DUI Defense Lawyers in Atlanta, GA
Driving Under the Influence DUI (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391)
Have you been charged with DUI? Did the officer charge you with a DUI under Alcohol, Drugs, Prescription medication, marijuana, Violation of Controlled Substances Act (V.G.C.S.A.)?
A DUI charge is one of the most heavily used and frequently received charges in the State of Georgia. Many people receive DUI’s who have never been in trouble. This charge is also the most inadequately represented charge in criminal law for clients. A DUI Criminal Defense Attorney’s MUST have Proper training to assure that the client receives the representation for which they are not only looking but for which they are paying. That is why you need to find a DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer who has the proper training to help you. If handled improperly, a DUI can affect your license, your criminal history, time in jail, community representation and many other issues with your life.
Any charge involving DUI (Driving Under the Influence) requires that the driver of a vehicle be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or some other substance while in control of the car (or motor vehicle).
The most typical, and frequently used, charge for DUI is alcohol. There are two ways that you can be charged with DUI alcohol. The State of Georgia and legislature refers to these two charges as DUI PER SE (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(A)(1)) and DUI LESS SAFE (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391 (A)(5)). The simple difference between these two charges involves whether or not the breath test that the officer “asks for” is either over .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or under .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or deemed a DUI refusal. Should the driver refuse to submit to either a portable breath test or intoxilyzer at the police station house (most often at the jail), the officer will treat the charges as a DUI less safe and rely on their observations noted in their report to support the charges.
The observations that the officer notes, or writes, in his report is referred to as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (Standardized Field Sobriety Training, or SFST’s). These tests comprise a battery of testing to evaluate drivers and are taught by properly qualified and trained instructors certified by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) to the officers. Some officers receive what is called “wet training” at the Georgia Public Training Safety Center (or GPSTC) which is usually comprised of several days, while others only get a 4 hour class at their local police training academy. This is just another reason that clients need a experienced DUI Criminal Defense Attorney to help them. Without a experienced DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer, the client would not be able to properly defend against an officer who has not had the proper training and has made errors in the officers DUI evaluation of the client.
Whenever someone is arrested for DUI, the officer is required by law to arrest them and retain their drivers license. The officer then issues what is commonly referred to as a DDS 1205 form. This form is the officers notice to the driver of the officers intention to suspend the driver’s privileges to operate a motor vehicle. The driver then has to write a 30 day response letter to stop the suspension.
The Thirty Day letter (or 30 Day Rule)
The thirty day letter, or 30 Day Rule, is a part of the DUI Arrest and is Civil in nature. This means that, technically, it has no effect on the criminal portion of the case. It can however affect the clients ability to drive AND be used against a client during the criminal portion of the case.
Prior to 2017 drivers arrested for DUI had only 10 days to send in a letter to stop the suspension of their driving privileges. After July 1, 2017 the State of Georgia (legislature) passed a new law, House Bill 205, which gave drivers 30 days from the date of the arrest to send in a request to stop any suspension from the DUI arrest. This letter, commonly referred to as a ALS (Administrative License Suspension) 1205 form is what the client needs to stop such suspension. If not sent in the client would face an automatic suspension of their driver’s license. This is why it is so important that clients hire a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney experienced with DUI Suspensions. A DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer experienced with DUI Suspensions understands the workings of these cases and knows how the small but extremely important details affect a clients situation.
This form must have the clients general information such as license number, address, date of the stop, reference to officer information, a money order for $150.00 and the additional required information found on the back of the form and should be sent via certified mail to the address found on the back of the form as well. Issuance of the form by the officer to the driver is called service. This “Service” must be done in the proper manner in order for the driver to be placed on notice that they have 30 days to send in their response or face the civil consequences of the arrest. All of the information is handed down by the administrative court which runs these hearings the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OR OSAH) and the information of how their process is managed is found on their website under administrative rules and procedures. This site also has links to check your hearing time and date OR to obtain the decision of the hearing.
A common misconception is that since the officer didn’t issue a DDS 1205 suspension form OR because the client still has their driver’s license that the client does not need to worry about the response letter or the suspension. While it is true that service in this instance would be improper, a suspension will still issue on the drivers license until the suspension issue is “cleared up.” This reason is why it is so important the clients hire a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney experienced with DUI Suspensions. A DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer experienced with DUI License Suspensions understands the workings of these cases and can determine whether the letter is important.
Of course, what happens at the ALS Suspension hearing can also affect certain situations for the criminal portion of the client’s case as well. Although the Civil portion has no “direct” affect on the criminal portion, any agreement or discussion in the ALS portion can be used against the client in the criminal portion of the case. This is yet another reason why it is so important that clients hire a DUI Criminal Defense Attorney experienced with DUI Suspensions. A DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer experienced with DUI Suspensions understands the workings of these cases and can determine how the interactions at the civil level may effect the criminal portion.
For a free consultation and evaluation of your DUI charges call our firm for DUI Defense by experience DUI Criminal Defense Attorneys. Our Criminal Defense Lawyers have the knowledge and skills to assist you.
Just because you have been charged with a DUI does not mean that you have to accept guilt, it means you need to hire a experienced attorney to mount a proper defense for your charges.
Our offices have a 24 hour response line (404-465-2977) and someone is available to answer your call and help. Call us now for a free case evaluation.
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I hired Mike and John to represent me on some serious charges and although my case is now pending, they got me out of jail on bond and are working very hard on my case. What I like most is that they personally visited me in jail, kept me informed of realistic expectations, and continue to work as a team to identify the best course. The previous firm I had representing me would send whoever was available and at times that random person didn't know me or even anything about my case. You can trust that with Mike and John, one hand is talking to the other and they both are going to personally take care of your' best interest.
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- American Bar Association
- National College For DUI Defense
- Lawyers Club Of Atlanta
- Atlanta Business Alliance
- Georgia Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyer