Atlanta, Gainesville, Alabama DUI AttorneysDriving Under the Influence (DUI/DWI) is a very serious offense that can carry serious penalties if not dealt with swiftly and appropriately. The stakes are high. When you get pulled over for DUI, you face serious charges that could lead to heavy penalties and fines, almost certain loss of driving privileges, increased insurance costs and potential jail time.
To combat these serious charges, you need an experienced attorney who will zealously advocate for your defense.
We aggressively defend DUI charges both in court and at DDS hearings, by strategizing with clients to develop an effective defense. We want to know why the police stopped your car, how well you performed on the field sobriety tests, whether the officer completed the proper training, and if the machine had any history of malfunction.
Our law firm’s aggressive courtroom approach lends favorable outcomes for our clients such as charges being dropped or reduced when we can demonstrate that a traffic stop lacked sufficient legal cause, the breathalyzer machine malfunctioned, the alcohol absorption was insufficient, or other problems of proof exist such as the improper collection or preservation of blood after a DUI arrest.
Let Bell and Washington help you with your case by contacting us today!
What is the first thing to do after being charged with DUI?
You should contact a qualified DUI or criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The laws surrounding DUI are very technical and complex and involve many different scenarios and possible penalties if certain information necessary to effective DUI defense is not collected or preserved. The first important deadline is hiring an attorney within the first week after receiving a DUI. This gives you the best chance to keep your license and increases the chances of obtaining the best possible outcome in your DUI and other drinking while driving related charges.
There may also need to be medical records, accident reports, cell phone records, or prescription medication records that need to be obtained. The sooner the facts are evaluated by an experienced DUI attorney, the better your chances of a favorable outcome.
What part of your practice is devoted to defending Georgia DUI cases?
A substantial portion our practice is built on DUI cases. Georgia DUI laws and techniques in defending DUI are constantly changing. At Bell & Washington LLP we are always working to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in DUI law.
What if I’m asked about drinking?
The answer to this question depends on your particular situation. Above all else, DO NOT LIE. Lying leads to complications if the officer decides to charge you with DUI. It is important to remember that everything you do or say is probably being recorded. You may wish to answer that your attorney has instructed you not to answer questions like that without him or her present.
A. If you have not been drinking, tell the officer you have not been drinking.
B. If you have engaged in very light drinking and believe you are not under the influence of alcohol, tell the officer you have had something to drink but are not under the influence of alcohol, because being honest may help you later in your defense.
C. If you are under the influence of alcohol, politely inform the officer that your attorney has instructed you to never answer an officer’s questions without him or her present.
Do I automatically lose my driver’s license when I get arrested for DUI?
A license suspension is not automatic. If you contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately he/she very well may be able to help you keep your license.
If my license is suspended for a DUI, can I get a license to drive to work?
In virtually all cases the court will allow you to get a permit to drive to and from work. Getting this permit will ultimately depend on your criminal and driving record. The permit will also allow you to drive between locations, if your job requires you to travel as part of your duties.
What are the major areas of concern in a DUI case?
- Was the stop constitutional?
- Was the administration of roadside tests proper?
- Was there probable cause for the arrest?
- Was Miranda properly applied as it pertains to statements and other evidence?
- Were any breath or blood samples collected properly?
Is your firm knowledgeable of the proper administration of standardized field sobriety tests?
Absolutely. We have attorneys who are NHTSA certified in administering all the field sobriety tests used by law enforcement. This is important because most Georgia DUI prosecutions involve results of field sobriety tests.
Are you familiar with the breath test machine, the Intoxilyzer 5000, used in Georgia?
Yes. Failing a breath test does not mean you are guilty. We understand how the breath test machine works, what can cause you to submit an erroneously high reading, the philosophy behind breath testing, and how alcohol is absorbed and eliminated from the body. We also utilize, under the right DUI circumstances, experts in the field of Toxicology who are often instrumental in explaining to a jury through scientific evidence that a breath test may be erroneous.
What do police officers look for when they watch for drunk drivers?
According to the DUI detection training manual published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2004, officers look for anything that may draw their attention to the vehicle (especially at night time) such as:
- A moving traffic violation
- Weaving across a lane
- Abruptly swerving
- Turning with too wide a radius
- Almost striking an object or other vehicle
- Stopping incorrectly
- Rapid acceleration or deceleration
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Slow or failure to respond to officer’s signals
- Stopping in a lane for no apparent reason
- No headlights
- Driving in an area other than a marked traffic lane
- Throwing objects out of the car or other inappropriate behavior such as leaning out of the window or yelling out of the window
- An equipment violation (burned out tail light or burned out license plate light)
- An expired registration sticker
- Any unusual driving actions, such as weaving within a lane or moving at slower than normal speed
- After the stop, evidence of drinking or drugs in the vehicle itself
How long will it take to resolve my case?
If you hire an experienced attorney, expect your case to last anywhere from a few months to a year. If the case is set for trial, then it will usually take longer for your case to be resolved. The circumstances surrounding the case will also dictate how long the case takes to be resolved.