Madison County GA DUI Lawyer
Madison County GA DUI Attorney
Danielsville DUI Lawyer - Danielsville DUI Attorney
The Law Office of Richard Lawson is the leading DUI Defense firm in Madison County, Georgia and throughout the state. Our founder, Richard Lawson, is a former Georgia prosecutor, and, therefore, knows both sides of your DUI case. Check out his reviews on Avvo.
If you would like a free consultation of your Madison County Georgia DUI case, please give us a call. Your best defense begins with us!
The State of Georgia requires drivers to follow particular laws and regulations when they are issued a driver's license. Your ability to drive in Georgia is a privilege and not a right. That privilege can be taken from you if you violate Georgia DUI laws.
If you were arrested for DUI in Georgia, you must request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing or an ignition interlock device within thirty business days of your arrest. The State assesses a fee of $150 to file the request. If the hearing or device is not requested within the thirty-day time frame, your license will be suspended. If you have been accused of refusing chemical testing of your breath, blood or urine, your license will be suspended for one year with no permit to drive.
Should I Hire an Attorney for My Madison County DUI Case?
A DUI charge in Madison County is a serious charge, even if you are a first offender. The penalties for such a charge can be hefty fines, loss of your driving privilege, time in jail, and can even affect your employment. Whether your arrest was in Comer or Danielsville, speaking with a DUI Lawyer in Madison County about options for your case is highly suggested.
Many DUI Attorneys (including our firm) offer free case evaluations. At the very least you should review the basics of your case with a DUI Attorney in Madison County so you understand what penalties you could face and your chances for a favorable outcome. Even if you do not hire one of our skilled Madison County DUI Lawyers, you should, at the very least, know your options.
Potential Defenses in a Madison County DUI Case
Whenever a potential client calls our office, one of the first things we ask is to tell us what happened. We need to know specific facts of your case such as: why were you stopped; were you or your automobile searched; were you given any tests; and if you talked to the police. Armed with this information, we can begin to look for possible defenses to your Madison County DUI charge. Some possible DUI Defenses can include:
- Your Initial Stop/Search—One thing we look at is if your stop by law enforcement violated your rights in any way. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that it is your right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. In the case of your DUI traffic stop: was there reasonable, articulable suspicion that you committed a traffic offense or other criminal violation of the law? Did someone call and give police an anonymous tip or other random reason to pull you over? If not, law enforcement may have violated your rights. The police cannot just pull you over because they think you look suspicious or if they just feel like it. Law enforcement must be able to give specific facts or reasons why they suspected you were guilty of committing a traffic violation or other criminal offense. If they are unable to do this, nothing can be entered into evidence against you (this includes Breathalyzer test results, field sobriety test results, and other evidence).
- Breath-Testing Machine—Were there issues with the officer administering the breath test? Was it calibrated correctly? If the officer did not perform the test correctly, or if the machine was not properly calibrated, your test could be invalid.
- Blood or Urine Tests—Driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs is always a focus of Georgia law enforcement agencies. Urine testing is typically done for DUI Marijuana cases and presents a few unique issues that defense counsel must examine. Were your urine or blood tests collected properly? Was there any possible contamination? Had you consumed any food, drink or medication that could have affected the test result?
- Field Sobriety Tests—Was the arresting officer trained in field sobriety testing? Did he or she demonstrate (and administer) the tests correctly? Was the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (eye test) administered? If there were officer errors, unclear instructions, or improper or insufficient demonstration of the tests, your Madison County DUI Attorney could get the results thrown out.
- Reports, Videos, or Other Evidence—Your Madison County DUI Lawyer will obtain a copy of the video of your DUI stop. Does it show field sobriety testing results clearly? Were the tests not recorded for some reason? If you did field sobriety tests and they were not corroborated by video, this may be useful in your defense. Video evidence is crucial in building a solid case.
Should I Just Plead Guilty or No Contest?
Most people do not understand the nolo contendere or "no contest" plea. In virtually every DUI case, if you plead no contest to a DUI charge, the judge will immediately find you guilty after that. A plea of "no contest" means you are admitting to every fact that is alleged against you. Even more, you give up your right to go to trial and also the right to use witnesses in your defense.
For example, the police report could allege that you had glassy eyes, slurred speech; that you reeked of alcohol, failed field sobriety tests, or blew over the legal limit. If you enter a plea of "no contest," you are in effect admitting that all of that is true, and a judge will no doubt find you guilty. One of the seasoned Madison County DUI Attorneys from the Law Office of Richard Lawson will counsel you on the best approach for your unique DUI case. Choosing not to hire an experienced Madison County DUI Lawyer could be the worst mistake you will ever make. Do not play around with your future!
How Will Your Office Defend My Case?
When you contact our office for a free consultation, one of our experienced Madison County DUI Lawyers will go over the details of your case and start to identify potential defenses based on your account of what happened. If you choose our firm to represent you, your Madison County DUI case will likely proceed as follows:
- Arraignment—This is your first court appearance. After your arrest, the court has to formally read the charges against you. That would be the time for you to plead "guilty" or "not guilty." Ideally, you would have hired a seasoned Madison County DUI Attorney prior to your arraignment. If so, they can appear on your behalf (so you will not have to take time off from work to go to court).
- Discovery—This is the part of the case where we find out what evidence the prosecutor has against you. One of our Madison County DUI Lawyers will ask the prosecution for all of the evidence the State has against you. The prosecution is required to turn over every piece of evidence they have against you; even if that evidence shows you were not impaired.
- Evaluation—This is why having a good Madison County DUI Attorney is so crucial to your case. During this phase of your case, we begin delving into the evidence against you, as well as interviewing any witnesses during our investigation. By evaluating the police report, video, witness statements, and chemical testing results, your Madison County GA DUI Attorney can discover weaknesses that can be used to defend your case. The evaluation is where your real defense begins!
- Pre-Trial Conference—This is the chance to meet with the judge and prosecutor and go over the status of the case and any impending issues.
- Filing and Arguing Motions—Once your Madison County GA DUI Attorney identifies weaknesses in the State's case against you, they may need to file a motion to suppress or other motion to argue that your chemical test or field sobriety test results should not be admitted at trial. Motions are not always used, and their use depends on the unique details of your case. Motions can, however, be beneficial in negotiations with the prosecution.
- Negotiating with the Prosecution—At this stage, your Madison County GA DUI Lawyer will go to the prosecutor and explain why your charges should be dismissed or reduced due to the flaws in their case. The prosecutor will sometimes agree to dismiss your case or reduce your charges depending on the evidence in your case. Other times, the prosecution will not budge, and we must take your case to trial, the final step in your case.
- Trial—If your case cannot be resolved by negotiation, it will go to trial. Your guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If one of our Madison County GA DUI Lawyers is representing you, you can be assured you are receiving the BEST in DUI Defense.
Court Process in Madison County GA
When arrested for DUI, where you were arrested in Madison County, Georgia determines which court has jurisdiction over your DUI case. If your arrest occurred within the limits of a Madison County city, your case would originate in that city's municipal court.
Danielsville Municipal Court
If your misdemeanor DUI arrest occurred in the City of Danielsville, you need a Danielsville DUI Lawyer to defend you in Danielsville Municipal Court. The Honorable Robert Sneed is the municipal court judge. The address for Danielsville City Hall is 10 Government Circle, Danielsville, Georgia 30633. The phone number is (706) 795-2189.
We have a DUI Lawyer in Danielsville who will fight for your rights every step of the way. Call The Law Offices of Richard Lawson for a free consultation today.
Comer Municipal Court
If you were arrested for misdemeanor DUI in Comer, Georgia, hire a top-rated Comer DUI Attorney to fight for you in Comer Municipal Court. The Honorable Robert Sneed also presides over Comer Municipal Court. Stephen H. Sorrells is the Clerk of Court. Court is typically held the third Monday of each month at 2 PM. The address of Comer City Hall is 70 E Sunset Avenue, Comer, Georgia 30629. The phone number is (706) 783-4552.
Do not risk your future by hiring just any DUI Lawyer in Comer. Call The Law Office of Richard Lawson for experienced legal advice.
Madison County Georgia Probate Court
If your misdemeanor DUI arrest occurred outside the city limits of Comer, Danielsville or any unincorporated area in Madison County, your case would be heard in Madison County Probate Court. Judge Cody Cross is the Probate Judge, and may be contacted at (706) 795-6365. Madison County Probate Court is located at 91 Albany Avenue, Danielsville, Georgia 30633.
If you would like a jury trial, your case will be bound over to Madison County Superior Court.
Madison County Superior Court
Madison County Superior Court has jurisdiction over all felony DUI cases. The Clerk of Court is Michele Strickland. She can be reached at (706) 795-6310.
Madison County Superior Court judges are part of the Northern Judicial Circuit that includes Elbert, Hart. Franklin, Madison, and Oglethorpe Counties. There are three judges who hear cases. Their contact information is below:
Chief Superior Court Judge
Hon. John H. Bailey, Jr.
Superior Court Judge
Hon. Jeffery S. Malcom
Superior Court Judge
Hon. Thomas Hodges
The Chief Prosecuting Officer for Superior Court is the District Attorney's Office. The District Attorney for the Northern Judicial Circuit is Parks White. His contact information is:
PO Box 515
Hartwell, GA 30643
VALUABLE LEGAL ADVICE WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST
If you have been arrested for DUI in Madison County, Georgia, contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson today for a free consultation with one of our skilled, top-notch DUI Attorneys in Madison County Georgia. An experienced DUI Lawyer in Madison County is awaiting your call!
Madison County DUI Resources