DUI News

Address:        

Enterprise Mill, 1450 Greene Street, Suite 535

Phone:

706-724-1896

Email:

tsaullaw@att.net

FAQS

DUI Drunk Driving FAQs

1. CAN I GET A WORK PERMIT?

First, we will try everything to win your case so that you do not need to apply for a work permit. However, if you are convicted of a DUI offense, then you can usually get a work permit if you are at least 21 years of age and have a valid Georgia driver’s license that is not a CDL.

2. SHOULD I JUST PLEAD GUILTY TO THE DUI OFFENSE AND GET IT OVER WITH?

You should never plead guilty to a DUI without first consulting with a competent DUI lawyer. The consultation is free and may result in winning your DUI case. Every day the police arrest people and charge them with DUI who are actually innocent of the charges. Dont’t plead guilty to a crime when you may be innocent, your rights may have been violated, or you may have a defense to the charges. Just because you were over the legal limit does not mean that you are guilty.

3. IF I PLEAD GUILTY TO THE DUI OFFENSE, WILL I GO TO JAIL?

If this is your first DUI conviction, then the law requires a minimum of 24 hours in jail. However, you receive credit for time already served and often can avoid returning to jail to serve the balance. If this is your second DUI conviction in ten years, the law requires a minimum of three days in jail, and some jurisdictions impose more than the minimum. However, additional punishment includes one or more years of probation, a criminal record, community service, thousands of dollars, license suspension, alcohol counselling and testing, etc.

4. CAN ANY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY HANDLE MY CASE?

The answer is yes if your goal is to simply plead guilty. However, if you want a competent DUI attorney who knows DUI law, then you need a lawyer who specializes in DUI defense. Our office thoroughly investigates every case to examine its strengths, weaknesses, defenses, and will take a case to trial if it will prevent a wrongful conviction. Travis Saul was a DUI prosecutor for over five years. He received the same training as the prosecutor who is now handling your case. Now he defends people charged with DUI.

5. WHAT IF I WAS OVER THE LEGAL LIMIT?

Just because a piece of paper says you exceeded the legal limit does not mean you should plead guilty, although many attorneys believe this. First, is the test result accurate? Wouldn’t you like to know if the result is accurate before pleading guilty? Often people plead guilty to DUI based on a breath or blood test result that is highly questionable and unreliable. Is the DUI test result admissible in a court of law? If you go to court without a DUI lawyer and plead guilty, you will never know whether the DUI test result was accurate and admissible against you. If the police officer violated your constitutional rights or failed to follow his training, then the breath or blood test result may be judged inadmissible and useless. You need to know the answers to these questions and many others before walking into court and pleading guilty.

6. CAN I HANDLE THE DUI CASE MYSELF?

Our Constitution gives us the right to due process, a fair trial, and a lawyer. It also gives us the right to represent ourselves in court without a lawyer. If you represent yourself, you will go to DUI court, and the prosecutor’s office and staff will be very friendly to you and assist you in every way. They like it when you don’t have a DUI lawyer because you don’t have someone challenging the accuracy, veracity and admissibility of their evidence that they want to use against you. Chances are the police officer was nice and polite as he arrested you for DUI and locked you in a jail cell. The prosecutor will also be polite when he convicts you of DUI (even when the evidence may be inadmissible), and you have to endure the severe consequences of a DUI conviction. The police officer and prosecutor have jobs to perform. You need to have a competent DUI lawyer that will perform his job, which is aggressively defending you against the DUI charge.

7. WHY DIDN’T THE OFFICER READ ME MY RIGHTS?

The police officer in your case probably did not read to you the Miranda rights which include the right to remain silent, anything that you say may be used against you in a court of law…and so on. Sometimes this fact can result in the court ruling that evidence is inadmissible. Sometimes it can result in the DUI being dismissed. Often it is unnecessary for the officer to read the Miranda rights to you and will be of no consequence. The point in time that you were under arrest will determine the importance of whether the officer should have informed you of your rights. This issue is discussed during the free evaluation and best decided after our office receives a copy of the police report and videotape of the DUI arrest.

8. WHAT IS THE IMPLIED CONSENT WARNING?

When the police officer arrested you, he probably pulled out of his pocket an orange card and read it to you. This is your implied consent warning. When he read it to you on the side of the road, in the middle of the night, as you were being arrested, you probably had no idea what he was talking about. The warning informs you that Georgia laws requires you to submit to a chemical DUI test, usually a breath or blood test, to determine if you are under the influence when an officer has reason to believe that you could be under the influence. This implied consent was given by you when you drove on the highways of this State. You have a right to refuse this DUI test. If you take the DUI test the government may suspend your driver’s license. If you refuse the DUI test the government may suspend your license. You also have a right to an independent DUI test of your own choosing after submitting to the state DUI test. However, almost no one understands this when it is read to them, and the officer never asks you about an independent DUI test after submitting to his DUI test. The reading of the implied consent warning, and the right to an independent DUI test, can affect the outcome of the administrative license hearing and the admissibility of the breath or blood test.

9. WHAT IF I REFUSED THE BREATHALYZER TEST?

Whether or not you took the breathalyzer or blood test was completely up to you. You do not have to take the DUI breathalyzer test. If you refused, and the case goes to trial, the government can say that you refused to take the breathalyzer test, and the jury can infer that the breathalyzer test would have shown the presence of alcohol. That’s it. You probably admitted drinking something to the officer so of course the DUI breathalyzer test would show the presence of alcohol.

10. WHAT IF I REFUSED THE FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS OR FAILED THEM?

The field sobriety evaluations are voluntary even though the police officer did not tell you. You can consent to them or you can refuse to perform them. Even though they are voluntary, the government will try to use it against you that you refused to perform the evaluations. The field sobriety evaluations are almost impossible to perform without a great deal of practice. In all likelihood you have never had to practice them. No matter how well you performed on the evaluations, the police officer will say that he saw indications that you were impaired. His judgment of your performance is completely subjective, and he is trying to find something to use against you. He will make note of everything that you did incorrectly. He will not mention anything that you did correctly. A competent DUI defense lawyer has the experience and training to dissect the police officer’s training and demonstration of the field evaluations, your performance of the evaluations, and illustrate to the court that your performance did not show signs of intoxication.

Contact DUI lawyer, Travis Saul, at 706-724-1896 for a free consultation.