Gordon County DUI Lawyer—Gordon County DUI Attorney
I Was Arrested for DUI. What Do I Do Now?
Being arrested for DUI in Gordon County is a scary, confusing, and embarrassing experience. These emotions make it difficult to think clearly about what you should do next. Hiring an experienced Gordon County DUI Attorney is an excellent start to securing your defense. Check out the reviews of our firm on Avvo; but first, here is something you should know:
10-DAY WARNING FOR GEORGIA DUI ARRESTS
If you have been arrested for DUI, you should know there are two cases against you: a criminal case and an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) case.
The most important matter at hand is requesting an ALS hearing to prevent your license from being suspended. If you do not request a hearing, your license will typically be suspended 30 days after your arrest. Contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation.
To request a hearing, you or your DUI Attorney in Gordon County must file a letter of appeal with the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) within ten days of your arrest or your driver's license will be automatically suspended for at least 30 days. If you allegedly refused to submit to testing of your blood, breath, or urine, your license could be suspended for as long as one year. The State of Georgia charges a fee of $150 to file an appeal. You must protect your driving privilege by acting quickly.
What if a Hearing is Not Requested?
If the request for a hearing is not made or is not carried out within the 10-day time frame, your license will be suspended on the 31st day after your arrest. If you refused the State's chemical test, your license would be suspended for a year, and there is no opportunity for a limited or restricted license. No exceptions are made in the case of refusals, so you must retain legal representation as soon as possible.
At the ALS hearing your Gordon County DUI Lawyer can argue that there was a lack of probable cause for your arrest or that there was a violation of Georgia's Implied Consent Law. The officer who stopped you has to not only read the implied consent warning to you at the time of your arrest, he or she also has to answer your questions correctly at the moment of arrest. If what he or she answers contradicts the implied consent warning, the State could lose its ability to use the results of your chemical test against you. One of our Gordon County DUI Lawyers will handle your ALS Hearing for you and fight to protect your driving privilege.
How We Can Help You
Our Gordon County DUI Attorneys will prepare you for this hearing to help you keep your license from being suspended. Do not forget that the clock is ticking; you only have ten (10) days, so act quickly. Getting police reports and videos to use in your case takes time, as does the preparation of the ten (10) day letter. Wasting precious time can cause you to waive your rights and lose your privilege to drive.
Keep in mind that filing a ten-day letter is not a guarantee that your license will not be suspended. It does, however, mean that you have an opportunity to overturn the suspension. If you do not hire a DUI Lawyer in Gordon County, you should request and attend the hearing yourself. Typically, only a small percentage of people know to apply for a hearing.
Your DUI Charge
Now that we have discussed the most urgent matter of protecting your driver's license let us not forget your criminal charges. You were most likely given a ticket that orders you to appear in court for the crime of driving under the influence.
Under Georgia DUI law, the general offense of DUI has been committed when a person operates a motor vehicle while he or she:
- Has a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more; or
- Is under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs; or
- Is under the influence of any other intoxicating substance.
When people think of someone being arrested for DUI, the classic image of a stumbling, glassy-eyed person walking out of the bar comes to mind. However, in Georgia, you can also be arrested for DUI if you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
A police officer may arrest you for DUI after observing impairment in your driving, such as weaving and not being able to maintain your lane on the highway. If you are pulled over they can judge you by your performance on field sobriety tests and any other clues that could indicate that you are impaired. Many people do not know that they can be arrested for driving under the influence even if the amount of alcohol or drugs in their body does not go over the “legal limit,” as you can still be considered a “less safe” driver even if your blood alcohol level is under 0.08.
When law enforcement suspects that you are driving under the influence of drugs, they will ask you to submit to blood or urine testing. If you refuse to take a blood or urine test, there are penalties involved. When you refuse testing, you can lose your driver's license for one year. Speak with one of our experienced Gordon County DUI Lawyers about what can happen when you submit to (or refuse) drug testing. You can find more information on refusals and Implied Consent here.
Penalties for DUI-Drugs
Driving under the influence of drugs has the same penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol. The DUI offense can be a misdemeanor. However, depending on the circumstances and if you have any prior convictions, it could be a felony. Our Gordon County DUI Attorneys are always up-to-date on changing DUI Laws and penalties so you know you are best representation possible.
Georgia DUI-Drugs Defense
Drugged driving defenses will typically challenge your blood or urine test results. There are a few ways test results can be inaccurate and invalid:
- Was the test administered correctly?
- Was the sample contaminated?
- Did qualified personnel perform the test?
What About Prescription Drugs?
Narcotic painkillers and other prescription drugs may cause a person to be drowsy, nervous or exhibit other behavior that can make it dangerous for them to drive. That is why a person who gets pulled over sometimes appears to be impaired by prescription drugs and is subsequently arrested. Determining whether a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of prescription drugs is different from determining whether they are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. In Georgia, if you are under the influence of ANY drug that makes it less safe for you to drive, you can be charged with DUI-Drugs; even if a doctor prescribed the drug (or drugs).
Prescription medications that sometimes lead to a charge of DUI-Prescription Drugs include (but are not limited to):
- Narcotic pain medications
- Cough syrups
- Sleep aids
- Stimulants (including ADD/ADHD medications)
If you have been arrested and charged with DUI-Drugs (illegal or prescription), we can help. We can raise reasonable doubt of your impairment and challenge drug test results, procedures, equipment, and qualifications of testing staff. An experienced Gordon County DUI Lawyer who handles cases of drugged driving will speak to you about what options are available to you for fighting your charge. Your best opportunity to avoid a conviction is to retain the services of a skilled lawyer as soon as you can.
Our Gordon County DUI Lawyers have many years of experience with DUI Prescription Drugs cases. Put that experience to work for you.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My First Appearance in Court?
If you hire an attorney before your first court appearance or arraignment, you may have your legal counsel appear on your behalf. If you are not able to hire a DUI Attorney in Gordon County before your arraignment, do not worry; you may attend your arraignment yourself. The Court will allow you time to secure legal representation. Your case will not be harmed if you have to attend your arraignment without a lawyer.
Can I Represent Myself?
Yes. You have the constitutional right to represent yourself against any criminal charge. Would we recommend it? No. Georgia DUI Defense is a complex area of the law. Not knowing the law can have devastating effects on your life.
Even if you have a family attorney you have used for years if they typically do not handle DUI cases they are more than likely not up-to-date with Georgia's ever-changing DUI laws. That is why it is necessary to hire a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense.
How a DUI Conviction Can Affect Your Life
A conviction for DUI in Georgia can impact your life like a ripple effect for many years. Some of the penalties you face if you are convicted include potential time in jail, loss of driving privilege, hefty fines, and community service.
Criminal sentences are not the only consequences you will face if convicted of DUI. You will soon find out that your conviction, along with your brand new criminal record, will create lots of unexpected trouble in your life.
Here are just a few ways a conviction for DUI could affect your life:
- Employment—Just about every employer these days runs a background check on each of their employees before hiring them. A potential employer could see that you have a DUI in your criminal history and not offer you a job, especially if driving is part of that job. If you are currently employed and driving is part of that job, some employers will regularly check your driving record. If your employer has an internal policy regarding DUI convictions, you could be suspended or even lose your job. It might not matter to them if your DUI offense occurred off the clock and in your personal vehicle.
- Housing—Landlords and rental property managers routinely perform criminal background checks before renting to tenants. Your DUI conviction could keep you from renting a house or apartment.
- College Admission—College applications often include questions about whether a candidate has a criminal record. Your DUI conviction can affect the competitiveness of your application in the pool of applicants.
- Military Enlistment—A DUI conviction could prevent you from joining the military.
- Professional Licenses—Many professional licenses require background checks. A DUI conviction could keep you from obtaining a license to practice medicine, nursing, law, or other professions. If you currently hold a professional license, your DUI conviction could be discovered when your license is up for renewal.
- Child Custody—A DUI conviction coupled with a suspended license can cause problems if you are divorced or in the process of getting a divorce. That is especially true if your children were passengers in the car when you were pulled over.
- Required Security Clearances—Getting a government contract or job will require you to obtain a security clearance. Your DUI conviction could cause you to be seen as untrustworthy and therefore clearance is denied.
- Insurance Rate Increases—Insurance companies each have their policies about rate increases. You may find out that your insurance rates have increased, or your policy has even been canceled due to you to you being deemed a high risk after your DUI conviction.
Understanding Gordon County Courts
Where your DUI case will be heard depends on where in Gordon County your arrest occurred. If your misdemeanor DUI arrest occurred within the limits of a city, your case would be heard in that municipal court. The Gordon County DUI Attorneys from the Law Office of Richard Lawson have many years of experience with the Gordon County Court System and local Municipal Courts.
Calhoun Municipal Court
If you were arrested for misdemeanor DUI in the City of Calhoun, you need the reputable legal representation of a DUI Lawyer in Calhoun to represent your case in Calhoun Municipal Court. The Calhoun Municipal Court staff consists of Judge Suzanne Hayes Smith, Chief Clerk Linda Blackstock, and Deputy Clerk Randy Jackson. Court is held Mondays at 5:00 PM in the main courtroom at 100 Piedmont Street, Calhoun, GA 30701. The phone number is (706) 602-5790. Contact a Calhoun DUI Lawyer now to discuss your case for free.
Fairmount Municipal Court
Misdemeanor DUI cases that resulted from an arrest that occurred within Fairmount city limits will be heard in Fairmount Municipal Court. Judge Robert Sneed will preside. Angie Troglin is the Chief Court Clerk. The contact number is (706) 337-5306. Fairmount City Hall is located at 2265 Highway 411 SE, Fairmount, Georgia 30139. Protect your rights with a Fairmount DUI Lawyer. If you need expert legal advice, call our office and speak with a DUI Lawyer in Fairmount.
Resaca Municipal Court
Misdemeanor DUI cases that originated from an arrest in Resaca are heard in Resaca Municipal Court. Call us for a free consultation with a Resaca DUI Lawyer as soon as possible. The Honorable Robert Sneed is the judge, The Clerk of Court is Kelly Shaw, and may be contacted may be contacted at (706) 624-1336. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8AM to 4PM. Court is held the last Monday of every month at 330 Walker Street, Resaca, Georgia 30735. Choosing a DUI Lawyer in Resaca is not easy. Call The Law Office of Richard Lawson today and get the advice you need.
Gordon County Probate Court
If you were arrested in an unincorporated area of Gordon County, your case would originate in Gordon County Probate Court. The judge in Gordon County Probate Court is Judge John Parker. The Probate Court is located in the Gordon County Courthouse at 100 South Wall Street, Calhoun, Georgia 30701. The clerk of court can be reached at (706) 629-7314. While your case may originate in Probate Court, if you desire a jury trial, your case would be “bound over,” or transferred, to Gordon County Superior Court for trial. In misdemeanor cases, a jury is comprised of 6 individuals.
Gordon County Superior Court
If you request a jury trial in one of Gordon County's municipal courts or Gordon County Probate Court, your case will be transferred to Superior Court for trial. Additionally, all felony cases, including DUI-related crimes like vehicular homicide and serious injury by vehicle, originate in Superior Court. Gordon County Superior Court is part of the Cherokee Judicial Circuit. The Chief Superior Court judge is David Smith, and an associate judge is Suzanne Smith. The Clerk of Court is Grant Walraven and can be reached at (706) 629-9533. The court address is 100 Wall Street, Calhoun, GA 30701.
Georgia DUI Information 24/7
Use our website to educate yourself about Georgia's DUI laws. You can access valuable information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We update it daily so you can be sure that you get the latest in DUI news and information.
Are You in Trouble With a DUI Charge? Call Us.
With an experienced, skilled Gordon County DUI Attorney from our office by your side, you can guarantee that your rights will be protected. Our Gordon County DUI Attorneys protect the rights of DUI defendants daily and would consider it an honor to do the same for you. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week; including nights, weekends, and holidays. Contact us now for a free consultation.
Gordon County DUI Resources