Have You Been Arrested For DUI in Atlanta Georgia?
Are you looking for the Top-Rated Atlanta DUI Lawyer?
For almost 20 years, Former DUI Prosecutor Richard Lawson has been fighting DUI cases in Atlanta Georgia. He is Atlanta's top-rated and most reviewed DUI Attorney with reviews that be found on AVVO, Yahoo, and Google. Emory Law School trained, his experience in Atlanta GA DUI cases is the difference. Our office is devoted to DUI Defense in Atlanta. We never assume Guilt. We always look for potential defenses. We are the DUI Lawyers in Atlanta ready to fight for you now. We specialize in Atlanta DUI Defense. As Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyers, we are here to help. You are never alone when you have Atlanta DUI Attorneys on your side.
10 Day Warning if arrested for DUI in Atlanta Georgia!!!
If you have been arrested for an Atlanta DUI, you only have 10 days to save your right to drive. You only have 10 days to have your Atlanta DUi Lawyer request your ALS Hearing. If your Atlanta DUI Lawyer does not file a hearing request with the Georgia Department of Drivers Services, your license can be suspended for up to one year. Act now to save your drivers license.
The State of Georgia charges $150 to request a hearing to protect your right to drive. If you do not have your Atlanta DUI Lawyer request this hearing, your Georgia drivers license or privilege to drive in Georgia will be suspended for up to one year. Call now to begin your DUI Defense in Atlanta Georgia. Contact an Atlanta DUI Lawyer now to file the letter for your ALS Hearing.
Hiring an Atlanta DUI Attorney - What to look for in an Atlanta DUI Lawyer - What to look for in an Atlanta DUI Attorney
One of the most common criminal charges in the Atlanta metro area is DUI. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense and Atlanta prosecutors and judges are generally unsympathetic and tough on DUI Defendants. Even for a first DUI offense, a driver is looking at mandatory jail time, probation, community services, fines and surcharges, DUI school and a license suspension. Hiring an Atlanta DUI Attorney is the key to a successful defense. Our Atlanta DUI Attorneys are trained in the Atlanta DUI Process and all possible defenses to DUI in Atlanta GA. With our firm you have the best Atlanta DUI Lawyers on your side. For almost 20 years Richard Lawson has been the top-rated Atlanta DUI Lawyer. You can trust Atlanta DUI Attorney Richard Lawson with your case and your future.
What is more troubling about a DUI in the State of Georgia is that while other offenses, even more serious offenses like drug possession and violent crimes, are susceptible to “first offender” treatment, no such legal protections are available in a DUI case. In addition, with a DUI charge, there are actually two cases against you: the criminal case in the Atlanta Municipal Court or Fulton County State Court and the civil case alleged against you by the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
Atlanta DUI Lawyer Richard Lawson knows what Atlanta prosecutors look for in building their cases against DUI drivers. This means he is better able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorneys on behalf of his clients. He knows the arguments that they use against Atlanta drivers accused of DUI and how to best combat these tactics. He is the top-rated Atlanta DUI Lawyer, and has more than 200 Atlanta DUI Lawyer Reviews. You can read those reviews on AVVO, Yahoo, and Google. As an Atlanta DUI Attorney, he is uniquely qualified to help. As an Atlanta DUI Lawyer, he will also defend you against all related offenses to your Atlanta DUI Case. No stone is left unturned in your Atlanta DUI Defense.
An Atlanta DUI Attorney can help you immensely in these proceedings. At the Law Office of Richard Lawson, our attorneys focus exclusively on the defense of DUI accused drivers. We know the licensing issues you face and the defenses that are available to you in your case. Atlanta DUI Attorney Lawson is a seasoned Atlanta DUI trial lawyer with nearly 20 years of experience fighting cases and winning. Armed with his team of associate attorneys and the best DUI experts in the state of Georgia, Mr. Lawson has helped thousands of clients get the best possible results on their DUI cases. His offense specializes in Atlanta DUI Defense and is staffed by experienced Atlanta DUI Defense Attorneys. Our experienced Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyers know what it takes to get you the best possible outcome.
Atlanta DUI attorney Richard S. Lawson also regularly helps clients with violation of probation issues associated with DUI and drug related sentences. DUI probation can be riddled with complications and unreasonable probation officers. If you or a loved one is having difficulty with probation or fear that there may be a probation warrant or probation violation pending, call us today. In addition, we have done modifications helping people who are having difficulty in a DUI Court program or with their ignition interlock device. We can provide you the Atlanta DUI Information you need to make decision about your case.
What Sets Our Atlanta DUI Defense Firm Apart from Others
Attorney Lawson is a top rated DUI lawyer in Atlanta according to AVVO, Yahoo! and Google. With almost 20 years experience winning DUI cases, you can expect the best from Mr. Lawson. Mr. Lawson is a graduate of Emory University Law School and then went to work as a DUI prosecutor in the Atlanta metro area. His experience prosecuting driver's accused of DUI gave him the insight needed to now successful defend those accused with DUI. Our Atlanta Office is staffed by DUI Attorneys in Atlanta Georgia that care about the outcome of your case. Richard Lawson has been a DUI Attorney in Atlanta for almost 20 years. As a DUI Attorney in Atlanta Georgia, he knows how to combat the evidence against you and fight your case. An arrest for DUI in Atlanta does not mean you are guilty.
He knows the prosecuting attorneys playbook and what they look for in making their case against you. For almost 20 years, Mr. Lawson has defended driver's in hundreds of trials and motions. He has been trained in the administration of the field sobriety tests, having undergone the same training that DUI officers go through. Mr. Lawson knows how to win, so call today for a free consultation. We will discuss your DUI in Atlanta GA and all possible defense. Call Atlanta DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today. We are here 24/7 be because your problem should not have to wait until Monday. Our office in Atlanta Georgia is staff 24/7, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Our Office in Atlanta GA is ready to help. Your case will not defend itself.
With his extensive background in DUI law, Mr. Lawson also successfully represents clients in the most serious of DUI offenses including felony DUI cases, DUI Child Endangerment cases and DUI cases in which there is a serious wreck or injuries. Mr. Lawson has also successfully represented people in other serious traffic cases including hit and run, fleeing and eluding, obstruction and vehicular homicide. Most cases start with a minor traffic offense such as speeding, failure to maintain lane, following to closely, reckless driving, racing, or more serious offenses such as hit and run, and fleeing or attempting to elude.
Our Atlanta Offices are conveniently locateds are conveniently located to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
Atlanta Office Location:
North Atlanta Office Location:
Map to Atlanta Municipal Court:
Map to Fulton County State Court:
Summary of Atlanta DUI Law
A DUI arrest begins with a stop of some nature by a law enforcement officer. Keep in mind that you have constitutional rights. An officer cannot just initiate a traffic stop on your vehicle for a random or arbitrary reason. There needs to be what is called a reasonable and articulable suspicion that there is some kind of wrong doing. In effect, the Atlanta Police cannot just pull you over for no reason. There has to be a legitimate reason that you are being pulled over in order for you to be prosecuted for DUI in Atlanta Georgia.
In an Atlanta DUI case, this is most typically a traffic offense that the officer claims to have observed such as speeding, failing to maintain lane, following too closely, a stop sign violation or any form of reckless driving. These offenses give the officer a basis to pull over the vehicle. It can also include speeding, weaving outside your lane of traffic, severe weaving within your lane, aggressive driving, following to closely, and all other minor and major traffic offenses.
Many DUI cases also begin when there is a wreck and an Atlanta DUI officer is called to the scene or in a roadblock situation. Roadblocks are an exception to your constitutional rights. Judges and lawmakers in the State of Georgia believe that your right to avoid being stopped and questioned by police is secondary to the greater need of society to have safe drivers. Roadblocks are an exception to your 4th Amendment Rights and therefore must be scrutinized strictly to make sure they do not violate the rights of drivers in Georgia.
Therefore, if certain requirements are met, roadblockss can be legal in Atlanta and often result in many DUI arrests. There is no bad driving in these cases, but they can charge you with DUI just for being in possession of a motor vehicle when you were potentially over the legal limit.
If you encounter a law enforcement officer, and particularly if it is late at night, they will likely be suspicions of DUI. Atlanta DUI officers are trained to look for some particular manifestations of DUI which may include:
- The odor of alcohol
- An admission of drinking
- Bloodshot, red, watery or glassy eyes
- A Flushed face
- Difficulty retrieving wallet and/or license
- A disheveled appearance
- Slow to respond to questions
- Confusion or difficulty following directions
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty exiting the vehicle
- Leaning against a vehicle for support
- Unsteadiness on feet
- Swaying or trembling
If some or all of these manifestations are apparent, an officer will most certainly ask an Atlanta driver to participate in some field sobriety tests or to take a blood, breath or urine test. If you refuse testing your Georgia Drivers License or privilege to drive in Georgia will be suspended for up to one year. If you take the required state test, you can also have your license suspended if you test above .08 or .02 if you are under 21 years old.
Usually field sobriety tests are requested prior to taking a breath test. Even though it does not seem like it, field tests are completely voluntary and should be avoided. There are 3 standardized field sobriety evaluations that DUI officers are trained in. These tests are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) (which is an eye test), the walk and turn test (when you walk the line making 9 heel to toe steps in each direction, and the one leg stand (where you stand on one foot for 30 seconds).
The consequences for a first DUI conviction in Atlanta can include:
- Driver's license suspension
- Jail time
- Fines and surcharges totaling thousands of dollars
- Community service
- DUI school
- Random screens for drugs and alcohol
- MADD victim impact panels
- Alcohol and drug counseling
- Any other treatment options that the court deems appropriate
SPECIFIC POTENTIAL PUNISHMENTS For DUI IN ATLANTA GA - DUI PENALTIES IN ATLANTA GA:
First Atlanta DUI
Have you been arrested for a first DUI in Atlanta, GA? When someone is arrested for a first DUI, it is the usually the first time they have ever been in legal trouble in their entire life. Under Georgia law, there are some statutory minimums and maximums for what you can expect on a first Atlanta DUI. If convicted of a first Atlanta DUI, then here is what you can expect:
- At least 24 hours of jail time as required by law
- Fines that amount to over $1000 when court costs and surcharges are tacked on. There can be several hundred dollars more for probation supervision fees
- Up to 40 hours of community service
- Mandatory DUI School
- A possible alcohol and drug evaluation and any recommended treatment
- You will also face a year-long license suspension. Depending on the particular facts of your case, this may be less and/or you may be eligible for a limited driving permit
- 12 months on probation
- Contact an Atlanta DUI lawyer today at 404-816-4440 to learn about ways to reduce your sentence.
Second Atlanta DUI
Have you been arrested for a second DUI in Atlanta?
A second DUI in Atlanta yields more significant punishment, but it is often treated as a misdemeanor offense. Your case may get fast tracked, and you may be considered for the stringent Atlanta DUI Court treatment program. Talk with a Atlanta DUI Attorney first before entering a DUI court program as the requirements are consuming and may quickly lead to a violation of probation.Under Georgia law, you can expect the following for a second DUI offense:
- At least three days of jail time
- Fines that amount to at least $600
- You also will face a license suspension of 18 months, generally without a limited permit, and will be subject to an ignition interlock device being installed in your car prior to reinstatement.Mandatory
- DUI School
- Clinical Alcohol and Drug Evaluation and Treatment
- You will serve at least 240 hours of community service
- You may be required to surrender your license plate to the vehicles you own
- There is a possibility that a local newspaper will publish your photo
If you have a prior DUI conviction, then it is imperative that you contact an Atlanta, GA DUI lawyer at 404-816-4440 as soon as possible following your arrest to keep your license.
Third Atlanta DUI - Repeat Atlanta DUI
A third or more DUI in Atlanta is extremely serious. The consequences can be life changing. There are alternative sentences available. You don't have to face the below-listed consequences. There are possible defenses. No case is hopeless. If convicted of a 3rd Atlanta DUI, 4th Atlanta DUI or multiple DUI in Atlanta, contact the best Atlanta DUI Lawyer as soon as possible.
If you face a 3rd Atlanta DUI or 4th Atlanta DUI conviction, then expect:
- To be locked up for a minimum of 15 days, and in many cases, much longer - ordinarily it can be for as much as 120 days.
- You can be fined over $5,000 plus surcharges
- You will face lengthy probation sentences and a license suspension of 5 years
- Reinstatement of your license after 2 years may be possible with DUI School, ignition interlock, and other conditions
- Perform a minimum of 240 hours of community service
- Undergo a clinical evaluation for alcohol and drug dependency. This evaluation will likely lead you to having to complete an alcohol or drug treatment program
- There is a possibility that a local newspaper will publish your photo
- You will be declared an Habitual Violator - Being declared HV
A third Atlanta DUI arrest needs immediate attention by the Best Atlanta DUI Lawyers because you are facing consequences that can be life-altering. You are facing Atlanta DUI Punishments that can effect your freedom and future job prospects. It can also cause a fundamental breakdown of your home and family life. Any DUI charge is serious. If you have prior DUI convictions, it is imperative that you contact an Atlanta, GA DUI lawyer at 404-816-4440 as soon as possible following your arrest to protect your rights and keep your license Your problems do not wait until Monday morning, so we are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
THERE IS HELP - YOU HAVE OPTIONS IN YOUR ATLANTA DUI CASE
For any repeat Atlanta DUI charges, the jail time and probation can become much more lengthy. In addition, license suspensions for even a Second Atlanta DUI or Third Atlanta DUI can last for years. There is also the possibility of being deemed a habitual violator and the ramifications associated with that. You may also be faced with the installation of an ignition interlock system before you are able to fully reinstate your Georgia driving privileges.In addition to Court sanctions, a DUI on your criminal history can be detrimental to securing employment or educational opportunities.
This is why it is important to hire a skilled Atlanta DUI lawyer as soon as possible following you arrest. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers can help protect your rights and ensure you the best possible outcome on your DUI case. A DUI Lawyer in Atlanta is here 7 days a week, 24 hours a day (including nights, weekends, and holidays). Our Atlanta Office and North Atlanta Office are located conveniently for you. Our offices in Atlanta Georgia are here 24/7 to help you when you are in need. An DUI Lawyer in Atlanta GA is here to serve you when you need us the most.
In Atlanta, there are many offenses that people are routinely charged with that can lead to a driver's license suspension, even though they have nothing to do with driving under the influence. Atlanta police officers frequently charge drivers with being under the age of 21 and in possession of alcohol. Underage possession, often known as being a minor in possession of alcohol or (MIP), can be serious in that in can lead to a license suspension and if convicted, the conviction will be on one's record for the rest of their lives.For a young person just starting out, having a conviction for MIP can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job. It can also have effects on getting a professional license and admission to higher education and financial aid.
Our offices has specialists trained in dealing with Georgia Youthful Offenders. Many times, a DUI is not the only charge a driver faces. A lesser related traffic offensesuch as speeding, following too closely or failure to maintain lane usually comes with a DUI charge. Other times a more serious traffic offense such as hit and run, reckless driving or racing are also charged and can lead to increased suspension time and jail.Sometimes people do not always think they need an Atlanta DUI lawyer, especially for a first DUI or first offense.
However, there are many technicalities associated with a DUI and the services of a lawyer dedicating his practice to DUI law and all its intricacies can make the difference between losing your license or not and getting the best outcome on your case. Mr. Lawson and his team of DUI lawyers maintain a 24 hours a day, 7 day a week law practice. Contact our Atlanta DUI lawyers today to discuss your case.
Sometimes people are nervous about being questioned by officers or are just clumsy and would fail these tests under even the best of circumstances. The officer scores these tests looking for “clues” of impairment. Officers typically request a DUI suspected driver take these tests, but you are always welcome to decline. The officer is just trying to build his case against you for DUI. You are not required to help the State build it's case against you when you have been arrested for DUI in Atlanta GA.
Atlanta DUI attorneys are often asked if a driver needs to be read his or her Miranda rights prior to being asked to take field sobriety tests. The answer is generally not. Miranda rights – such as your right to remain silent and confer with an attorney – are not triggered until you are in police custody and being asked questions that are interrogating. Police custody has been consistently determined by Georgia courts to mean handcuffed --not just detained and questioned by police or asked to do field sobriety tests.
Therefore, Miranda only applies to any questioning a law enforcement officer does after your DUI arrest in most cases. There are some instances where a driver is not handcuffed but is legally held to be in police custody such as when then are told to sit in the police car or are clearly detained by the officer. Being in custody is what triggers Miranda. Questions answered when not Mirandized cannot be used against you if the officer was obligated to read you your Miranda rights but did not.
Based on the culmination of the driving observed, the manifestations of intoxication and the clues exhibited on the field sobriety tests, an Atlanta DUI officer usually makes a determination of whether to arrest for DUI. The officer may also ask you prior to arrest to blow into a little box which is known as an Alco-sensor or preliminary breath test (PBT). This test is not admissible against you in court other than for the officer to say if it was positive or negative for alcohol. However, it does give the officer a number which he can consider in his determination of your intoxication. You have the right to decline this test.
Once placed under arrest for DUI, the officer has to read you a card known as your implied consent notice. In Georgia, driving is a privilege, not a right. The Georgia Department of Driver Services takes the position that if an officer suspects you of DUI and advises you of your implied consent rights timely and accurately, you have to submit to a state administered test or your blood, breath or urine or risk suspension of your driving privileges for a year or more. This is known as an implied consent suspension. Sometimes people also call it a “refusal” suspension because your driving privileges are suspended if you do not take the test. You also face a suspension if you test over the legal limit, but that suspension is not as harsh as a limited permit is available. A refusal suspension can cost you up to a year without driving.
The Georgia Implied Consent Law - Implied Consent in Atlanta
The Implied Consent suspension does not begin instantaneously or even at all. It will go into effect 30 days after the DUI arrest unless you (or an Atlanta DUI attorney on your behalf) file an appeal letter within 10 business days of your arrest. This 10 day letter outlines your defense and requests a hearing date prior to a license suspension. A $150 filing fee is required as well.
If you agree to take the state administered test, the officer gets to elect which test he or she wants – a blood, breath or urine test. Usually a breath test is used in an alcohol case and a blood test in a drug case. In Georgia, the breath test is given on a computer called the Intoxilyzer 5000. This is old technology and not without its problems. Georgia is in the process of switching its breath test to a newer model, but as of the date of this writing, the Intox. 5000 is still used statewide.
The officer is supposed to observe the driver for 20 minutes continuously prior to testing. You are asked to give two breath samples and the lower of the 2 must be used. You should receive a printout sheet of your results. You also have the right to ask for an independent test after you take the officer's test. This test is by a provider of your own choosing (within reason) and at your own expense.
If the officer fails to reasonably accommodate your request for an independent test, you can have the results of the state administered test suppressed from the trial in your case. You have the right to an independent breath, blood, urine, or test of some other substance or fluid at your own expense and from someone of your own choosing. You have to pay for your own independent test, but the officer must accommodate your request. For example, an officer must take you to an ATM machine to get money to pay for the test.
How a DUI Attorney in Atlanta Can Help
Atlanta DUI law is such a specialized area of practice that a DUI attorney is necessary. First and foremost, an Atlanta DUI attorney will do your appeal letter to stop your license suspension. He or she will also request the police reports and video in your case and begin plea negotiations with the state prosecutors. Usually, upon leaving the jail, you will be given citations with a court location and date.
Most Atlanta DUI cases begin in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court and initially go before Judge Crystal Gaines. In the meantime, you will get notice of your driver's license hearing which is usually held at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (OSAH) located downtown on Peachtree St. This license hearing is known often as an ALS hearing – standing for Administrative License Suspension.
At the ALS hearing, your Atlanta DUI attorney can negotiate with the arresting officer in an effort to save your drivers license or have a hearing before an administrative law judge. Your Atlanta DUI attorney will also represent you at the likely numerous court dates in the Atlanta Municipal Court. If at any point your DUI gets reduced to reckless driving, won at trial, or thrown out altogether, any ALS suspension will end or become moot.
While each case varies, the most typical defenses used in Atlanta DUI cases are to challenge the original basis for the stop (such as no bad driving or an illegal roadblock), argue that there is no probable cause to arrest for DUI (the driver did not seem impaired or exhibit any manifestations of intoxication) and to argue that the Implied Consent notice the officer gave the driver was defective in some way (therefore, the test results cannot be used against the driver).
There are several main categories of how the Implied Consent warnings can be defective. First, the officer may not have read the warning, read the incorrect warning, misread or read an incomplete warning, or did not read the warning timely. Officers have been known to misstate things – such as the length of the suspension you are facing or the legal limit.
If you are a driver over the age of 21, your legal limit is a .08 and that is a different limit from drivers under the age of 21 who face a legally limit of .02. As soon as you are arrested, the officer is supposed to read you this warning. A delay in being notified of you implied consent rights could lead to suppression of the test results from your trial.
Additionally, officers sometimes give inaccurate or coercive warnings. An officer has no obligation to explain the warning to you, but sometimes they elaborate and give the driver misinformation. If an officer tells an out of state driver that their out of state license will be suspended, or if an officer tells a driver that they will have to be in jail longer for refusing to test, then this will likely lead to the test results being suppressed from trial as well.
Finally, if the officer fails to inform the driver of the right to an independent test, or fails to accommodate the driver's request for an independent test, then that will also lead to unusable test results as well. You have to be given a fair chance to have an independent test in Georgia, or it violates the Georgia Implied Consent Law. If violated, the State cannot use the breath test, blood test, urine test, or refusal against you.
Results That Matters - Atlanta DUI Cases Won
Atlanta DUI Attorney Richard Lawson is often able to get DUI cases reduced to reckless driving in the City of Atlanta in the City of Atlanta. Of course, this depends on your prior record and the facts of your case, but in many situations, a hearing or trial can be avoided if the parties agree to reckless driving. Reckless driving is a win in Atlanta DUI Defense. Anytime our clients are not convicted of DUI in Atlanta, that is a total victory for our clients.
As a DUI attorney in Atlanta, Mr. Lawson and his team also can often get the DUI sentence reduced to the statutory minimums which just includes probation terms and fines with no additional jail time. We have been very successful in keeping our clients driving and avoiding lengthy license suspensions. We are in many situations able to secure our clients limited driving permits so they may get to school and work at all times.
If you are facing a second DUI or have had three more DUI arrests, then you are familiar with the Atlanta court process. However, you may not be aware of the escalating statutory punishments. If you are a repeat offender, we can help you negotiate options that reduce jail time and help you get your license back as soon as possible. Since we specialize in DUI cases, we know many of the exceptions that can help keep you driving. We also help clients with high and aggravated misdemeanor charges as well as habitual violator situations.
Atlanta DUI Attorney - Motions and Trials
Sometimes a favorable plea bargain cannot be worked out and the client elects to fight the case. There is usually an option of having a bench trial or a jury trial. A bench trial just means a trial before a judge whereas a jury trial is just that – a trial before a jury. Most first time DUI offenses are misdemeanors and that means there is a jury of six people from the community.
Under Georgia law, a DUI case is usually charged in one (or more) or three ways: a DUI – per se offense when you take a blood or breath test and it is over the legal limit; a DUI - less safe case when you are charged with being a less safe driver because of being under the influence but there is not a blood or breath test to use against you; and a DUI Drugs Case – when you are charged with being under the influence of either illegal or prescription drugs to the extent you are a less safe or unsafe driver.
Generally speaking, it is more difficult for the state to prove that a driver is too drunk to be driving when there is not a breath or blood test. However, in most Atlanta DUI cases, there is video tape, so that evidence can be troubling if the driver looks impaired on the video or if the driving looks dangerous. The manner of driving is a key factor in your DUI case in Atlanta GA.
Many times, there are explanations for poor driving or poor performance on field sobriety tests. People can be tired, upset, confused, lost, sick etc. These are things that police officers are often not interested in when making their case against your for DUI. Most police officers cannot discern the difference between a tired and distracted driver than a person the influence of alcohol to the extent they are less safe to drive.
There are also challenges that can be made in cases with over the limit blood or breath tests. Of course, it can always be argued that the results are just flat out wrong – they are inconsistent with the videotape and other evidence. But there are also experts who can come and argue on behalf of clients and challenge blood test and breath test results. Many times, mistakes are made along what way. In some instances, a medical condition such as acid reflux, diabetes or ketosis can affect the results. Speak to an Atlanta DUI attorney promptly to discuss your options and your rights.
DUI-Drug Cases in Atlanta
In Atlanta, DUI – drug cases are becoming more and more commonplace. It is alarming that you can be arrested for DUI for being under the influence of your lawfully prescribed medication. We can help you fight your case. The same is true for illegal drugs such as the commonly charged driving under the influence of marijuana case. In most blood tests for marijuana, the blood is not tested for active metabolite. DUI Prescription Drugs is becoming more and more common.
Therefore, the test only shows the presence of marijuana and not how long the marijuana has been in the system. Even if the marijuana is fresh, there is little credible evidence linking marijuana to impaired driving in the same manner in which alcohol impedes safe driving. Our Atlanta attorneys have experience fighting and winning marijuana cases, so contact us soon for your free consultation.
At our Atlanta law office, our attorneys also help clients with Minor in Possession (MIP) cases – or minor in possession of alcohol-- which is also referred to as underage consumption. If it is a first MIP, we can help keep the conviction off your record thereby avoiding a criminal history and a license suspension. Particularly with young people applying to school and new in the job market, a conviction of any type can be devastating. Let us help you get the best possible results.
Whether you are looking for the best possible plea bargain or know you want to fight your case at trial, our Atlanta DUI attorneys can help. We get many of our DUI drivers an alternate sentence via plea bargaininging whether that is a reduction to reckless driving, home confinement, or rehab in lieu of a long jail sentence for those with prior DUI offenses in Atlanta.
Our Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyers are devoted to finding you the best outcome in the following DUI Practice Areas:
ATLANTA DUI DEFENSE
What do you do if you have been arrested for DUI by an Atlanta police officer or Georgia State Trooper?
The first step is to hire an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney who can defend your case.The process to preserve evidence and to stop the suspension of your Georgia driver's license and / or your privileges to drive in Georgia will start when you contact a lawyer. One of the first things a DUI lawyer will do is request and evaluate the evidence against you. Atlanta DUI officers need a reason to stop your car to begin with. Did the officer stop you for a traffic violation? Were stopped at an unlawful roadblock?The answers to these questions can be used as evidence to win your case. If you appear sober on the Atlanta police video of the encounter, then this can be used to bolster your case.
Our Atlanta DUI lawyers always review the video and audio evidence to look for possible defenses. Atlanta DUI Defense is a serious matter only to be taken on by top-rated Atlanta DUI Defense Lawyers.Atlanta DUI officers can make mistakes during the DUI investigation or arrest. These mistakes can be used against the State to get the DUI case reduced or even dismissed. In some instances, there are errors with the breath test machine. In the case of a machine error, the alcohol test results can be declared unusable as evidence. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers look closely at the evidence and give you the best possible defense to the charges.
THE ATLANTA DUI COURT SYSTEM:
There are 3 major types of DUI cases people face in the Atlanta court system. There is what is known as a DUI – per se offense, a DUI – less safe offense, and a DUI – drug case. DUI per se is when you took a breath or blood test and the results are over the legal limit. The DUI Less Safe case is when the driver declined to take the blood / breath / urine test, but the State moves forward the prosecution claiming that the person is a less safe driver due to intoxication. DUI Less Safe can also be charged when someone takes a chemical test but the results are under the legal limit or unusable for some reason. And of course, you can also be charged with DUI for being under the influence of drugs.
There are actually two prosecutions against you in a DUI case. Following your arrest you will be given a citation that generally contains a court date. For most Atlanta cases, the first court date is at the City of Atlanta Municipal Court located downtown at 150 Garnett Street, Atlanta GA 30303. This is the court case against you that can lead to a conviction for DUI, a driver's license suspension, probation and jail time etc. However, there is also a civil proceeding against you in most Atlanta DUI cases.
This is known as an Administrative License Suspension. The Department of Driver Services, acting with the arresting officer as its prosecutor, seeks the suspension of your license if you either refused to take a chemical test or you took the test and it was over the legal limit. Your license will become suspended for a minimum period of one year after 30 days following your arrest if you do not submit an appeal letter requesting a hearing (along with the $150 filing fee) within 10 business days.
As you can see, the Atlanta DUI Process is complicated. Our Atlanta DUI Lawyers are here to help you navigate it and win.
DUI – ALCOHOL
Once you are pulled over and suspected of DUI – Alcohol, an arresting officer will ask you to perform a Breathalyzer test or complete field sobriety tests. The officer can also justify your DUI arrest by bloodshot eyes, fumbling to get your license and registration or smelling alcohol on your breath.
There are three types of alcohol related DUI charges when an officer takes a Breathalyzer test. If there is a positive breath test that is over the legal limit - which is a .08 for drivers 21 and over, .04 for commercial vehicle drivers, and .02 for drivers under the age of 21 – then you are charged in Atlanta, GA for DUI.
Sometimes an Atlanta DUI arresting officer requests a blood test instead of a breath test. Blood tests are generally administered at a local hospital such as Grady. A breath test is faster, easier and more common, but blood tests are generally more reliable. However, challenges can also be effectively made to over the limit blood test results. Sometimes the blood sample is not properly accounted for or may be mixed up or contaminated in some way. This can be especially true in a case where you're driving and field sobriety tests were good, but the blood test result comes back incredibly high.
DUI - DRUGS
A driver can also be charged with DUI Drugs. This happens when an officer suspects you of being under the influence of an illegal or prescription drug. The Atlanta DUI prosecuting attorney must prove that were an unsafe driver due to the consumption of the drug. There may be a blood or urine test or it may just be based on the officer's observations of the driver based on their training and experience with people under the influence of drugs.
Once the officer thinks he or she has enough evidence for a DUI case, you will then get arrested and sent to jail. An officer in Atlanta can arrest you and charge you for a DUI even if you do not take a breath or blood test. Once you are sent to jail, the Atlanta DUI prosecutors at the solicitor-general or district attorney's office will then begin a court case against you. Typically, the citations you receive at the jail will have a court date on them. This is known as your arraignment date. This will most like be held in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court, but sometimes State Trooper's will send the case straight to Fulton County State Court where you may not have arraignment for a year or more. Yes, you read that correctly, the State Court of Fulton County is so backed up with cases it is usually a lengthy wait for a court date.
ATLANTA DUI ARRAIGNMENT
An arraignment is your opportunity to enter a guilty or a not guilty plea. Typically, a plea of not guilty is entered on your behalf at your first arraignment to allow your Atlanta DUI attorney time to receive and review the evidence against you. Then a plea deal is negotiated if you want to enter a plea of guilty at a later date as your Atlanta DUI lawyer begins to get your case ready for Motions and Trial. Oftentimes, in Atlanta, arraignment is continued several times while your DUI attorney is gathering evidence and speaking with prosecutors.
FIGHTING YOUR ATLANTA DUI CASE - MOTIONS
If you want to contest your Atlanta DUI case, then motions are the first step. A judge will evaluate motions after your Atlanta DUI lawyer presents a legal argument. Your lawyer will present legal arguments to the Judge in hopes of getting the case dismissed or key evidence excluded. Motions can be critical because they offer a chance to cross-examine the arresting officer under oath and get additional information that can later be useful at trial.
If motions do not lead to a resolution of your Atlanta DUI case, then a trial is the next step. In Atlanta, you can elect to have a trial by Judge or by Jury. Jury trials are only held in the Fulton County State Court and usually it takes a couple of years for your case to come up for trial. Your Atlanta GA DUI lawyer from the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson will help you decide which is a better option for you and can answer your questions about winning your Atlanta DUI case. At trial, the prosecuting attorney on behalf of Atlanta must prove the DUI charges against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high burden.
THE TRIAL - WHAT WILL AN ATLANTA DUI LAWYER DO?
If you enter the trial period of a DUI charge, then an Atlanta DUI attorney will work on building a case for you on the trial date. Atlanta DUI lawyers will review tapes as well as any additional evidence submitted. Some of the best defenses that our Atlanta DUI lawyers use include challenging the basis to stop the vehicle to begin with or the legitimacy of the roadblock, challenging the manner in which the field sobriety tests were done and the results and arguing that there was no probable cause to arrest for DUI in the first place.
A DUI lawyer will also examine the manner and content of the Implied Consent warnings given to the driver (if any). If the arresting officer did not advise of implied consent, then the results of the blood or breath test cannot be used against you at a trial of your case. Furthermore, there may be suppression of evidence issues regarding statements you made or other evidence seized by police if the searches were not lawful or you were not advised of Miranda rights. Part of the Implied Consent warning that the officer must give you is to alert you of your right to have an independent chemical test done at your own expense and by a provider of your own choosing.
DUI trial lawyers also request the training and disciplinary records of the arresting officer to see what potential challenges may be made to his or her record. If there was an accident or there was a high blood or breath test result, expert witnesses may be called to discredit the breath test machine or to serve as traffic accident reconstructionist to prove you were not the at fault driver.
Every DUI case is different so the potential defenses are varied. Sometimes, there are affirmative defenses available such as self-defense. There have been cases where a driver admits to drunk driving but argues justification as they were being attacked or trying to flee from an extremely dangerous situation. In some cases, there is involuntary intoxication when a DUI driver was drugged.
Our Atlanta DUI lawyers are always available to discuss potential defenses with you, so call our office today for a free consultation.
DO I NEED A LAWYER FOR MY ATLANTA DUI CASE?
Sometimes people feel that they can represent themselves in court on their DUI charges. This is not a recommended course of action. Representing yourself in the DUI case with its two components – the court case and the administrative license suspension – can be very dangerous if you do not have experience understanding the court system. This may lead to you losing your driver's license and facing a conviction and serious sanctions. An experienced attorney can help you build a defense that will decrease sanctions and aid you in protecting your driver's license. If you are asking "Do I need a lawyer for my Atlanta DUI case," the answer is an unqualified yes.
Don't be tempted to research DUI cases and defenses on your own. DUI law changes all the time and what may have been true two years ago and is posted on a website may no longer be relevant. Every case is different, and no lawyer or website can advise you without speaking to you first about the unique details of your case and history. That is why it is so critical that you enlist our Atlanta DUI lawyers right away to begin mounting your defense. Call 404-816-4440 to speak with an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer about your case.
ACCIDENTS AND SERIOUS INJURIES BY VEHICLES IN ATLANTA DUI CASES
If you were involved in a DUI involving an accident or hit and run, then this can be considered a possible felony charge by Atlanta prosecuting attorneys. In particular, if there were serious injuries to yourself or others, you can possibly face a lengthy jail sentence.
When a person loses full use of a body part, becomes seriously disfigured or has brain damage, then the person responsible for causing the accident can be charged with serious injury by vehicle. Even if the injury isn't permanent, a driver can still be convicted of serious injury by vehicle. This can lead to a prison sentence of 15 years in cases where a DUI is also involved with a serious injury by vehicle charge.
Richard Lawson works with some of the best investigators, expert medical witnesses and field sobriety experts in the country. We can also discuss the employment of accident reconstructionist and specialists who can help challenge the State's case against you. We frequently rely on experts from faculty at universities in the Atlanta area to testify on behalf of your case. These professors come from disciplines such as pharmacy and chemistry, and they dispute bogus blood and breath test arguments made by the State against our clients. Call 404-816-4440 to get your case defended today.
ATLANTA ADMINISTRATIVE DRIVERS LICENSE HEARINGS
Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearings refer to the separate license suspension prosecution the Georgia Department of Driver Services initiates against a driver charged with a DUI.
After a DUI arrest, your license will typically become suspended after 30 days by the Department of Driver Services. This suspension can last up to one year. The court allows only 10 business days to stop the suspension, and it is imperative that you address the suspension within this window of time. You will receive a DPS 1205 form, which is the form for anyone who went over the legal drinking limit or who opted out of being tested for alcohol consumption. An appeal letter and $150 filing fee must be timely submitted to stop the suspension.
We file these appeal letters routinely for our Atlanta DUI clients. Then we get a hearing a few weeks later to defend your case and protect your driving privileges. These hearings, known as ALS hearings, are held weekly for Atlanta cases at the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) downtown office on Peachtree St.
Our Atlanta DUI lawyers will help you navigate filling out the DPS 1205 form and appear in court hearing in order to help you keep your license. Keep in mind that the clock to appeal the suspension begins ticking on the first weekday on or following your DUI arrest. It is imperative to contact our DUI law office right away at 404-816-4440 to protect your Georgia driving privileges.
In cases where drivers have out of state licenses, it is important to file these appeal letters and have these hearings as well. Click here for more information on out of state drivers.
BREATH TESTS AND BLOOD TESTS IN ATLANTA GA DUI - DUI ALCOHOL IN ATLANTA
There are three types of DUI alcohol related charges. All are part of the same DUI statute, but there are some important distinctions. If there is a positive breath test that is over the legal limit - which is a .08 for drivers 21 and over, .04 for commercial vehicle drivers, and .02 for drivers under the age of 21 – you are charged in Atlanta, GA for DUI. This means that you have an unlawful blood alcohol concentration under Georgia law.
What happens when you are charged with a DUI without a breath test? In many cases, a person refuses to take a breath test or the breath test results are excluded. The state can still insist that you take a blood test or move forward with a DUI – less safe driving charge. The Atlanta DUI prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was a less safe driver due to alcohol consumption. This is where a good video and lack of evidence of faulty driving can be key in winning your case or getting a reduction of the DUI charge.
Breath tests are the most common form of test. In some cases, most usual a marijuana case, the officer asks for a urine test. IN other cases, usually when drugs are suspected, a blood test is used. Blood tests are the most accurate, but they are also time consuming for the officer, so they are not used as much. Many challenges can be made to the breath tests used in the State of Georgia. Georgia utilizes a machine, the Intox. 5000, which is old technology and can have some major reliability issues.
Call our Atlanta DUI lawyers at 404-816-4440 to discuss your breath or blood test. We often work with experts on breath and chemical testing who can examine the breath testing machines used by the State and testify at trial to their lack of reliability. Sometimes the machines are not calibrated properly. All of these are potential attacks that can call into question the accuracy of the results.
ATLANTA CHILD ENDANGERMENT DUI
The involvement of children under 14 in a DUI case gets prosecutors and judges to crack down on DUI accused drivers, even on a first offense in Atlanta, GA. Under Georgia law, someone charged with a DUI will get an additional child endangerment charge for every child in the car. Each child endangerment charge is the equivalent of another DUI charge. This means that even if you have a perfectly clean record, you can face multiple DUI charges.
For example, you have three kids in the car with you. Atlanta, GA will charge you with one DUI and three counts of child endangerment. This is the equivalent of four DUI cases based on the Georgia State law. These four DUI charges will elevate your case to a felony. At this point, you are facing a multi-year license suspension, a $10,000 fine and prison time.
In Atlanta GA, DUI offenses with children in the car are treated severely. It is imperative if you are facing these charges to get the best legal representation possible. Our lawyers get results and Mr. Lawson has successfully represented people in many situations involving minor passengers. Call us today at 404-816-4440 for a free case consultation.
PRESCRIPTION AND ILLEGAL DRUG DUI CHARGES IN ATLANTA, GA
A growing trend in law enforcement is the increasing frequency of Atlanta DUI – drug arrests for driving under the influence of both illegal and legal drugs. Most people are aware that an Atlanta officer can arrest you for driving under the influence of an illegal substance like marijuana, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Yet law enforcement officers can and do arrest people for driving under the influence of their lawfully prescribed or over-the-counter medications.
This is a troubling development in law enforcement. Few reliable studies correlate any illegal or legal drug with any driving impairment level. In addition, the standardized field sobriety tests in which most DUI officers are trained were not designed to indicate impairment from drugs. Only a very small percentage of law enforcement officers have any relevant training in detecting whether someone is under the influence of an illegal or legal drug to the extent it impairs their driving ability.
An Atlanta DUI Attorney will assess your case and work with medical experts and toxicologists to strengthen your defense. If you are arrested for a DUI drug charge, then make sure you consult an attorney who can defend your case. We work with the best medical experts and are experienced at examining toxicology reports. Call our Atlanta DUI attorneys now at 404-816-4440 to discuss your case and begin developing strategies to fight and win.
ATLANTA DUI UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE
Georgia law makes it illegal for drivers under 21 to operate a motor vehicle when their blood alcohol content is greater than .02%/ Lawmakers tried to factor in some leeway for variables like mouthwash and breath mints that can show up as alcohol on a breath test. Underage drivers face the same, if not more, possible consequences for jail, fines, probation, and community services and rehabilitation classes as drivers over 21.
If a driver under 21 has a blood alcohol level between .02% and .08%, they will then be charged with an Under 21 DUI in Atlanta. The charge in Atlanta for a driver under 21 who has a blood alcohol content above .08% is an Under 21 DUI plus an additional DUI charge.
Drivers under 21 are likely unsure of their future career and future educational plans. A DUI can eliminate options for future employment and graduate school education. Our laws can help you understand your charges and what you are really facing.
Richard Lawson can help you discover defenses and fight your case through trial as well as file Motions on your behalf aimed at dismissals and reductions. If you are under 21 and faced with a DUI charge, or if you are the parent or family member of a young person, our Atlanta DUI lawyers can help. Give us a call at 404-816-4440 to get your questions answered.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS BY ATLANTA POLICE OFFICERS AND THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL
In nearly every Atlanta GA DUI arrest, the officer will have administered field sobriety tests in addition to breath and blood tests. There are three tests that are standardized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These have been studied to show that they have some correlation with measuring alcohol intoxication on one's ability to drive. The standardized tests are:
- The “eye test” or horizontal gaze nystagmus where the officer does a series of tests when he asks the driver to look at a stimulus and the officer tries to determine if there is “nystagmus” (a jerking movement) of the eyeball. Not everyone is a good candidate for this test as some people always have nystagmus and certain head and eye conditions can make the test non-reliable.
- The second standardized evaluation is the walk and turn test. This test consists of nine heel-to-step steps along a line, a turn, and nine heel-to-toe steps backward. Atlanta DUI officers will try to observe “clues” consistent with intoxication. Some common clues DUI officers look for are starting before you are told to start, or walking normally instead of making heel-to-toe steps.
- The final standardized field sobriety test used to determine DUI is the one leg stand. This test requires you to stand on one foot for 30 seconds with your arms at your sides. This is hard for some people to do under the best conditions, much less when you are nervous and being accused of DUI!
DUI officers occasionally ask drivers to partake in other non-standardized tests like saying the alphabet or counting to a certain number in their head. These tests have not been validated to show any indication that a driver is under the influence.
A DUI officer often has a video camera equipped in his patrol car to record the driver completing the field sobriety tests. In many instances, these tapes can help the defense if someone does a good job and appears to walk and speak normally on the tape. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers are trained in dissecting an officer's methods in conducting the field sobriety tests. In many instances, these tests are not done according to the prescribed methods. If the prescribed methods aren't used, then an Atlanta DUI lawyer can prove results are not valid.
If you are arrested for DUI in Atlanta, GA, and you have an out of state license, then you face some unique challenges. A DUI in Georgia can only suspend Georgia licenses and driving privileges on GA roads. However, Georgia cannot suspend an out of state license. But an out-of-state driver can get end up with a suspended license from his or her home state. In instances where a Georgia driver can get a limited driving permit, an out of state driver is not able to get one.
Particularly, if you are a college student at Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse, Spelman, Emory or Agnes Scott student and maintain a permanent address out of state, you should consult an Atlanta DUI lawyer right away to find out what the possible implications are. In addition, DUI officers sometimes misadvise out of state drivers regarding the consequences of a DUI on their out of state license.
This can be cause for later challenging the methods and statements of the officer in court and possibly even winning your case on these issues alone. Call 404-816-4440 to reach the offices of Richard Lawson to discuss your out of state case.
Atlanta law enforcement officers regularly arrest citizens in Atlanta for possession of marijuana. If there is less than an ounce of marijuana, then it is generally a misdemeanor charge. If it is more than an ounce of marijuana, it is a felony charge handled in Superior Court. Even a very small, trace amount can be enough to constitute the charge of possession of marijuana. A conviction for possession of marijuana will stay on your record forever and is not able to be expunged. That is, the possession of marijuana charge will stay on your record forever.
In addition to the consequences for possession of marijuana on your record forever, Atlanta judges can also sentence you to jail time, fines, probation and community service. A conviction can lead to a suspension of your driver's license. The license suspension can result even if there is no driving or motor vehicles involved. For these reasons, talking to an Atlanta marijuana lawyer is important as soon as possible following your arrest or citation. Call Richard Lawson's office today at 404-816-4440 to discuss your case in more detail.
ATLANTA MINOR IN POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL
Minor in Possession (MIP) alcohol charges are especially common in Atlanta, GA due to the large student population at Emory, Morehouse, Georgia Tech, Spelman and Georgia State. You can be convicted of minor in possession of alcohol regardless of whether you gave a breath sample or not. A conviction for an MIP goes on your record forever. This charge may have ramifications on your school records if you are a student in the Atlanta metropolitan area. In addition, an underage possession of alcohol conviction can lead Atlanta prosecuting attorneys and judges to give the following:
- Jail time
- Driver's license suspensions
- Community service
- High fines and fees
- Alcohol evaluations - clinical evaluations
- Treatment programs and other sanctions
While a first offense MIP is typically a misdemeanor, it is not a charge to be taken lightly. Call an Atlanta DUI lawyer who specializes in MIP today at 404-816-4440 to protect your rights and ensure that the charge is dismissed or kept off your record. Going into the job market is difficult with even a misdemeanor on your record. You have options to prevent having a permanent criminal record.
DUI Cases ATLANTA DUI PLEA BARGAINS v. ATLANTA DUI TRIALS
If you are charged with an DUI, you essentially have two options:
- To work out a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorneys; or
- Contest the case with motions and a trial.
The best option is to get the Atlanta prosecutors and judges to dismiss the case altogether. This will rarely happen without the prosecutors realizing that they will certainly lose their case. In most Atlanta DUI cases, even for first time offenders, the prosecutors will want a DUI conviction and will offer jail time, high fines, lengthy and burdensome probation sentences, and a license suspension. It is the job of an Atlanta DUI lawyer to get you the best deal possible if you want to avoid trial and resolve your case with a plea.
Our DUI lawyers have been successful in keeping people driving and reducing or avoiding jail sentences. In addition, there are alternative sentences sometimes available such as amending the DUI charge to reckless driving. Often when other serious traffic offenses are charged with DUI, such as hit and run, we can negotiate to have one of the charges dropped for a plea of guilty to the other charge. DUI Court treatment programs, house arrest, weekend incarceration, ankle monitors / SCRAM units and increased probation and community service requirements are all alternate sentences that our lawyers have used to successfully work out plea bargains in the past.
See the section about Trials to see what type of defenses can be raised in a DUI case.
Call 404-816-4440 to discuss options and strategies that can be employed in fighting your case and being successful at trial.
ATLANTA DUI BREATH TESTS - ATLANTA DUI REFUSALS
If you are stopped by Atlanta officers and suspected of DUI, should you take the breath test or not? This is a tricky question and one you have to make under very stressful conditions. The results of the breath test are generally the strongest evidence against you in a DUI case if the results are over the legal limit. Under Georgia law, if you take a breath test and it is over the legal limit it is considered DUI –per se under the law and the state has a much stronger case against you. Keep in mind that breath tests do not test blood alcohol content. They can only predict the concentration of alcohol in the blood.
So why would anyone take the test? One answer is Georgia's implied consent law. Upon your arrest for DUI, the Atlanta officer is required to read to you a card that advises you that your privileges to drive or Georgia driver's license will be suspended for a year if you refuse to take the state administered breath test. So even before a conviction for DUI in the court of law, the Georgia Department of Driver Services can suspend your license for refusing the breath test.
Often, a DUI lawyer can negotiate with the arresting officer to not suspend your license, but this comes with a price. In most cases, the officer will agree to allow you to keep your license if you agree to waive your right to contest your case with a trial and plead guilty to the charges. This can feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, but our DUI lawyers can help explain your options and rights.
The law in this area is harsh and confusing. Our lawyers are well versed in the procedures and consequences of refusing the breath test in Atlanta. Contact us today at 404-816-4440 to discuss your particular facts.
ROADBLOCKS BY THE ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE GEORGIA STATE PATROL
Many Atlanta DUI cases stem from vehicles stopped at a roadblock. In a DUI roadblock case, there is typically not any evidence of impaired driving. The cases boil down to the officer's observations of the driver's speech, breath, etc. as well as the driver's performance on field sobriety evaluations and any chemical testing. There are many precautions that law enforcement needs to follow to show that the roadblock was set up in a constitutional and lawful manner.
Atlanta officers cannot randomly stop vehicles and accuse drivers of DUI. In many instances, good defenses are available to drivers in roadblock cases. Call our experienced Atlanta DUI lawyers today at 404-816-4440 to discuss the facts surrounding your stop and arrest for DUI. We can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE
In Atlanta, GA driving on a suspended license is a serious offense that can lead to arrest. Even in a non-DUI related case, when an officer pulls you over while driving on a suspended license, you can still expect to face a $500 fine and at least two days in jail. Our Atlanta defense lawyers help drivers each week get their licenses back. The ability to drive in Georgia is at utmost importance.
With limited public transpiration alternatives, having a valid Georgia driver's license can be necessary to keeping one's job, getting to school and taking care of one's children. Dealing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services can be confusing and riddled with loopholes. If you have a suspended license or are facing a DUI driver's license suspension, our Atlanta lawyers can help. Call us today at 404-816- 4440 for a free consultation.
VEHICULAR HOMICIDE IN ATLANTA GA
One of the most serious charges a person can face in the Atlanta legal system is vehicular homicide. This charge can be either a felony or a misdemeanor depending upon the facts of the particular case as determined by the Atlanta prosecuting attorneys. In general, misdemeanor vehicular homicide occurs when someone's death is caused by a violation of basic traffic laws.
If convicted for misdemeanor vehicular homicide, you may receive a sentence from an Atlanta judge of up to one year. A felony vehicular homicide charge is much more serious. When death occurs to someone as a result of DUI or reckless driving, then you will face felony charges. If convicted of felony vehicular homicide, you may receive up to 15 years in prison.
Finding a strong defense for the DUI aspect of a vehicular homicide charge is of critical importance. Atlanta, GA attorney Richard S. Lawson has 17 years of experience helping drivers get the best possible results. Mr. Lawson and his team of legal professionals and Georgia's top DUI experts (such as accident reconstructionist) can help. Call Mr. Lawson today at 404-816-4440 for a consultation regarding this serious legal issue.
Atlanta Violations of Probation
If you are convicted of DUI under Georgia law, then you have to be on probation for a minimum of 12 months. Probation can be burdensome and expensive with its monthly supervision and associated fees. You also run the risk of committing a violation of probation. If you fall behind in paying your probation fees, miss a probation appointment, or neglect to perform community service or drug and alcohol treatment classes, you can be subject to a technical violation of probation.
In Atlanta, this often means that you will have to sit in jail for several days or even weeks awaiting a probation revocation hearing. Probation can also be violated if you are charged with a new offense during the probationary period. Even a crime as minor as a speeding ticket can be considered a violation of probation and lead to a warrant for your arrest. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers are experienced in handing violations of probation and are extremely quick to meet with probation officers and judges to get the matter resolved.
Call our Atlanta violation of probation lawyers today at 404-816-4440 to get the help and advice you need.
Your Best Defense Begins Here - Best Atlanta DUI Lawyer
Atlanta DUI lawyer Richard S. Lawson began his career almost 20 years ago after graduating from Emory University's School of Law. At Emory, Mr. Lawson began to hone his trial skills as an award winning mock trial student attorney. After graduating from Emory, Richard prosecuted DUI cases on behalf of the State Georgia, first working for the office of the Solicitor-General and then as an Assistant District Attorney.
After prosecuting thousands of cases with the district attorney's office, Mr. Lawson left to open his own law office dedicated to defending drivers charged with DUI offenses. Mr. Lawson now utilizes what he learned as a DUI prosecuting attorney as a weapon to defend his clients' cases. He knows the “ins and outs” of DUI law and can uncover flaws in the Atlanta DUI prosecutor's case to the advantage of his clients.
Mr. Lawson expertise can also be demonstrated by these accomplishments:
- Mr. Lawson is a National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) Field Sobriety Test instructor course graduate. This means that he has been trained in the same methods that Atlanta DUI officers are in terms of DUI detection and field sobriety evaluations. He has all the same manuals and can use his training to impeach the credibility of the Atlanta DUI officer on the stand.
- Mr. Lawson has taught courses to other attorneys at legal seminars regarding DUI defense and trial skills. He has spoken on numerous topics regarding cross-examination techniques and courses on how to defend DUI cases and get accused drivers the best results.
- He has recently been called upon to author a chapter in an upcoming legal textbook due out this year from Thomas Reuters regarding trends in DUI cases involving both illegal and prescription drugs.
A great deal is on the line with a DUI charge. Most first time Atlanta DUI charges are misdemeanors. When there are repeated offenses or aggravating circumstances (such as young children in the car, accidents with injuries, etc.) the DUI offense, even if a first time offense, can be charged as a felony. Whether yours is a felony or misdemeanor DUI, the jail time consequences and license suspension implications can cause serious problems. It is important that you hire the best Atlanta DUI lawyer that you can to fight your case and protect your rights and privileges.
His experience is the difference in Atlanta DUI cases. Mr. Lawson prides himself on being a fierce advocate for his clients. He works tirelessly on their cases and has helped over 4,000 Atlanta drivers navigate their driver's license issues. He has experience helping those charged with crimes ranging from a First Atlanta DUI or Underage Possession of Alcohol charge, to Serious Felony DUI cases, to DUI Drugs, and DUI Child Endangerment cases. Mr. Lawson also has experience representing clients successfully in Vehicular Homicide cases and Serious Injury by Vehicle cases.
Atlanta DUI officers and the Georgia State Patrol (Night Hawks) arrest thousands of drivers each year for driving under the influence. An Atlanta DUI is a serious offense and if convicted, the DUI will stay on your criminal history forever. That is why it is so important to fight your DUI in Atlanta now. If you are convicted of DUI in Atlanta or plead guilty to DUI in Atlanta GA, that decision is irreversible later on in life. You may turn out to "pay" for your DUI for the rest of your life.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Atlanta, you need to act now. You only have 10 days to file your drivers license appeal and begin your defense. Our office is committed to DUI Defense in Atlanta GA. Our attorneys have devoted their lives to DUI Defense in Atlanta. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week because your problems happen on weekends, holidays, late at night, and early in the morning. Call now to begin your Best Atlanta DUI Defense. Call the Atlanta DUI Lawyer with nearly 20 years experience fighting DUI Cases and helping his clients get the best possible results in their DUI cases. Hire a former DUI prosecuting attorney dedicated to your Atlanta DUI Defense. Put our Atlanta DUI Defense Attorneys to work for you now.
Atlanta DUI Resources:
Atlanta Office Location Location