Walker County DUI Lawyer - Walker County DUI Attorney
At the Law Office of Richard Lawson, our Walker County GA DUI Lawyers offer you experience obtained on both sides of Georgia DUI Law.
Former DUI Prosecutor
As a DUI Defense Attorney who previously worked as a North Georgia Prosecutor, Richard Lawson brings a unique perspective and over 20 years' experience to your Walker County GA DUI case. His experience is bolstered by his vast knowledge of laws, equipment used, and experience with a myriad of drunk-driving situations. Please see his reviews on Avvo, the attorney rating site, then contact us for a free consultation.
Know Your Rights
Everyone should know what rights they have when they are stopped by police:
1) Once stopped by law enforcement, and you are not free to leave, you have the right to an attorney. You should exercise that right as soon as possible.
2) Never admit to consuming alcohol or drugs.
3) Do not make statements or answer any questions without an experienced Walker County DUI Attorney present.
4) Respectfully refuse any field sobriety tests such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, reciting the alphabet, or balance tests. No matter what you think, you will not pass.
5) You can submit to or refuse to take a breath test. If you submit to the test because you think you can pass, but end up failing it, ask for an independent test of your blood right away.
If you have been in an auto accident and you have been drinking:
1) Do not answer any questions from police without a Walker County DUI Lawyer present. However, always be calm and respectful when declining to answer questions.
2) Do not talk about the accident, or how it might have happened with anyone until you have secured legal representation.
If you have been arrested for DUI, you have only thirty business days to save your driver's license from suspension. You (or your Walker County Georgia DUI Lawyer) must request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and pay the $150 fee to file. If this hearing is not requested or the device is not installed within the thirty-day timeframe, your license will be suspended. If you have been accused of refusing the State's chemical test of your breath, blood or urine, your license will be suspended for twelve months, with no opportunity for a permit. It is crucial that you act swiftly and hire the most experienced DUI Attorney in Walker County Georgia.
Remember, there are two separate cases attached to a Georgia DUI offense: one is civil and involves your driver's license, and the other is the criminal charge or DUI charge. DUI in Georgia is considered a misdemeanor in most cases, but a felony in certain situations. These charges are quite technical and specialized, which is why it is imperative to seek representation from a Walker County GA DUI Attorney whose sole focus is Georgia DUI law.
What Are Police Looking for in a DUI Suspect?
- Swerving off the road
- Driving with headlights off
- Driving significantly slower than the posted speed limit
- Following too closely
- Slow response to traffic signals and street signs
After a suspected drunk driver is pulled over, police looking for:
- Flushed face
- Slurred or incoherent speech
- Swaying, or inability to stand
- Glassy, red, or bloodshot eyes
- Odor of alcohol
What if I am asked to submit to field sobriety testing? - Politely and respectfully decline to take part in field sobriety tests. Legally they are not required in Georgia. Besides, typically an officer has already decided whether or not they are going to arrest you for DUI. Field sobriety testing just gives them more evidence against you.
Do I have a right to an attorney if I am asked to take part in field sobriety testing? -No. You do not have a right to a lawyer until you have been arrested. However, you can refuse to take field sobriety tests. You will more than likely fail, so why risk taking them?
Should I take the State's chemical test? - You have the right to refuse or submit to chemical testing of your breath, blood, or urine. However, never take a breath test without demanding a blood test.
What happens if I refuse the chemical test? - Refusing the State's test can be used against you in court, however, so can the results if you submit. Refusing the test is not against the law.
Can I choose which chemical test to take? If so, which one? - Usually, a DUI suspect does not get to pick which chemical test they are given. However, if you take a breath test, you should request an independent blood or urine test since breath samples cannot be kept to used for subsequent retesting. If, for medical reasons, cannot take a breath test, let the officer know and ask for a blood or urine test instead.
Why do I have two cases against me? -The ALS case is a civil case and involves your driver's license. The other is the actual DUI charge, which is a criminal charge. DUI is a misdemeanor in most instances, however, can be a felony charge in some situations.
The police confiscated my driver's license, and I later found out it had been suspended because of my breath test results. Can they do that? - In Georgia, your driver's license can be suspended if you test above the "legal limit," or if you refuse the chemical test altogether and do not request an ALS Hearing. Once a hearing is requested by you or your Walker County GA DUI Lawyer, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will have to provide proof that your license suspension is lawful.
How do I know if I am legally intoxicated? - In the State of Georgia, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be .08 or more to be considered legally drunk. However, if you are under the age of 21, you are considered legally drunk if your BAC is .02 or more.
Defenses to a Walker County DUI Charge
Even if you are stopped by police and put under arrest for DUI, there are many defenses that a skilled Walker County Georgia DUI Attorney can use to defend your case. These defenses can challenge the reason you were stopped, your arrest, evidence collected against you, chemical test results, and field sobriety tests.
Fighting Your DUI Stop
Law enforcement must have a legitimate grounds to pull you over. If the officer was not able to give a valid reason as for why they pulled you over; or did not see you operating a motor vehicle, your DUI Attorney in Walker County GA will challenge the complete stop, and fight aggressively to have that evidence thrown out.
Was There Probable Cause for Arrest?
Before law enforcement can put you under arrest, they must have articulable suspicion that you were driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are many factors an officer may assess, but they must be able to specify the basis of their probable cause.
Fighting Breath/Blood and Field Sobriety Tests
There are many ways to challenge a breath test, such as machine malfunction; the test was improperly given; the officer was not certified to give the test; higher body temperatures gave a false positive result, and observation periods not maintained.
Blood tests can be challenged on contaminated samples, the chain of custody, improper blood collecting procedures, improperly trained phlebotomist, or plain and simple, sometimes the blood sample in question is not that of the defendant.
Field sobriety tests can be challenged on the basis of insufficient experience or training of the officer giving them, the defendant is not coordinated enough or unable to perform the tests due to a physical or medical reason.
WALKER COUNTY GA COURT SYSTEM
Chickamauga Municipal Court
Where your misdemeanor DUI arrest occurred will determine which court will have jurisdiction over your Walker County Georgia DUI case. For example, if you were arrested within the city limits of Chickamauga, you would need a Chickamauga DUI Lawyer to defend you in Chickamauga Municipal Court. The Honorable Winston Webb is the Municipal Court Judge, and Amy Bates is the Court Clerk. Court is held at 103 Crittenden Avenue, Chickamauga, Georgia 30707. Call (706) 375-3172 for more information and contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson to speak with a DUI Lawyer in Chickamauga today to discuss your case.
LaFayette GA Municipal Court
If you were arrested for misdemeanor DUI in the City of LaFayette, Georgia, waste no time hiring a LaFayette GA DUI Lawyer right away to fight for your rights in LaFayette, Georgia Municipal Court. The Honorable Kenneth Maples is the Municipal Court Judge, and Jan Bridges is the Court Clerk. Court is held at 208 N Main Street, LaFayette, Georgia 30728. Call (706) 639-1542 for more information and choose a skilled DUI Lawyer in LaFayette GA from the Law Offices of Richard Lawson.
Lookout Mountain Municipal Court
Arrested for DUI in Lookout Mountain? If so, you need the services of a qualified DUI Lawyer in Lookout Mountain to guide you through Lookout Mountain Municipal Court. The Honorable Buddy Presley is the Municipal Court Judge, and Cindy Roberts is the Clerk of Court. Court is held at 1214 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain, Georgia 30750. Call (706) 820-1586 for further information, and contact us for a free consultation with a Lookout Mountain DUI Lawyer as soon as possible.
Rossville Municipal Court
Were you arrested and charged with DUI in Rossville? If so, you need an experienced Rossville DUI Lawyer to protect your rights in Rossville Municipal Court. Honorable Chris Harris and Honorable Joe Moore are the Rossville Municipal Court Judges, and Chie Clerk is Rhonda Keith. Court is held the first and third Monday of each month at 5 PM at 400 McFarland Avenue, Rossville, Georgia 30741. Do not attempt to handle your DUI charge on your own. Choose the best DUI Lawyer in Rossville to handle your case and get you the best outcome possible.
Walker County GA State Court
If you were arrested for DUI in an unincorporated area of Walker Couty Georgia, or if you would like to have a jury trial, your case would be heard in Walker County GA State Court. Judge Billy Maddox presides over Walker County GA State Court, and Carter Brown is the Clerk of Court. Court is held at 103 S Duke Street, LaFayette, Georgia 30728. Call (706) 638-1742 for more information.
Walker County GA Superior Court
Superior Court has jurisdiction over all felony cases. Walker County GA Superior Court is part of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, along with Catoosa, Chattooga, and Dade counties. Court is held at 103 S Duke Street, LaFayette, Georgia 30728. There are four judges who hear felony cases:
Judge Jon Bolling Wood
P. O. Box 1185
LaFayette, GA 30728
Judge Kristina Cook Graham
P.O. Box 179
Summerville, GA 30747
Judge Ralph Van Pelt, Jr.
Catoosa County Courthouse
875 LaFayette Street, Room 206
Ringgold, Georgia 30736
Judge Brian House
P.O. Box 609
Trenton, Georgia 30752
The Chief Prosecuting Officer for Superior Court is the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney for Walker County GA Superior Court is Buzz Franklin. His contact information is:
P.O. Box 1025
LaFayette, GA 30728
Effective DUI Defense
Contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson today if you have been arrested for DUI in Walker County Georgia. Our seasoned Walker County GA DUI Lawyers are waiting to take your call to discuss the facts of your case. Experience and results matter.