Canton Georgia DUI Lawyer - Canton GA DUI Attorney
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious crime. Some people call it "drunk driving," but a person does not have to be drunk to be arrested for DUI.
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI or DUI-related offense, you should educate yourself on DUI and its related consequences. If you understand your rights, charges, and possible penalties, it can help you decide which attorney to choose to represent your case.
There is a lot to learn after an arrest for DUI in Canton Georgia. Our skilled Canton GA DUI Lawyers understand that it is more than likely the first time you have ever been arrested or have had any involvement with law enforcement. The Law Office of Richard Lawson is here to help. Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.
WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
The Law Office of Richard Lawson is an exclusive DUI law practice that is committed to the vigorous defense of those who have been arrested and charged with DUI. We have a dedicated team of Canton Georgia DUI Attorneys that will protect the rights you may not even know you have. Richard Lawson is a former prosecutor who now dedicates his career to DUI defense. He has unique knowledge of both sides of a DUI case and is the top-rated Canton GA DUI Attorney with over 20 years' experience. Check out his reviews on Avvo and see why he is the best choice for DUI representation.
WHY WE DO IT
Much too often, people give up rights because they are unaware of what rights they have. We find that to be unjust and are here waiting to defend you. We will make sure you are treated fairly, no matter what.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Law enforcement has stopped you for suspicion of DUI. Here are some things you should know:
- You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to tell the police where you are coming from, where you have been, or where you are going. You do not have to tell them that you have been drinking or what you were drinking. Being stopped by law enforcement is scary, especially if you have had the smallest amount of alcohol to drink before driving. It is natural to want to comply with what the officer asks. Do not misunderstand; it is not a good idea to be hostile or belligerent with the police, and it is illegal to resist or impede their investigation. However, other than identifying who you are, exercise your right to remain silent. The officers want you to admit that you were drinking, or how much alcohol you consumed so that they will not have to prove these things through physical evidence. You can just tell them that you want to exercise your right to remain silent.
- You only have to submit to the State test of your blood, breath, or urine AFTER you have been arrested. During the DUI investigation, you can be asked to provide a sample of your breath by a machine called a Breathalyzer. It is often given as part of field sobriety tests. You do not have to submit to this test. After you have been arrested, the "implied consent" law requires you to give a test of either your blood, breath or urine. Failure to submit to the State test will result in a one-year license suspension.
- You have the right to request an independent test of your blood, breath, or urine. That means you can request an independent blood draw, breath or urine sample at the time of police testing. Be as polite as you can be, but be firm. They must honor your request as long as it does not impede their attempt to have their test completed for investigative purposes.
- You DO NOT have to submit to field sobriety testing. Most people do not know that field sobriety tests are 100% voluntary. Think of it as the right to not offer evidence against yourself, just like your right to remain silent.
- You DO have to provide identification (driver's license) and your insurance information if law enforcement asks for it. In general, it is a good idea to know where these items are and to have them handy. If it takes you a long time to locate them, the officer can say that you were fumbling to find them. That is not good.
I WAS ARRESTED. WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
The Law Office of Richard Lawson will work tirelessly to give you the best possible outcome for your case. Without effective representation, you could lose your driver's license, employment, and even be put in jail. Our goal is to help you through this terrible time and move on with your life. We have helped numerous people get their penalties reduced, and in many cases be found innocent of DUI.
DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
Legal representation is a right that should not be taken lightly. If you do not have a Canton DUI Lawyer, you are only hurting yourself. Your Canton GA DUI Attorney will be your buffer and advocate. If you are arrested for DUI in Canton, it is your Canton Georgia DUI Attorney's duty to protect your rights and get the best outcome for your case. We will not jeopardize your freedom or your rights by making hasty decisions or speeding up any processes.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
You have two options: plead "guilty," or plead "not guilty." If you plead guilty, you will be found guilty. You will then face severe consequences and penalties. Pleading "not guilty" can often lead to better results. With the help of an experienced Canton GA DUI Attorney, you are given the opportunity to have an investigation of all the facts and have a hearing, trial, or a resolution via a plea agreement. Pleading guilty right out of the gate is NOT the answer.
THERE ARE TWO CASES AGAINST YOU WHEN YOU ARE ARRESTED
The State of Georgia requires drivers to obey rules and regulations to get and keep a driver's license. A lot of people think the driver's license is a right. They are wrong. Your ability to drive is a PRIVILEGE and can be stripped from you if you violate Georgia DUI laws. Your license will be suspended automatically if a hearing is not asked for promptly.
Georgia, just like many states, has two cases against you when you are arrested for DUI: a criminal case and a civil case. The criminal case is clear. The civil case has to do with your driver's license and your privilege to drive in Georgia. The criminal case begins on the court date listed on your DUI citation. The civil case, or Administrative License Suspension (ALS) case starts as soon as the citation is filed. You have only ten (10) days to request a hearing or your driver's license will automatically be suspended. Georgia requires a $150 fee to set the ALS hearing.
If a hearing is not requested before the 10-day deadline, your driver's license will be suspended. If you refused the State's test of your blood, breath, or urine, you could expect a license suspension of a full year without an opportunity for a limited permit or restricted license. If you did submit to testing during law enforcement's investigation, you could only experience a 30-day suspension. You could then be eligible for a limited permit or restricted license that could allow you to drive to school or work.
Keep in mind that the ALS hearing process is entirely separate from your DUI case. Choosing a competent Canton GA DUI Lawyer makes everything less complicated.
CANTON, GEORGIA COURT PROCESS
Georgia is infamous for its complex and confusing court system. Just finding out where your case will be heard is not easy or straightforward. It typically depends on where the arrest occurred, case type, and where that case is in the court process.
Canton, Georgia Municipal Court
Canton Municipal Court is located at 151 Elizabeth Street, Canton, Georgia 30114. City ordinance violations and misdemeanor cases such as DUI that occur inside the Canton city limits are all processed through the municipal court. Thomas A. Roach, Jr. is the Chief Municipal Court Judge. The phone number for Theresa Fitts, Municipal Court Clerk, is 770-704-1546.
Cherokee County GA State Court
If you hire a DUI Attorney in Cherokee County, and you want a jury trial, your case will be sent over to the State Court of Cherokee County. Cherokee County State Court has three full-time judges: Chief Judge W. Alan Jordan, Judge A. Dee Morris, and Judge Michelle L.H. Homier. Contact Patty Baker, Clerk of Courts, for more information at (678) 493-6511. The Cherokee County State Court address is 90 North Street, Canton, Georgia 30114.
Cherokee County GA Superior Court
For felony DUIs, your case will be sent to Cherokee County Superior Court. Superior Courts are the only courts that hear felony cases. The Superior Court Judges of Cherokee County are Chief Judge Jackson Harris, Judge Ellen McElyea, and Judge David Cannon. Patty Baker is the Clerk of Courts and can be contacted at (678) 493-6511. Court is held at 90 North Street, Canton, Georgia 30114.
Top-Rated DUI Defense
The Law Office of Richard Lawson has protected the rights of persons arrested for DUI and DUI related offenses for over 20 years. His entire practice is DUI defense focused. You can be sure you are putting your confidence in a skilled and competent attorney who has experience in the City of Canton, Cherokee County and throughout the state.
Most-Reviewed Canton, Georgia DUI Lawyers
At the Law Office of Richard Lawson, our DUI attorneys have experience in every area of Georgia DUI law. They understand that an arrest does not mean you are guilty. They also know people make mistakes and deserve experienced legal representation that is skillful and compassionate.
CALL US NOW
If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with DUI or any other DUI-related offense in Canton, Georgia, call the Law Office of Richard Lawson as soon as possible. We have a Canton GA DUI Lawyer who is ready to take your call and discuss your case 24 hours a day, seven days a week.