Being arrested charged with a DUI can be a frightening and stressful experience. This is especially true if you are dealing with the criminal justice system for the first time. This page addresses some of the frequently asked questions that those facing DUI charges may have.
What Should I Do After My Arrest?
Once you have been released after your arrest, there are several things that you can do. If you want to keep from losing your driving privileges, there are certain steps that you must take or your license will be automatically suspended after 30 days. The first step you must take to try and keep your license is to request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing to contest the suspension. Requesting this hearing will pause the license suspension process until the hearing takes place. You must request the ALS hearing within thirty (30) days of your arrest or you will lose your right to have this hearing.
To preserve your rights and freedom, it is a good idea to contact a Roswell DUI Defense Attorney. Richard Lawson has been defending those accused of driving under the influence in Georgia for over two decades. In addition to defending clients in criminal court, he also represents clients at administrative license hearings. Please do not hesitate to contact his office today to discuss your case.
What If I Don't Request An ALS Hearing Within 30 Days?
If you do not request an ALS hearing, your license will be suspended after 46 days. This suspension will remain in effect until your DUI case has been adjudicated. However, you may be able to apply for a limited permit so that you can continue to drive prior to trial. It is important to note that this type of permit may not be available if you refused to take a chemical test. There is no limited permit or restricted license in the event of an alleged refusal and your suspension will be 12 months.
Do I Need An Attorney?
You are not required to hire an attorney, you can represent yourself if you so choose. However, it is important to be aware that there are a number of advantages to having an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia criminal defense attorney on your side.It is often that we receive calls from people who have represented themselves and we cannot always help someone who has made an irreparable mistake when representing themselves. We always recommend hiring a qualified Roswell DUI Lawyer when charged with a DUI. An attorney will know the law, help you go through the options available to you, and advise you on the best course of action in your case. In addition, there are numerous courts in Georgia and each court has its own practices and procedures. An attorney will be familiar with the court system and will know the proper procedures and format to follow when filing motions or documents with the court.
Is It A Good Idea To Accept A Plea Bargain?
The simple answer is it will depend on the case at hand. Every case has a unique set of facts and circumstances and this will affect whether or not agreeing to a plea bargain in a particular case will be a good idea. Before you accept a plea deal, it is a good idea to discuss the matter with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney, like Richard Lawson, can help you understand the options available to your and the potential consequences that you may face if you agree to a plea instead of going to trial. The decision is ultimately up to you, but it is a good idea to know all the pertinent information so you can make the best choice for your case.
What Happens If I Violate Probation?
If you are put on probation there will be certain things that you must do. Violating the terms of your probation can lead to significant penalties including having a warrant issued for your arrest or serving additional time in jail. There are a number of ways that you can violate probation including missing an appointment with your probation officer, failing to pay any fees, failing to complete your community service hours, or being charged with another criminal offense.
What Is Implied Consent?
Georgia, like most states, has an implied consent rule. O.C.G.A. § 40-5-67.1 (2015). Under this rule, a person gives implied consent to submit to a chemical test (like a breath test or blood test) to determine impairment when they operate a motor vehicle on the roads and highways of the state. It is important to be aware that you do not have to take a chemical test. However, refusing to do so can result in consequences such as having your license suspended for one year and having the evidence of your refusal used against you at trial.
In addition, if you refuse to voluntarily take a chemical test when asked to do so by a police officer, the officer can get a warrant in order to compel you to submit to a test. If you refuse to comply with a warrant you can face different consequences separate and apart from those that you can face from your initial refusal to take the chemical test.
Can I Refuse To Take A Field Sobriety Test?
Yes, you can decline to take a field sobriety test. In addition, the roadside breath test is also a voluntary test and you are not required to take it either. However, please note that if you refuse the state-administered breath test you can face consequences such as losing your license for one year and having the evidence of your refusal used against your at trial. In the event of a refusal, the police officer can also get a warrant to take your blood.
How Do I Get My License Back After A DUI Conviction?
How long your license suspension will last depends on what DUI offense you have been convicted of. For example, a person who had his or her license suspended after a second DUI will face a longer suspension period than a first time DUI offender. It is important to be aware that it is possible to get a hardship license before the period of license suspension is up so that you can get to places like work or school. In addition, you may be able to get your license reinstated early if you meet certain conditions.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a device that is installed in a convicted DUI offender's vehicle. It requires the driver to blow into a tube in order to start his or her car. If the device measures a specified level of alcohol on the driver's breath, it will prevent the vehicle from starting. In Georgia, a person is required to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle if he or she racks up two DUI convictions in 5 years.
Can I Appeal My Case?
The simple answer is, it depends on the facts and circumstances of your case. It is important to note that an appeal is not a second chance to try your case. An appellate court does not weigh the evidence and decide whether or not you are guilty. Rather it looks for errors of law that may have been made during the trial. For example, if you objected to statements made by a witness on the stand and the trial judge overruled the objection, you may be able to appeal that decision. The appellate court will take a look at the applicable law and determine whether or not the judge's ruling was proper. If the court decides that it was appropriate, it will affirm the lower court's ruling. If, however, the appellate justices believe that a legal error was made, the court can reverse the trial court's decision, order a new trial, or remand the case for further proceedings.
Contact The Law Offices of Richard Lawson
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, it is a good idea to have an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side. Richard Lawson has been practicing law in Georgia for over twenty years and has devoted his career to fighting on behalf of those who have been accused of driving under the influence. Don't face the criminal justice system alone, contact Alpharetta DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today at (404) 816-4440, or contact him online.
For more frequently asked questions, check out our DUI Q&A.