Floyd County DUI Lawyer - Floyd County DUI Attorney
Rome DUI Lawyer - Rome DUI Attorney
Former North Georgia Prosecutor
The Law Office of Richard Lawson is a Georgia law firm that specializes in DUI Defense. Our founder, Richard Lawson, began his career as a North Georgia DUI prosecutor over 25 years ago. That means he knows both sides of your case and exactly what to expect. He is Georgia's top-rated DUI Attorney. Check out his reviews on Avvo, and then contact our office for a free consultation.
If you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, you (or your Floyd County DUI Attorney) needs to file a request for an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing or an ignition interlock device. The fee to file for the hearing is $150. If the hearing is not requested or is not requested in the required timeframe, your license will be suspended. If you refused the State's test of your breath, blood, or urine, your license would be suspended for one year. Do not waste time in hiring an experienced Floyd County DUI Lawyer or a DUI Lawyer in Rome GA.
What to Do if You Were Arrested for DUI in Floyd County
Being arrested and charged with DUI and not having a clue how your case will impact your life can be a nerve-wracking experience. There is a lot of misinformation about DUI, and many attorneys who promote themselves as "DUI Attorneys."
The first thing to do for a Floyd County DUI charge is to school yourself on DUI penalties and the DUI court process. The next thing to do, after you get your wits about you, is figure out if you are going to plead guilty or fight the charge. If you decide to fight your charge, you will then choose the Floyd County DUI Lawyer you want to hire to represent you in court. Our website is chock full of valuable DUI information to keep you informed about Georgia's ever-changing DUI laws, as well as what to look for when hiring a Floyd County DUI Attorney.
Consequences of a Floyd County DUI Conviction
A driving under the influence conviction can result in severe consequences. Typical sentences for a first-offender DUI conviction are license suspension, jail time, community service, hefty fines, and more. Having a DUI conviction on your record can result in secondary consequences such as higher insurance premiums, effects on employment, security clearance, professional licensing, and travel. A DUI conviction stays on your record permanently and cannot be expunged or removed.
Contesting Floyd County DUI Charges
What you may not know is that you do no have to plead guilty and accept the consequences of a DUI conviction. Pleading "Not Guilty" and fighting your Floyd County DUI charge with an experienced Floyd County DUI Lawyer will most likely improve the outcome of your case. Hiring a skilled Floyd County DUI Attorney may assist you in:
- Having Your License Returned - While your case is pending, you could be able to have your Administrative License Suspension (ALS) overturned or temporarily stayed, so you can keep driving.
- Obtaining a Permit - If your driver's license is suspended, you may be eligible for a limited permit to drive to school or work.
- Avoiding Jail - There are many ways an experienced Rome DUI Lawyer can help you avoid jail through treatment, probation, or other means.
- Avoiding a DUI Conviction - In many of the cases our DUI Lawyers in Rome GA handles; DUI charges are reduced, amended and sometimes dismissed altogether.
Strategies for Floyd County DUI Defense
What strategy can our Rome GA DUI Attorneys use to help you get the best outcome for your case? First, your Rome DUI Attorney will enter a plea of "Not Guilty" and will fight your license suspension. Secondly, they will obtain all the evidence against you, as well as investigate and research any potential legal issues. Although it might look like the evidence points to guilt at a glance, delving into the details of your unique situation can reveal weaknesses in the State's case against you.
Based on the information your Rome DUI Lawyer finds, they will file motions to suppress evidence such as:
- Was the officer justified in pulling you over?
- Was their justification for a DUI investigation?
- Were the field sobriety tests administered correctly?
- Was there sufficient probable cause for your arrest?
- Were the proper procedures followed for the State test of your breath, blood, or urine?
- Was the breath testing machine in good working order?
- Were records maintained and all paperwork completely properly?
After evidence is reviewed, and the above issues investigated, we will file motions to suppress. Your DUI Attorney in Rome can then begin negotiations with the prosecution to reach an acceptable agreement. If an acceptable agreement cannot be achieved, your Floyd County DUI Attorney can take your case to trial.
Floyd County DUI Court Process
Most people who have been arrested for DUI are not familiar with the court system. Therefore, this section is designed to give you an overview of the court process for Floyd County DUI cases, It is also important to explain your rights and how an experienced Floyd County DUI Attorney can protect you and your rights during the court process.
To be charged with DUI, you must be issued a ticket by law enforcement. This ticket should include your exact charges, as well as the corresponding sections of Georgia code you are accused of violating. The ticket will contain a summons for you to appear in court on a particular date and time. If you do not appear in court on your scheduled date and time, the Court will issue a warrant for your arrest.
Your arraignment will be your first court appearance. You have a constitutional right to representation by an attorney at your arraignment and every subsequent stage of your Floyd County DUI case. There is not typically any negotiation at the arraignment, and you will plead "Guilty," or "Not Guilty." If you plead guilty, the judge will sentence you, and you will then have a DUI conviction and a permanent criminal record. If you have hired a qualified Floyd County DUI Lawyer, they can handle arraignment for you and you do not have to attend.
If you plead "Not Guilty," you will have the chance to review the accusations and evidence against you and defend yourself. Some individuals are concerned that pleading "Not Guilty" may result in harsher consequences if they decide later to plead "Guilty" or are found to be guilty. That is not true because judges know that if you want to take the time to build a case or at least, review evidence, one must plead "Not Guilty."
If you enter a plea of "Not Guilty," the pretrial hearing will be your next court hearing. In the time before your pretrial hearing, your DUI Attorney in Rome GA will obtain all the evidence against you from the Prosecution. That could include such things as:
- Police Reports
- Witness Statements
- Chemical Test Reports
- Video/Audio Recordings of Your Arrest
The pretrial hearing gives your Floyd County DUI Attorney a chance to meet with the Prosecution. The prosecuting attorney will more than likely make an offer to you to resolve your case without having to go to trial. That is a "plea bargain." An experienced DUI Attorney in Floyd County will fight for you during plea negotiations and will advise you on the prosecution's offer and whether or not you should take it. If you decide to accept the plea bargain, the judge will finalize it, and you will be sentenced and your case will be over (unless it is dismissed).
Motions in Floyd County DUI Cases
If your case cannot be settled at the pretrial hearing, your case will then have a hearing on the "motions to suppress" that your Floyd County DUI Lawyer filed on your behalf. The judge will make a determination about whether or not evidence against you is admissible. Your Floyd County DUI Attorney will also have more negotiations with the prosecuting attorney; so there is still a chance for your case to be settled by a plea agreement. Many cases are resolved during this stage.
Floyd County DUI Trial
If your case could not be settled at the motions hearing, the next step would be a trial. You have a right to a trial, and if you want/need, you have a right to a trial by jury. At trial, the Prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt. You do not have to prove you are innocent. If your case is going to trial, do not represent yourself. You need a seasoned DUI Attorney in Floyd County who has trial experience. When interviewing potential attorneys, remember to ask them how much trial experience they have as a defense attorney.
Floyd County DUI Sentencing
If you are found guilty of DUI or plead to a lesser offense, you will be sentenced. The judge will decide what punishment to hand down, as judgments are at their discretion. Your Rome DUI Attorney can speak on your behalf and advocate for leniency in your case.
Your Berry College DUI Lawyer - Shorter University DUI Lawyer
Getting a DUI while you are a student at Berry College or Shorter University can ruin your college career. You need a Berry College DUI Lawyer - Shorter University DUI Lawyer to help protect your future. Below are some other minor offenses besides DUI that can happen to college students:
- Possession of marijuana
- Minor in possession of alcohol
- Texting while driving
- Traffic Tickets
- DUI Under 21
College is a stressful time; lots of homework and studying, part-time work, the pressure to be successful, get a great job, and make lots and lots of money. Also, let's not forget about the financial stress of trying to pay for college!
Many college students blow off steam by going to parties or hang out with friends. While that is to be expected, some make bad choices such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
You might not think much about drinking and driving. Maybe you are thinking you are fine after having just a few drinks with food and you are okay to drive yourself home. You very well could be. However, if you are not and you are stopped by police, you will probably get a DUI; and as previously stated, a DUI can ruin your college career.
The first step to minimizing the damage that can be done by a DUI arrest is find a skilled Berry College DUI Attorney - Shorter University DUI Attorney to handle your case. If you are going to school at one of the colleges in Rome, a Berry College DUI Lawyer - Shorter University DUI Lawyer can lessen some of the consequences you are going to face.
How a DUI Can Affect College
The police will report your DUI to your school, and as a result, you could lose any scholarship funding you are receiving. You can also be kicked out of on-campus housing. The worst case scenario is that you possibly could be expelled from school.
Unfortunately, school fallout is not the only thing you have to worry about. If you want to pursue a career as a licensed professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or lawyer, you may not be able to make that happen if you are convicted of DUI.
Many unlicensed jobs require background checks and having a criminal record makes it harder to get a job.
Also, there is losing your driving privileges and possible jail time to worry about as well. The best thing to do is to find a Berry College DUI Lawyer - Shorter University DUI Lawyer to handle your case from the beginning; saving your college career and future.
Contact a Berry College DUI Attorney - Shorter University DUI Attorney if you are the parent of a Berry or Shorter student who has been arrested for DUI. Give them the best defense possible by contacting the Law Office of Richard Lawson today!
FLOYD COUNTY COURTS
Cave Spring Municipal Court
If you were arrested for DUI in the City of Cave Spring, you need a Cave Spring DUI Lawyer to fight for you in Cave Spring Municipal Court. The Honorable Steven Burkhalter is the Municipal Court Judge, and Judy Dickenson is the Chief Clerk. Court is held on the first Monday of each month at 4 PM at Cave Spring City Hall. The address is 10 Georgia Avenue, Cave Spring, Georgia 30124. Call (706) 777-3382 for more information. Make sure to hire a DUI Lawyer in Cave Spring as soon as possible to handle your Floyd County DUI case.
Rome Municipal Court
If your misdemeanor DUI arrest occurred in the City of Rome, GA, your case would be heard in the Municipal Court of Rome. The Honorable David C. Smith is the Municipal Court Judge, and Lori Whorton Spence is the Municipal Court Administrator. Court is held at 5 Government Plaza # 300, Rome, GA 30161. Call (706) 238-5150 for more information. Do not leave your future to chance by waiting to hire a Rome DUI Lawyer. The Law Office of Richard Lawson has a DUI Lawyer in Rome waiting to speak with you about your case.
Floyd County Probate Court
Misdemeanor traffic citations such as DUI, which are issued outside the limits of incorporated Floyd County, are handled in Floyd County Probate Court. The Honorable Steven Burkhalter is the Probate Judge, and Lisa Horton is the Court Clerk. The address of Floyd County Probate Court is 3 Government Plaza #101, Rome, GA 30161. Call (706) 291-5136 for more information.
Floyd County Superior Court
Superior Court has jurisdiction over all felony cases. The Clerk of Court for Floyd Superior Court is Barbara Penson. Her contact number is (706) 291-5190. The address of Floyd County Superior Court is 3 Government Plaza, Rome, Georgia 30161. There are four judges who hear felony cases:
Judge Walter Matthews, Chief Judge
3 Government Plaza, Suite 320
Rome, Georgia 30161
Judge Tami Colston
3 Government Plaza, Suite 324
Rome, Georgia 30161
Judge Bryant Durham
3 Government Plaza, Suite 310
Rome, Georgia 30161
Judge John E. Niedrach
3 Government Plaza, Suite 312
Rome, Georgia 30161
The Chief Prosecuting Officer for Superior Court is the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney for Floyd County Superior Court is Leigh Patterson:
Leigh Patterson, District Attorney
3 Government Plaza, Suite 302
Rome, Georgia 30161
Phone: (706) 291-5210
Floyd County DUI Defense - Rome Georgia DUI Defense
At the Law Office of Richard Lawson, we are focused on DUI Defense and want to help you fight your Floyd County DUI charge. If you would like to find out what one of our Floyd County DUI Lawyers can do for you, give us a call for a hassle-free evaluation of your case.
Floyd County DUI Resources