A conviction for DUI may have a number of seriously negative consequences for a defendant in Cumming, Georgia. This may include license suspension, heavy fines, imprisonment, probation and mandatory drug counseling or rehabilitation. In view of these harsh penalties, it is important to work with a Cumming DUI lawyer who can protect your legal rights and interests. You may be able to avoid a conviction, but it will take an experienced and aggressive attorney to seek the best possible outcome to your case.
Drunk driving cases are unique in that they involve a particular type of evidence and legal proceedings. A defendant may face evidence based on performance on field sobriety tests (used to determine whether the driver's abilities were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the alleged offense) and a breath or blood test (used to determine the driver's blood alcohol level). Your DUI lawyer needs to understand the ins and outs of these tests and the proper procedure to be followed by law enforcement to support their validity in court proceedings. Your attorney also should be experienced in handling ALS hearings, as you will face automatic driver's license suspension in conjunction with a failed or refused breath/blood test after a Cumming DUI arrest. You will have the opportunity to challenge the suspension at this hearing; having a competent lawyer by your side will greatly increase your chances of keeping your license.
When the police arrest someone for a DUI, it starts both a criminal prosecution and a civil administrative action against the accused. Most are familiar with a traditional criminal prosecution. However, there is a second "civil prosecution" against the defendant in regards to their privilege to drive.
The civil action against a suspected DUI driver starts within thirty days of a person's arrest. An accused DUI driver only has thirty days to appeal their automatic license suspension or to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle along with requesting the hearing. Otherwise, their license will be automatically suspended.
If you refuse chemical testing or submit to testing and your blood alcohol concentration is higher than .08%, the officer will confiscate your physical driver's license and fill out what is called a 1205 form. This form is a temporary driver's license that is valid for 30 days. To continue driving, a 30-Day Letter must be submitted timely with a $150 check or money order. When this letter is received, it stays the license suspension until your administrative license suspension hearing.
Your Cumming GA DUI Attorney will handle this hearing for you so you do not have to appear. At this hearing, they will argue the lack of probable cause to arrest for the DUI or that the arresting officers violated Georgia's Implied Consent laws. Winning this hearing saves your privilege to drive in Georgia.
Cumming DUI Defense
When you make the mistake of drinking and driving in the Cumming, Forsyth County, or anywhere else in Georgia, you risk getting pulled over. Georgia DUI laws make pulling you over quite easy. Law enforcement officers are allowed to stop your vehicle based on reasonable articulable suspicion that you have committed a crime, such as DUI. Police can pull you over and ask you a lot of questions, without advising you of your rights. What most drivers do not know is they do not have to answer any questions at all. In fact, you have the right to refuse and tell the officer to arrest you or let you go free. However, you will more than likely be placed under arrest at that point.
Before, during, and after the stop, law enforcement is observing, listening, and even smelling to see if there is any indication that you have consumed alcohol. Your level of understanding, sense of balance, and speech is also being observed. You can almost be sure that if a law enforcement officer asks you if you have been drinking, you will more than likely be asked to perform field sobriety tests.
Observing your driving, the stopping of your vehicle, speaking with you, and field sobriety tests are all done to establish probable cause so you can be arrested. Once you are asked to exit your vehicle, you will be requested to perform one, or all, of the standard field sobriety tests such as the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk-and-Turn test, or the One-leg Stand. You will be given these tests after you are given instruction on exactly how they want them to be performed. The officer is also testing to see if you can follow direction and do several things at once. Even people who are sober often have difficulty completing the field sobriety tests perfectly. That is why we advise our clients to politely decline to participate in the field sobriety tests.
When you are under arrest, you will be taken to the station and will be offered a breath, blood, or urine test. No exceptions; that is the way it all works. Georgia law says that if you want a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle, you must give your implied consent to submit to a chemical test if asked to do so. If you were not advised of your rights or the tests were not administered correctly, we can use that evidence to support your case! That is why it is important to contact a DUI Attorney in Cumming as soon as possible so the incident is fresh on your mind.
Have you been arrested for DUI in Cumming? Call an attorney at our firm.
It is important to remember that there are a number of viable defense strategies that may be used to challenge DUI charges. The approach used in your case will vary depending on the evidence against you and a number of other factors, but with our more than 20 years of experience and our strong commitment to our clients, the team at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson is ready to make a difference in your case.
Contact a Cumming DUI attorney at our firm today!