Eatonton DUI Attorney - Eatonton DUI Lawyer
Have you been arrested and charged with DUI in the City of Eatonton, Georgia? If so, you should consult with an Eatonton DUI Attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights. Call the Law Office of Richard Lawson for a free consultation. Richard Lawson is the number one DUI Defense Attorney in the Eatonton and Putnam County area. Choose a skilled Eatonton DUI Attorney with over 20 years' experience. Richard is a former Georgia prosecutor, so he is familiar with both sides of a DUI case. His reviews can be found on Avvo.
BAD DRIVING DOES NOT EQUAL DRUNK DRIVING
Despite what people commonly think, people who are sober and not operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may display some of the same driving patterns as drivers who are drunk or otherwise impaired. Texting, cell phone use, fiddling with the radio, putting on makeup, and eating all distract drivers from the road. However, the prosecutor's focus will be on your driving. If you were speeding or weaving, police would most likely testify that they saw indications of impairment.
One of our skilled Eatonton DUI Attorneys will cross-examine law enforcement with their own training and education. Most officers are trained from manuals from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Much of the information contained in those manuals conflict with actual indicators of impairment and even DUI investigation procedures. However, they universally argue that even when a driver is not impaired, they are almost always guilty of some traffic violation.
You only have thirty days after a DUI arrest in Georgia to request an ALS Hearing or an ignition interlock device. The State of Georgia charges $150 to file for the hearing, and if it is not requested promptly, your driver's license will be suspended. If you refused testing of your breath, blood or urine, your license will be suspended for one year, with no chance for a permit. Do not wait; you only get one chance to have your case properly handled.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS ARE DIFFICULT TO PERFORM SOBER
Next, the prosecutor will zero in on how you did on your roadside field sobriety tests. NHTSA even admits that standard and non-standardized field sobriety testing is challenging to perform without having alcohol or drugs in one's system. Unfortunately, police and prosecutors often assert that the results of those tests indicate impairment. They are wrong, and an experienced Eatonton DUI Attorney can challenge the validity of any field sobriety test.
Lots of things can lead to failing a field sobriety test. First, your Eatonton DUI Attorney has to determine if the law enforcement officer performed the test correctly. For example, the design of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test is supposed to detect involuntary movement or bouncing of the eye when gazed from side to side. To perform the test, the officer holds an object (typically a pen) and has the suspect follow it with their eyes. Most HGN tests are poorly performed. There are many factors that can cause a false result, such as an ear infection or other medical condition. Our Eatonton DUI Lawyers have received the same training in field sobriety testing as the police and will be able to tell if they were performed correctly.
BREATH TESTING MACHINES ARE INACCURATE
The breath test is the biggest and most convincing piece of evidence against you in a DUI case. Breath testing is not as reliable as people believe. Residual mouth alcohol, police user errors, medical conditions and environmental factors can all affect breath test results.
THE DUI CRIMINAL PROCESS
A DUI arrest is a frightening experience. From the moment you looked in your rearview mirror and saw those blue lights to the minute the officer put you in handcuffs, many questions likely ran through your head. What will happen next? What will my family think? Who will bail me out of jail? Will I lose my job? It is imperative to have or obtain a basic understanding of the criminal process when you become a DUI defendant. If you are someone who has never been charged with a crime, you probably do not know much about it at all. The experienced Eatonton DUI Lawyers at the Law Office of Richard Lawson understands the feelings of confusion and loss of control you felt after you were arrested for DUI. For a free case evaluation, contact an Eatonton DUI Lawyer to guide you and fight for your rights.
FIVE COMMON STEPS IN A DUI CASE
- Arrest. A DUI arrest is typically made when the alleged crime is committed or shortly after. An arrest for DUI can also be made after a lengthy investigation prior to the arrest.
- Arraignment. This will be your first court appearance. However, if an Eatonton DUI Attorney from the Law Office of Richard Lawson is representing you, they will appear on your behalf. You (or your attorney) will enter an initial plea of “not guilty.”
- Discovery. The prosecution and defense exchange information and evidence regarding your case during this step.
- Plea Negotiations. A plea agreement is where you plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or a possible recommended sentence. One of our Eatonton DUI Attorneys may negotiate on your behalf if a plea agreement is the best possible outcome for your case.
- Trial. If you case cannot be resolved through a plea agreement, it will then be bound over to Putnam County State Court. You can choose to have a jury trial or bench trial.
COURT PROCESS IN EATONTON, GEORGIA
Eatonton Municipal Court
If your misdemeanor DUI arrest occurred within Eatonton City limits, your case will be heard in Eatonton Municipal Court. Court is held the second Thursday of each month at 9:00 AM at the Eatonton Police Department at 214 W Marion Street, Eatonton, Georgia 31024. R. Michael Gailey, Jr. is the municipal court judge.
Putnam County State Court
If you have been arrested for DUI and would like a jury trial, your case would go to Putnam County State Court. R. Michael Gailey, Jr. is also the State Court judge and Russell Thomas is the Solicitor General. Putnam County State Court is held at the Putnam County Courthouse at 100 S Jefferson Avenue, Eatonton, Georgia 21024. Contact Judge Gailey at (706) 485-4056 and Solicitor Russell Thomas at (706) 923-2331.
Putnam County Superior Court
All felony DUI cases are handled through Putnam County Superior Court.The Clerk of Superior Court is Sheila H. Perry, and may be contacted at (706) 485-4501. Her office is located in Suite 236 of the Putnam County Courthouse. Hours are Monday through Friday 8AM until 5PM.
Putnam County Superior Court judges are part of the Ocmulgee Judicial District which includes Baldwin, Greene, Jasper, Jones, Morgan, Putnam, Wilkinson and Hancock Counties. They are Judge William A. Prior, Jr.; Judge Hulane E. George; Judge Hugh V. Wingfield, III; and E. Trenton Brown, III.
The District Attorney is the Chief Prosecuting Officer for Superior Court. In Putnam County, the District Attorney is Fred D. Bright. He may be reached at (478) 986-3166.
TOP-RATED DUI DEFENSE
At the Law Office of Richard Lawson, our Eatonton DUI Lawyers are dedicated to defending the rights of their clients from the beginning of their case and beyond. As part of that dedication, we believe that it is important to keep all our clients well informed throughout their DUI case. For a free, no strings attached evaluation of your Eatonton DUI case, contact us today. We are the top-rated DUI Defense firm in Georgia. Please check out our reviews on Avvo and see why.