Obstacles To Getting The Best Outcome in a Georgia DUI Case

The Biggest Obstacles to Achieving the Best Outcome in Your Georgia DUI Case:

As lawyers, our job is to advocate on behalf of our clients, research potential legal and factual defenses, and provide our best advice.  Very often, our job is to save our clients from themselves.  As a provider of online information to clients, I know the perils of how information can be misinterpreted.

The fact that two people have been charged with the same offense does not guarantee the same (or even similar) outcome because no two people are ever similarly situated.

That is a truth that is lost on almost everyone.  The law is a human endeavor, and as such, the potential permutations that affect a case are almost infinite.   As a result, the potential outcomes can appear arbitrary and unfair.  Even something so seemingly innocuous as the change of a prosecutor, the assignment of a particular judge, or the change of a prosecutor's policies can have a radical impact on the outcome of a DUI case.  Even police departments change their policies and those changes affect how cases are prosecuted.

When someone calls my office, very early in the conversation I ask the caller what they would like an attorney to do for them.  Over the past 20 years, the answer has evolved.  It has gone from expecting me to do my best to limit consequences to a desire for complete exoneration.  If the trend continues, I expect that eventually clients will expect an apology from the police officer as well!

My job is to help people charged with DUI achieve the best outcome.  It's the same job I signed onto more than 20 years ago.  Nothing has changed except for the fact that clients have so much more access to misinformation.

Unreasonable expectations hurt the accused because it causes two serious problems:

The first problem has to do with attorney selection.  It would be very easy to simply tell potential clients what they want to hear.  Life, temporarily, would be so much easier if I agreed that someone's “Miranda Rights” should have been read or that the officer cannot pull someone over unless they “weave outside their lane at least 3 times.”

However, things would only be easier for a short period.  I see clients screaming at their lawyers at the courthouse almost every day.  I am sure that the genesis of that screaming started before the attorney's retainer was paid.  So, in essence, people with unreasonable expectations hire the wrong lawyers.  They hire lawyers that agree with or fuel those expectations.

As a result, the outcome is never pretty, and I often wonder if people remember that I told them that no lawyer can predict the outcome of a case until a case is reviewed.   Any attorney who says that he or she can get a DUI case dismissed or reduced is only saying that to get hired.  I must tell people this fact at least 75 times a week.

The second problem with unreasonable expectations is the irrationality it creates.  Very often clients tell me that a particular sentence is something they cannot accept.  As a result, they choose to fight an unwinnable battle.  The result of going to trial on an unwinnable case is not only the punishment that was unacceptable but a far greater punishment.

Again, my job very often is to save a person from him or herself.  However, I will not force a person to take my advice.  Years ago, I would argue with my clients to do what was best for them.  I will not do that today.  If a person has been charged with DUI, it is their case, and it is their life.  No attorney has the right to force his or her judgment on a person.

Epilogue:  Here are the people that fuel the most misinformation:

Your Friends:

Your friends are not lawyers.  Do not take their advice.  If you get chest pains in the middle of the night do you call your friend Roy or do you call a doctor?  I have no idea why people insist on telling me the advice given to them by their friends.  The most commonly repeated “advice” is “my friends told me to refuse the breath test always.”  I have had innocent people tell me they had one drink five hours earlier, yet refused because of this "advice."  No universal advice is correct 100% of the time.  Life is a series of circumstances.  Even advice that is right most of the time cannot always be right.  There are times when it's a good idea to refuse a breath test.  There are also times I would recommend taking it, as long as you request an independent blood test.

The Bonding Company:

The only qualifications to run a bonding company is to have (a) enough money to bond-out potential customers and (b) approval of your company by the Sheriff.  So, please do not take advice from the bondsman.  He may mean well, but being near the legal system does not actually give a bondsman any basis to give legal advice.  I have flown on an airplane at least 100 times, but most certainly do not think anyone should seek my opinion on how to operate one.

Your Friend Who is a Police Officer:

When I tell people that police officers are unqualified to provide legal advice, it surprises people because they assume police officer's have inside knowledge of the court system.  Having arrest powers does not mean that someone understands how to defend someone in court.  In fact, once a person is arrested the police officer only sees the inside of a courtroom as a witness.  Most cases are resolved without trial, so police officers are not party to almost the entire legal process.

Your Parents:

Many times people are terrified of disappointing their parents.  As a result, bad decisions are made in their cases.  Your parents will still love you if you have been arrested for a misdemeanor.

Your Pride:

See above and read it slowly.  Many bad decisions are made solely because a person cannot accept they made a mistake.  We all make them.  I certainly have made plenty.

We Can Help You Make the Right Decisions in Your Case:

If you have been charged with DUI, call the "DUI Only" Lawyers at our office. Richard Lawson is a Former DUI Prosecutor with over 20 years experience defending people accused of DUI.  He is Georgia's most reviewed lawyer on Avvo. Call now. You only have 30 days to save your license.  Your best defense begin here.

Our Attorneys

  • Kb avvo
    Kimberly A. Berry

    Kimberly Berry has devoted her career to defending people. She is ...

  • Richard lawson portrait
    Richard Lawson

    Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He ex...


  • Kimberly Berry is a hard working, honest, future saving, SUPERIOR Attorney!

    Our teenager went off to College (August 2012) with a "You don't have to worry about me, I will not get into trouble, I know what I'm doing" attitude. Two MIP's within the first three months and a citation four months later, proved that attitude wrong. After we had a "come to Jesus" discussion wi... Read On

  • Mr. Lawson surpassed my expectations

    Not only is his previous experience as a DUI prosecutor, educational background and experience in the courtroom a plus, but his promptness in returning my telephone calls and answering my questions helped me through the most difficult time of my life. He restored my faith that anything was possib... Read On

  • Very Helpful. I'd call her again if I need help.

    Kimberly provided services on 2 cases for me. The first was a DUI charge in which I was in an accident. Thankfully no one was hurt. She listened to me and heard my side of the story vs the inaccurate claims of a novice new officer. Her talent got the drivers license suspension thrown out. After d... Read On

Recent Case Results

  • This case was in Helen Municipal Court.  The client was charged with a DUI and four counts of DUI Child Endangerment.  In Georgia, for every child under the age of 14 in a vehicle it is considered a separate DUI offense.  The client would have been declared an habitual violator from one arrest an... Read On

  • Client was charged with a suspended license because he did not reinstate his privilege to drive after the expiration of his restricted license.  Per my advice, the client properly reinstated his license the day after he was charged.  Case Dismissed in Cobb County State Court.  Read On

  • Client was a resident of New York who was arrested while he was visiting Georgia for pleasure. He was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, and Speeding 37 MPH over the speed limit. We were able to get the client an unbelievable outcome in Hampton, Georgia. His DUI dismissed, his speeding ticket wa... Read On

Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer

Richard lawson logo

When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!