Defending People In Georgia Charged With DUI And Traffic Violations
DUI and traffic violations are serious matters. Being convicted of a DUI charge has long-lasting effects, including staying on your record forever. Your insurance rates are likely to go through the roof if your company doesn’t drop you altogether. Even minor moving violations may have ripple effects with increased insurance rates if not handled properly.
DUI Laws In Georgia
The consequences of DUI charges in Georgia fall into one of two categories: DUI Per Se and DUI Less Safe. DUI Per Se is the traditional charge when the blood alcohol level reads at .08 or higher (for drivers under 21, the limit is .02). If a blood alcohol concentration test is refused or not given, officers have the discretion to issue a DUI Less Safe charge, meaning they believe the driver is less safe due to consuming or using a controlled substance. Officers can also issue a DUI Less Safe when a blood alcohol test registers below .08 but the officer believes the driver is unsafe due to slurred speech, reckless behavior or other signs of inebriation.
Severe Penalties For DUI Convictions
Penalties for DUI convictions can be life-changing. First- and second-time DUI convictions include mandatory jail time, fines up to $1,000 plus court costs, mandatory community service and suspension of your driver’s license. Penalties for a third DUI conviction include even higher fines and increased jail time, suspension of your driver’s license for five years and being declared a habitual violator (HV). Simply driving with HV status in Georgia is a felony. A DUI arrest for a driver with HV status can result in prison time, substantial fines and lifelong status as a convicted felon.
DUI case law is ever-changing as are successful challenges to these cases. We have experience prosecuting and successfully defending DUI cases through challenges to an officer’s right to pull you over, the reasons they believe you were under the influence and to their testing procedures. It is not against the law to drink alcohol and drive. You must be impaired to the extent that you are a less-safe driver. Many road officers do not know the distinction nor do they care when they place you in handcuffs. Since penalties for a DUI conviction can be so severe, having us in your corner will help minimize the impact that the arrest will have on your life.
Defending Traffic Violations To Reduce Penalties
We can represent you in court and fight to minimize or dismiss the charges against you. Common traffic violations we challenge include:
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Vehicular homicide
Simply accepting the penalties and paying fines could have long-term effects, especially for violations that result in points added to your driving record. If you have a relatively clean driving record, that will be one of the first bargaining chips we use in negotiating reduced penalties. We believe that safe drivers should not be aggressively penalized for what is often a one-time error. Even if you have had a ticket or two, there are programs with the DDS and ways to handle your case that will result in no points that the prosecutor will not tell you about.