Bleckley County DUI Lawyer - Bleckley County DUI Attorney
The Law Office of Richard Lawson is a Georgia legal firm that is entirely dedicated to DUI Defense. Our founder, Richard Lawson is a former DUI prosecutor with over 25 years' experience in Georgia DUI law. Please take the time to check out his reviews on Avvo and contact our office for a no-cost, hassle-free case evaluation.
If you were arrested for DUI in Bleckley County, you only have thirty days from the date of your arrest to save your license from automatic suspension. To do so, you or your Bleckley County DUI Lawyer must pay $150 to file an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing request or request an ignition interlock device. If this hearing or device is not requested within the thirty-day timeframe, your Georgia driver's license will be suspended.
If you refused the State of Georgia's chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine, your Georgia driver's license will be suspended for one full year with no opportunity for a restricted permit to drive or early reinstatement.
When you need a DUI Lawyer in Cochran or elsewhere in Bleckley County, call the Law Office of Richard Lawson.
An Arrest Does Not Mean a Conviction
The Law Office of Richard Lawson is different from many other law firms you may have come across in your search for the best DUI Lawyer in Bleckley County to represent you in your DUI case. All of the cases handled by our firm are in the area of DUI Law. Our firm is only one of a few firms in the state of Georgia that specializes in DUI defense.
The Bleckley County DUI Attorneys with the Law Office of Richard Lawson are committed to defending those accused of committing a crime. If you do not stand up for your rights, no one will; especially the government. A DUI conviction can be devastating to you financially, emotionally, and even socially. However, as we just said, an arrest is not a conviction. If you fight your case, it may not ever turn into conviction, either.
A Georgia DUI case is different from any other crime; as it involves complex and ever-changing Georgia DUI laws, scientific testing of breath and blood, and standard field sobriety testing. There are no DUI lawyers in the state of Georgia that had the unique set of skills and training that is possessed by the Bleckley County DUI Lawyers at our office. These skills are crucial for your Bleckley County DUI Attorney to be able to defend your DUI case effectively.
Field Sobriety Tests
In a perfect world, discussing field sobriety tests would not matter because no one would submit to them when they are being investigated for DUI. Why? Because they are entirely voluntary. However, that being said, a vast majority of potential clients that call us have performed these tests. That is because law enforcement officers often do not tell you the tests are voluntary. In fact, the way they tell you to do them would make anyone think they are mandatory.
What are field sobriety tests? Field sobriety tests are physical agility exercises that a DUI suspect performs so law-enforcement can find probable cause to arrest you for DUI. Police officers might tell you these tests work the other way as well: it could show them you are not impaired, and they should let you go (although that never actually happens).
There are standard fields sobriety tests and non-standard field sobriety tests. More often than not, police will have you perform the standard tests since non-standard tests are not credible. Examples of non-standard fields sobriety tests are reciting the alphabet backward, finger-to-nose, and other dexterity tests. Standard field sobriety tests were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These tests are made up of particular instructions and elements of performance each field sobriety tests must be instructed, performed, and graded in the same way as the testing manual says or the test is deemed invalid.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
The law enforcement officer positions an object such as a pen or his finger 12 to 15 inches away from the suspects face and move the object from one side to another while watching the eyes of the suspect, looking for involuntary eye jerks, called “nystagmus.” In theory, the presence of nystagmus would indicate the suspect has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or more. Note the term “in theory.” There are many natural causes of nystagmus that are completely unrelated to alcohol consumption.
The law enforcement officer instructs the DUI suspect stand, with heels together and arms at their side, and raise one leg at least 6 inches off the ground while counting out loud until told to stop. The officer is looking to see if the suspect raises their arms, hops, sways, or puts their foot down. There are also informal indicators police are looking for, such as tremors, muscle tension, fidgetiness, and any statements made by the suspect while being tested.
The law-enforcement officer tells the suspect to take nine steps, heel-to-toe along a line, make a turn by making a series of small steps, and take nine heel-to-toe steps back. The officer is observing to see if the suspect can maintain position, start the test at the appropriate time while keeping their arms to her side. They are also watching to see if the suspect can continue without stopping, take the exact number of steps, stay on the line, walk heel to toe, and turn correctly.
These tests are supposedly designed to assess “divided attention,' an important skill in driving a car. However, for many innocent reasons, some people are unable to perform these tests to the satisfaction of the officer. These people almost always pay the price with a nice DUI arrest. The law enforcement officer often sets suspects up for failure by making them perform the test under questionable conditions such as uneven ground or a slippery surface.
Bleckley County Court System
In Bleckley County, your DUI case may be adjudicated in Cochran Municipal Court, Bleckley County Probate Court, or Bleckley County Superior Court.
Cochran GA Municipal Court
Cochran Municipal Court is responsible for handling ordinance and traffic violations that occur within the city limits of Cochran. Lora Knight is the Clerk of Court, and the Honorable W. Dennis Mullis is the Municipal Court Judge.
Court is held each first and third Friday at 1 PM at 102 North Second Street, Cochran, GA 31014. For more information, please call (478) 934-7776. When you need a DUI Lawyer in Cochran, contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson. We have a qualified Cochran DUI Attorney waiting to discuss your case with you.
Map to Cochran GA Municipal Court
Bleckley County Probate Court
If you have been arrested in an area of unincorporated Bleckley County, your case will begin in Bleckley County Probate Court. The Honorable Kenneth Powell is the Bleckley County Probate Judge. Court is held at 112 North Second Street, Cochran, GA 31014. Please call (478) 934-3204 for more information.
Map to Bleckley County Probate and Superior Courts
Bleckley County Superior Court
Bleckley County Superior Court is responsible for handling all felony cases (and jury trials) and is part of the Oconee Judicial Circuit, along with Dodge, Montgomery, Pulaski, Telfair, and Wheeler Counties. The Bleckley County Clerk of Superior Court is Dianne C. Brown, and may be reached by calling (478) 934-3210. Court is held at 112 North Second Street, Cochran, GA 31014. There are three Superior Court Judges who preside over cases:
Frederick Mullis, Jr.
Post Office Box 4248
Eastman, GA 31023
Judge Sarah F. Wall
Post Office Box 1096
Hawkinsville, GA 31036
Judge C. Michael Johnson
Post Office Box 877
Eastman, GA 31023
District Attorney Timothy Vaughn handles the prosecution of all misdemeanor and felony cases in Bleckley County Superior Court. The DA has the final word on who is charged with a crime and what plea negotiations (if any) are considered. His contact information is:
Timothy Vaughn, District Attorney
Oconee Judicial Circuit
Post Office Box 1027
Eastman, GA 31023-1027
Legal Advice You Can Trust
If you need a DUI Attorney in Bleckley County or a DUI Lawyer in Cochran GA, contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson. We offer a free, no-risk consultation so you can know your rights and what legal options are available to you. You will be convinced that our Bleckley County DUI Attorneys can get you the best outcome possible for your Bleckley County or Cochran GA DUI case. Our Cochran GA DUI Lawyers are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience. Contact one of our skilled Bleckley County DUI Attorneys today!
Bleckley County DUI Resources