arrest. This is a legal standard that means it is more likely than not that a person is guilty of a crime. Notice that it does not mean that someone is guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. It is a judgment that the officer makes, and it is subject to challenge.
Implied Consent: Once an arrest is made, the police officer will read the Georgia Implied Consent Warning. When those rights are confused or improperly advised, there may be a defense in the case. Some people refuse testing, which creates both advantages and disadvantages in their case.
Chemical Testing: Most people take the breath or blood test requested by the police officer. Sometimes there are errors in the administration of the breath test, or the machine was improperly calibrated.
In the case of a blood test, it can take months to get the result. As a result, it is impossible to predict the outcome of a case involving a blood test before seeing the result.
The moral of the story is to look into the credentials of your attorney and select the person with whom you have the most confidence. Then remember, there is no way to predict the outcome of your case until it has been thoroughly reviewed.