Tag Archives: Arrested for DUI

Are You a First Time DUI Offender? Here’s What You Should Do Next

Your first DUI arrest can be an anxious time. You have just endured being arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail—probably not the fun time you imagined upon heading out for the night. If you are wondering what typically happens in your case, let Georgia DUI attorney Mickey Roberts lead you to the path of successfully dealing with DUIs when it’s your first time.

arrested for dui First, it is important to hire an experienced DUI lawyer who has a reputation in the legal community as aggressively and successfully defending DUIs. It’s important to acquire a lawyer who also has long standing professional relationships with police officers, judges, and prosecutors.

When you were arrested for DUI, you should receive a citation for your DUI charges which will have your initial court date on it. You may also have received a “1205 form”, which is a 30 day permit to drive and is also notice that the State will try to suspend your license BEFORE your court date.

Once you have hired an experienced lawyer, a “10 day” letter will be sent to Driver’s Services immediately, which will keep your license valid past the first 30 day period. Additionally, an “open records request” to the State will be sent, requesting all of the evidence they have that relates to your case. Once the evidence is received, a report which outlines any possible defenses and the recommendations on how to proceed with your case will be sent. The initial goal of your lawyer is to look for any possible means to win your case, giving you enough information upon which you can make an informed decision on how to proceed.

At some point in time you’ll be given several options, which will include pleading guilty, pleading to a “lesser offense”, or fighting your case with either a bench or jury trial.  Mickey Roberts can help you make a decision by also providing you with information relative to license suspension, possible sentence and possible ramifications with changes to your driving record and license, insurance, employment loss.

Not only can hiring a qualified, knowledgeable DUI attorney be beneficial to winning your case, it can also make the process less confusing. If you are arrested for DUI or other serious traffic matters, contact MrGaDUI today. Also be sure to follow Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

Case of the Month: When Parking the Car is the Best Option

Even efforts to make good decisions can go awry when you do not hire the right DUI lawyer. However, in November’s case of the month, because my client went the correct route in getting out of her DUI case, a good outcome was possible in a not-so-good situation.

My client had been drinking when she found herself in a situation where she needed to leave for her safety. After she started driving, she realized that she might have had too much to drink to drive safely. After pulling into a subdivision and parking on a side street, she turned off the car, took the keys out of the ignition, moved over to the passenger side, and drifted off to sleep. Almost 2 hours later, a resident called the police, who came to the scene to investigate. After waking my client up, the officer arrested her for DUI.

One of the key elements in prosecuting a DUI is that the State must prove that you were in control of a moving vehicle and were impaired to drive.  It is possible to be convicted of DUI, EVEN if the officer does not see you driving. You can be convicted by “circumstantial” evidence. For instance, if you are in a parked car with the engine running, you admit that you had parked the car recently, or if you are involved in an accident and admit that you were driving.

The key elements to not being found guilty of DUI–even though you tried to do the right thing by parking your car–are as follows:
  1. Turn the engine off, take the keys out of the ignition, and move to the back seat.
  2. If approached by the police, do not answer any questions relating to when your driving ended, how much you had to drink, etc.
  3. Do NOT submit to any field evaluations.
  4. Do NOT take any breath test at the scene.
  5. If you think you would register above the legal limit, DON’T take any state test.
 

In this particular case, I was able to find a compassionate prosecutor who agreed to dismiss the DUI charge. One would think that if a person was trying to do the right thing by getting off the road, the State would give you a break. However, this rarely happens in the DUI world. Therefore, you need to exercise your Constitutional rights and protect yourself as much as you can.

For more DUI arrest advice you can connect with me on FacebookTwitter and Google+.  Keep reading the MRGADUI blog for the latest traffic law news.

Full Disclosure? Not for Georgia Breath Tests

Many of our government officials love the term “full disclosure” these days. Another word they like to use is “transparency”. Yet, the Georgia  Supreme Court doesn’t believe in transparency or full disclosure when it comes to breath tests. Take the recent case of Padidham v. State, decided May 7, 2012.

Let me set the scene. In Georgia, when you are arrested for DUI, the officer reads you the Implied Consent Warning (ICW), where he basically informs you that “Georgia law requires you to submit to a test of blood, breath, urine or other bodily substance to determine if you are under the influence of alcohol, but you can refuse to take such test(s). The refusal can be used against you in court, and that if you do take the test(s), you are entitled to additional independent tests of your choosing.”

Logic would tell us that it would help to know the results of the “State” test BEFORE deciding whether to get an independent test or not. For instance, if the State breath test showed a blood alcohol content of .08, .09, or something close to the limit, you might want to ask for a blood test or another type of test.

It would be very easy for the police to let you know your results immediately after submitting to a breath test as the machine prints out copies of the results immediately after you blow into the machine. However in Padidham, our Georgia Supreme Court holds that ALL an officer needs to do is inform you of your right to an independent test. The police do NOT need to tell you your actual test results. Once again this brings to mind the saying, “good enough for government work.”

To learn more about DUI and traffic violation defense, read our blog and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Radar Speed Detection Reinstituted in Gwinnett as Traffic Fatalities Jump

Have you recently noticed more police out in Gwinnett County using radar guns to catch speeders? In January 2011, only one year after the state of Georgia instituted the super speeder law, the option for Gwinnett County police and many city police in Gwinnett to use laser and radar speed detection was revoked due to an unresolved conflict between the county and city governments.

Although Georgia State Patrol could still use radar and laser detection to track drivers’ speed and Gwinnett police were able to catch speeders by pacing drivers, this revocation surely affected the number of speeding citations issued. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Gwinnett County police alone issued 29,000 speeding citations in 2010, and three-fourths of these citations were determined through the help of laser and radar gun detection.

In February 2012, the conflict was finally resolved and radar guns were returned to Gwinnett police. The police influenced by the dispute reported they operated just fine without the radars, but were definitely glad to have them back. They believe drivers are more likely to slow down if they know police are on the roads clocking their speed. With recent car accidents earlier this month resulting in three traffic fatalities over the span of five days in Gwinnett, you can probably expect to see even more police on the road.

On Friday, April 6th, a box truck crashed into the rear of a Nissan Altima sending both vehicles into a pickup truck and a minivan on I-985 S under Buford Drive. The driver and passenger of the Nissan died on impact. The other individuals involved suffered minor injuries. Police determined speed and alcohol were not factors in this accident, but the box truck driver was charged with two counts of second degree vehicular homicide. Second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor resulting in a maximum sentence of 12 months, but first degree vehicular homicide is a felony and can result in 3 to 15 years in prison and license suspension.

The other traffic fatality in Gwinnett occurred April 10th at the intersection of Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Sugarloaf Parkway when a driver turned left in front of another driver as the stop light turned from green to yellow. The driver who was struck on the right side of his vehicle died at the scene. This incident is still under investigation to determine right of way and if speed was a factor, but driving while under the influence of alcohol did not seem to be a factor.

A leading Atlanta DUI defense lawyer, Mickey Roberts has seen many lives take an unfortunate turn due to drunk driving and vehicular homicide charges. He urges driver’s to drive carefully. Whether you drive carefully to avoid a speeding ticket or to prevent harm to yourself and other drivers, it’s important to be cautious as one bad decision can result in harsh consequences. If you have been arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact MrGaDUI today. Be sure to visit his website to learn more about driver’s rights, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ if you haven’t already.

State Representative Arrested for DUI in Atlanta

State representative John Andrew (Kip) Smith was arrested for DUI in Atlanta last Friday.  Officer Z.A. Kramer pulled over the lawmaker after he ran a red light at the intersection of Peachtree and Pharr Road in Buckhead. According to the AJC, the police record indicated that Smith admitted to having one beer 45 minutes before he was pulled over after the officer allegedly noticed the scent of alcohol and Kip’s watery eyes.

Rep. Smith initially refused the field sobriety test (walk-and-turn or one-leg-stand test) and breath test when the officer requested and instead asked to be taken to a hospital for a state chemical blood or breath test, but then consented when the officer told him that they only did that if he were arrested for DUI.  According to reports, Smith then blew a .091 (over the legal limit of .08) on the officer’s breathalyzer test and was placed under arrest for DUI.

Two additional officers then arrived on the scene where Smith completed two more breath tests rendering results of .099 and .100 respectively. Kip Smith has been charged with three offenses:  two DUI charges and one charge for failure to obey a traffic control device.

The intention of this post is not to exploit the wrongdoings of a public figure, but to reiterate the importance of knowing your Georgia driver rights.  Smith initially followed my suggestions of “what to do if stopped for DUI” by refusing the field sobriety test and requesting a state chemical test; however, he did himself a disservice by eventually consenting.

As you can read, the results of different breathalyzer test equipment can vary significantly depending on the age of the machinery and even the experience of the officer administering the test.  While the other details of this case will certainly surface as Smith goes to trial, the event serves as an ideal opportunity to reiterate what you should do if you’re pulled over for DUI regardless if this is your first DUI or third DUI in Georgia:

1.)  Take your DUI seriously

2.)  Hire an experienced DUI attorney

3.)  Don’t delay your DUI hearing

4.)  Don’t rely on advice of friends

5.)  Don’t base the hiring of an attorney on money alone

Of these tips, the most important is hiring an experienced DUI attorney to handle your case if you find yourself in this situation.  Visit my website to learn more about my experience as an Atlanta DUI, Georgia vehicular homicide, and commercial driving offense attorney.  You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for more tips on defending your driver’s rights.    

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Disclaimer

The above information is intended to help educate members of the Georgia motoring public as to their rights under the law and to assist presumptively innocent citizens in properly asserting those rights. Information within this site should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
Arrested for DUI