WEST POINT GA DUI LAWYER - WEST POINT GA DUI ATTORNEY
If you have been arrested for a DUI in West Point GA, you need to investigate what your options are for ways to avoid the severe punishments associated with a DUI. We encourage people to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. Never plead guilty to a DUI charge before you have your case examined by a skilled DUI lawyer. Our experienced West Point DUI Attorneys frequently find issues with arrest procedures and use them to your advantage! Contact us now for a free case evaluation.
30 Day Warning
You only have 30 days from the date of your arrest to request an administrative license hearing or to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you fail to request a hearing or install the device, your driver's license will be automatically suspended. The hearing request must be submitted by mail and costs $150. It is in your best interest to contact a West Point GA DUI Attorney to discuss whether the ALS hearing or the ignition interlock device is the best option for your case.
Questions to Ask a West Point GA DUI Lawyer About Your Case
DUI cases are complex matters that require specialized knowledge of the most current DUI laws. When deciding who to hire for your case, it is a good idea to bring a list of questions you want to ask. Your future is on the line, and you need to make sure your attorney cares as much about your case as you do and has the skill necessary to achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Some questions we recommend include the following:
- Do you specialize in DUI law, or are you a general practitioner?
- How many years have you practiced DUI law?
- How many DUI cases have you defended?
- How often do you take your DUI cases to trial?
- How do you think you can help me?
- Who will be handling my case?
- How often do you appear at the courthouse where my case will be heard?
- Have you worked with the prosecutor in my case before?
- What can I expect at the different stages of the process, including arraignment, filing of motions, disposition, and trial?
- How quickly can I expect a response when I call with questions?
- Will I receive regular status updates?
- Do you bill by the hour or with a flat fee?
- What is included in your price? Is there anything not included?
- What other legal expenses will I have to pay?
- Do you have someone where I can read reviews from former clients?
After meeting with attorneys and asking these questions, it is time to decide who you trust with your case. We suggest that you choose the West Point GA Attorney that you feel will fight hard for you!
The Basics of a West Point GA DUI Charge
In order to be stopped and arrested on suspicion of a Georgia DUI, the arresting officer needs probable cause to believe that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Officers obtain the probable cause needed to make a DUI arrest by observing poor driving patterns, watching for signs of intoxication such as slurred speech, an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and poor performance on field sobriety tests. There are other things officers are looking for, but those are just some of the signals used to justify a DUI stop.
A driver has the ability to limit the probable cause that the officers are looking for by taking steps to enforce their rights. If pulled over on suspicion of DUI, the driver should not say anything except to invoke their 5th Amendment right to remain silent and request a West Point GA DUI attorney. Furthermore, the field sobriety tests are optional and should not be performed. Field sobriety tests can be difficult even for people not under the influence, and there are often extenuating factors that contribute to the failure of those tests. Lastly, the breathalyzer test is also optional and should not be taken. However, you do have to submit to the state's test or request your own test! This is not the roadside breathalyzer test; it is the State's chemical test.
By limiting the probable cause, you give your West Point GA DUI Lawyer the ability to argue that the arrest was illegal because the officer did not have the required probable cause to make the DUI arrest.
It is important to note that taking these steps does not mean that you won't be arrested. The purpose of protecting your rights is to help with your DUI Defense in court. The officers will still likely make the arrest, but now you have armed your defense lawyer with arguments to contest the initial arrest.
After the arrest, you will be released with a court date. The court will schedule a hearing called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the person accused of DUI, will enter a plea, be advised on their rights, and the charges pending against them.
After the arraignment, there may be several or no pretrial hearings to allow the prosecutor and your attorney to examine your case and negotiate a plea deal. A plea deal may include a reduction to reckless driving or some other lesser charge. If no agreement can be reached, then the case will proceed to trial. At the trial, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.
If the trial returns a verdict of not guilty, then you will suffer no legal penalties. However, if you are found guilty, you will face significant fines. The decision to accept a plea deal or go to trial is not one to be taken lightly. It must be carefully considered with the help of an experienced West Point GA DUI Lawyer.
This is just a very basic overview of a DUI charge. There are many intricacies not mentioned, and we encourage people charged with a DUI not to try and take on the system by themselves. Hire a qualified and knowledgeable DUI Lawyer in West Point GA who knows the DUI process inside and out and will give you the best chance at a favorable outcome.
West Point GA Municipal Court
If you were charged with DUI in West Point GA, your case will proceed to West Point Municipal Court.The Honorable Wesley Leonard is the Associate Municipal Court Judge, and the Honorable Kenneth D. Rearden is the Judge Pro Tem. Court is held at 730 1st Ave., West Point, Georgia 31833. Call (706) 645-3512 for more information.
Map to West Point GA Municipal Court
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia, don't face the criminal justice system alone. Contact our West Point GA DUI Lawyers today for a free consultation.