Morgan County GA DUI Lawyer - Morgan County GA DUI Attorney
City of Madison GA DUI Lawyer - City of Madison GA DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested on a Morgan County DUI charge, you are more than likely shaken and unsure of where to turn. However, DUI arrests demand immediate action. The Morgan County GA DUI Lawyers with the Law Offices of Richard Lawson are ready to address every facet of your DUI case with compassion and skill.
The Law Office of Richard Lawson is a legal firm dedicated exclusively to DUI Defense. Richard Lawson, a former Georgia DUI prosecutor, has over twenty five years' experience in Georgia DUI Law. He knows every aspect of your Morgan County Georgia DUI case because he has experience on both sides of the courtroom. Put that experience to work for you by checking out his reviews on AVVO, and contact us right away for a free consultation.
Morgan County GA DUI Lawyer
Whether you are facing a Morgan County GA DUI charge or have just learned someone you care about has been arrested for DUI, the time to act is now. The first step after a DUI arrest is to seek legal advice from an experienced Morgan County Georgia DUI Attorney. Once you have gotten out of jail, it is crucial that you begin building a strong defense to your Morgan County Georgia DUI case. Unfortunately, any Georgia DUI arrest triggers a separate Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) case; meaning your license is in danger of being suspended.
If you are anything like many Georgia drivers arrested for DUI, you may be tempted to go ahead and plead guilty just to put the whole thing behind you so you can get on with your life. While that is entirely understandable, you should know there are more than likely good reasons to challenge your charges and fight your case.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Morgan County GA, you have only thirty days to keep your license from automatically being suspended! You (or your DUI Lawyer in Morgan County GA), must request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing or an ignition interlock device in writing and pay the $150 to file the request. If you do not ask for the hearing or device within that timeframe, your license will be suspended. If you are accused of refusing the State's chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine, your license will be suspended for one year, with no opportunity for a permit.
Fighting Your Morgan County GA DUI Case
Many drivers who are arrested and charged with DUI think that fighting their charges is a big fat waste of time and money; especially if they blew over the limit or failed a field sobriety test. Potential clients have often asked if their case is hopeless and if there is any point in fighting their charges. That is an entirely reasonable question. The short answer is yes, their case is, more often than not, worth fighting for a few good reasons.
The traffic stop can be challenged; as can field sobriety tests, breath, blood, and urine tests. In fact, the arrest itself can be challenged as well.
The United States criminal justice system has a presumption of innocence for DUI unless you are convicted by a judge or jury. For you to be found guilty of a misdemeanor Morgan County GA DUI charge, all six jurors must be sure of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If all six cannot agree, your case will result in a “hung jury,” which would be considered a great outcome for your Morgan County GA DUI case. Although the prosecution has the option to retry your case, they sometimes decide against it, meaning your charges will be dismissed.
There are many disadvantages to a guilty plea of your Morgan County DUI charge without consulting with a competent Morgan County GA DUI Lawyer about how your charges can be challenged. The most obvious disadvantage is the penalties; pleading guilty brings possible fines, a license suspension, probation, and even time behind bars. Although these are consequences you would likely face if your defense is ineffective, not fighting your case means automatic punishment.
Another disadvantage to a guilty plea is the possibility of increased punishment if you are arrested for DUI in the future. Fighting your DUI charge and being successful is possible, but you will never know if you plead guilty without first knowing your options. The Morgan County GA DUI Attorneys with the Law Office of Richard Lawson can evaluate your case to see if there are any weaknesses in the State's case against you.
Elements of a Morgan County DUI Charge
The prosecution must prove each element of your DUI charge to get a conviction. The essential components of a DUI offense are operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or by violating Georgia's “per se” law. Your DUI Lawyer in the City of Madison GA will do everything within their power to disprove these elements, therefore making room for reasonable doubt of your guilt.
The “under the influence” part of a DUI charge depends on whether you were impaired by alcohol or drugs, or both. A person is considered to be DUI if you are impaired to the extent that you are unable to drive a vehicle as safely as a sober person, under the same circumstances.
The Prosecution will try to use circumstantial evidence against you. Circumstantial evidence is evidence that implies truth, but cannot necessarily be proven. They will present evidence that includes, but is not limited to your physical appearance, chemical test results, as well as field sobriety test observations.
Fortunately, there may be perfectly reasonable explanations for some of that evidence that has zero to do with you being intoxicated, such as medical issues, etc.
Field sobriety test results are also vulnerable to challenge by your City of Madison Georgia DUI Attorney. Field sobriety testing is purportedly supposed to detect mental and physical impairment by making a suspect concentrate on two tasks at simultaneously. Unfortunately, these tests are more than flawed; they are designed for failure. Many factors could cause you to perform poorly on field sobriety tests: illness, disability, injury, and more.
Clearly, “evidence” of a person being under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be attributed to factors that have zero to do with consuming alcohol or using drugs. Your Morgan County GA DUI Attorney will do a thorough investigation into your case to determine whether illness, injury or other possible factors were responsible for the circumstantial evidence that you were impaired.
MORGAN COUNTY COURT INFORMATION
Georgia's court system is complicated and confusing. It helps to know a little about it:
If you are arrested for misdemeanor DUI within the limits of an incorporated city, your case would be heard in that city's municipal court. If you are arrested in an unincorporated area of Morgan County Georgia, your case would be heard in Morgan County GA Probate Court. If you are charged with Felony DUI, or if you would like a jury trial, your case would be heard in Morgan County GA Superior Court.
City of Madison GA Municipal Court
If you were arrested for DUI in the City of Madison GA, you need a competent Madison Georgia DUI Lawyer to fight for your rights. The Honorable Charles Merritt is the Municipal Judge, and Biblis L. Ghioto is the Chief Clerk. Court is held at the Madison GA Police Station at 118 N. Main Street, Madison, Georgia 30650. Call (706) 342-1275 for more information, and contact the Law Offices of Richard Lawson to speak with a DUI Lawyer in Madison GA.
City of Rutledge GA Municipal Court
If your DUI arrest occurred in the City of Rutledge GA, call the Law Office of Richard Lawson right away for a free consultation with a Rutledge GA DUI Lawyer. The Honorable Charles Merritt, Jr. is the Municipal Court Judge, and Debbie Rutherford is the Chief Clerk. Court is held at the Rutledge Police Department at 112 Martha Lane, Rutledge, GA 30663. Call (706) 557-2223 for more information, and contact us, for an experienced DUI Lawyer in Rutledge GA.
Morgan County GA Probate Court
The Honorable Charles W. Merritt, Jr. is the Morgan County GA Probate Court Judge, and may be reached by calling (706) 343-6500. Hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM. Court is held at 149 E Jefferson Street, Madison, Georgia 30650.
Morgan County GA Superior Court
Morgan County Superior Court is part of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit. Jody M. Moss is the Clerk of Superior Court, and may be contacted by calling (706) 342-3605. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM at the Morgan County Courthouse at 384 Hancock Street, Madison, Georgia 30650.
There are five judges who hear felony cases:
Chief Judge William A. Prior, Jr.
P O Box 728
Madison, GA 30650
Judge Hugh V. Wingfield, III
P O Drawer 1539
Gray, GA 31032
Trenton Brown, III
100 S Jefferson Avenue
Eatonton, GA 31024
Judge Brenda H. Trammell
P O Box 1050
Milledgeville, GA 31059
Judge Alison T. Burleson
P O Box 111
Monticello, GA 31064
If you or someone you care about has been charged with DUI in the City of Madison Georgia or anywhere in Morgan County GA, please contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson for a free case evaluation from a Morgan County GA DUI Lawyer. We are available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week; holidays too. When you need expert legal representation, our DUI Attorneys in Morgan County GA can help.
Morgan County GA DUI Resources
Morgan County GA Sheriff's Department
City of Madison GA Police Department
Superior Court Clerk of Morgan County GA
Administrative Office of the Courts