DUI Attorney in Atlanta
LAW FIRM EXCLUSIVELY DEFENDING DUI CASES IN ATLANTA
One of the questions that we regularly get asked is, "What happens now that I have been arrested for DUI?" Whether it is your 1st DUI, a marijuana case, a situation of prescription drugs & DUI, you have prior DUI convictions or your incident involved an accident and serious injury, the DUI process will remain fundamentally the same. Being arrested for DUI in Georgia will bring about two actions against you. One is an administrative license suspension procedure known as an ALS hearing and the second is the criminal court proceedings against you.
In both cases, your opportunity for a successful conclusion should be managed with the help of an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer from The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson. Penalties for a DUI conviction can be harsh including stiff fines, mandatory periods of incarceration, probation and a suspended license. In the past 20+ years we have assisted more than 4900 individuals, many in situations similar to yours, to resolve their DUI cases. We are exclusively a DUI defense practice which allows us to focus solely on what does and does not work in assisting individuals who face DUI charges. You will want the best DUI lawyer you can retain and a firm that is experienced and knowledgeable in defending against DUI charges.
DUI DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN ATLANTA
Apart from your criminal court case, we will need to request an ALS hearing with the Department of Driver Services (DDS) regarding the suspension of your driving privileges. This must be done within 30 days of being charged with DUI. If the request is not done within this timeframe it can result in your license being automatically suspended for a year or longer, particularly if you have a 2nd, 3rd or more prior DUI convictions. It usually takes several months for your hearing to take place. During this time we take legal action to seek to extend your driving privileges. Additionally, we prepare for and represent you at your hearing with the objective of gaining the most favorable result possible.
The criminal process starts when you were arrested for DUI. The police officer should have acted on probable cause which made him or her suspect that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This can occur as a result of the manner in which you were driving or as part of a roadside checkpoint. Commonly, law enforcement will look for any obvious signs of intoxication and/or conduct field sobriety tests. Following your arrest, a blood or breath test will be administered in order to determine your blood alcohol concentration level.
CHALLENGING THE EVIDENCE AGAINST YOU
An effective defense of your case may begin with why you were arrested and the reliability of the tests that were conducted. If you were illegally stopped or doubts can be effectively raised as to the accuracy and integrity of the tests involved, it can work to weaken a prosecutor's case and lead to the charges against you being either dismissed or reduced.
TAKING A DUI CASE TO TRIAL
Following your arrest will be your first appearance in court, known as an "arraignment." Some defendants wonder, "Do I need a lawyer?" and choose to try to represent themselves in court. This does not usually end well. At your arraignment you will be asked to officially plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. While an individual may feel that pleading guilty will be the fastest and easiest way to resolve the situation, this does not gain you any advantage with regard to penalties, and misses the opportunity to get your charges dismissed, reduced or to win at trial. Having knowledgeable legal representation could assist you to avoid conviction. At this hearing a bail amount will also be set and, where possible, we seek to get your released on your own recognizance.
In certain circumstances, we can negotiate a plea bargain that prevents a trial and seeks to bring about the most favorable conclusion possible to your case. Before this occurs, we discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of a plea bargain vs. a trial so that you understand the decision you are making and all of its ramifications.
When a plea agreement cannot be obtained, we then proceed to trial. This is where our experience and sole concentration on DUI matters can work to your advantage. There are many faults and weaknesses that can be exposed in certain DUI cases which make the prosecution's job difficult. We know how to prepare for and illustrate mistakes made by police or prosecutors and how to employ them at trial. If you are convicted for DUI, there are situations that allow us to file an appeal in your case. If successful, an appeal can result in your case being retried or your sentence being reduced. From the beginning to the end of your trial, we endeavor to protect your rights and create the best possible resolution to your case.
If you have been arrested for DUI, quickly contact an Atlanta DUI attorney from our firm to find out more about your best legal options.