Tag Archives: dui attorney atlanta

Why You Should Never Consent to a Search of Your Car

The 4th Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches of our bodies, homes and cars, among other things. There seems to be an epidemic of cases where police officers stop someone for a minor traffic violation, then pressures the driver into consenting to a search of their car.  Of course we only know of cases where drugs have been found; those are the cases we see in the appellate courts. Who knows how many times cops have searched vehicles and found nothing?

what to do if pulled over by police in Georgia

I am sure you have seen cars stopped by police while traveling on our expressways.  Because of my law practice, I pay particular attention when I see these instances; even though I may be traveling by at a fast speed, when I pass a stopped car and I see officers searching the car, I pay close attention. Many times, quite frankly, the drivers are either black or Hispanic.

No doubt these police officers are “profiling” drivers of color; they pull over the drivers on minor traffic offenses (or make one up), with the express intention of searching the car for drugs. This is the routine: cop pulls you over, say for speeding, takes your license, and after having checked on your license status comes back and asks if he/she can search the car for drugs. If you say “no,” the officer threatens you. The officer may ask you why you are exercising your rights, and ultimately will threaten to “bring the drug dog” if you will not give consent to a search.  Fortunately, the Georgia Appellate courts have sided with our Forefathers in upholding the 4th Amendment in these cases. In the past 12 months alone, the Georgia Appeals Courts have reversed 4 or 5 trial courts who have ruled these searches as legal. 

You might say, “Well I don’t carry illegal drugs in my car, so who cares?”  As a middle aged white male who doesn’t fit the profile of a drug courier, I really don’t have much expectation that a cop will ask if he can search my car.  But if you have children, and especially if you are black or Latino, the truth is that there is a high likelihood that at some point in time they will be stopped and will be asked to consent to a search.  

I recently won a motion to throw out such a search, where my 20 year old client was stopped for a brake light being out; she had not been drinking, nor was there any evidence which would have indicated she had any drugs in her car.  After 28 minutes of threats by the officer, who eventually called a drug dog, my client “consented” to a search.  A half pill of methadone was found in the car; this was a car that had been used by several members of her family, so in reality she did not know what was in her car.  Because the stop was for a brake light and because there was no probable cause to prolong the stop and ask for a search, the case was thrown out against my client.

In addition to DUI defense, I handle any case involving the stop of vehicles by police, including felony drug cases.  Hiring a qualified, knowledgeable DUI attorney can be very beneficial to winning your case.  If you are arrested for DUI or other serious traffic violations, contact me, Mickey Roberts, today. Also be sure to follow MrGaDUI on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

A DUI Lasts Forever (Almost)

Valentine’s Day reminds me of roses, candy, and diamonds. There used to be a commercial that said, “Diamonds are forever.”

DUI in GAWell, just like a diamond, a DUI arrest and conviction can last forever in Georgia. There are two types of “records.” One is your driving record with Drivers Services. A DUI conviction (or guilty plea) stays on the driving history forever. While the ramifications for future license suspension, insurance problems and employment may not last past 10 years, these are still potential problems you must deal with should you decide to plead guilty or be found guilty of a DUI.

A DUI arrest is another matter. Under current Georgia law, which changed in July 2013, an arrest record (which is accessible to the public) can only be restricted under very specific conditions. Mainly, you MUST have all of the charges dismissed, either by agreement with the prosecutor or through a not guilty verdict.  If the DUI is amended, say to reckless driving, then the public still has access to the arrest (although the record should show that the DUI was amended to a lesser charge). If the DUI is dismissed, but you are found guilty on other charges such as speeding, failure to maintain lane, etc. then, again the arrest will still show on your public record.

Therefore, you must always take into account your driving and criminal records when trying to decide how to handle your DUI.  I have spent years and have hundreds of case experiences in attempting to resolve DUI cases with records restriction as one of our goals. If you are concerned about your driving record or criminal background checks, you MUST hire a DUI lawyer with some expertise in that area.

If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow me, Mickey Roberts on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.  

What You Need to Know About Child Endangerment Charges

While some may believe that driving under the influence (DUI) is not a serious crime, more Georgians go to jail for DUI charges than any other crime. In many cases, you can face jail time, pay hefty fines, and log lengthy community service and driving school hours. The harsh reality is that a DUI conviction can dramatically change your life without an experienced DUI attorney like Mickey Roberts who can effectively handle a DUI. It may be hard to imagine much worse than the consequences of a DUI in itself. However, when you add a child endangerment charge on top of a DUI, the punishment undoubtedly increases.

under 21 dui in georgiaAny person charged with DUI while transporting a child under 14 can also be charged with a separate charge of “DUI Child Endangerment.” According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 20% of children under 14 who were killed in car crashed in 2014 were killed in alcohol-impaired crashes. Of the 239 children from this group, 52% were passengers in vehicles with drivers who had a BAC of .08 or higher.

In some states, child endangerment constitutes child abuse. Statistics show that impaired drivers are less likely to use proper safety restraints for their children. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, sober drivers in fatal crashes properly restrain their minor passengers an average of 30.5% of the time, while only 18% of impaired drivers do.

Child Endangerment is actually a separate crime than DUI. The endangerment charge cannot be “merged” into the DUI. It cannot be dismissed just because you plead guilty to the DUI. Additionally, child endangerment is considered a separate DUI offense by the Department of Driver’s Services. Therefore, if you are convicted of DUI while transporting two children under 14, you would automatically be declared a Habitual Violator because you would have three DUI convictions.

While 3 DUI convictions would carry a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5000 fine, a 4th DUI arrest would be considered a felony, with a possible sentence of one to three years in prison and a $5000 fine.

Regardless of whether your DUI is considered a felony or a misdemeanor, it is important to keep in mind that a drunk driving child endangerment conviction will remain on your criminal record permanently. Consequently, anyone who performs a background check will be enabled to see your conviction of driving under the influence and endangering the life of a child.

Because a flawed criminal record can limit your suitability and acceptance for employment, housing, and educational opportunities in the future, it is important to hire a DUI lawyer like Mickey Roberts who also is knowledgeable in getting arrest records restricted from public view.  If you are arrested for DUI or other traffic violations, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also be sure to follow Mickey on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for more traffic law updates and news.

Georgia to Lower the Legal Limit for Boating and Drinking

As the warmer seasons arrive, popular spots like the lake and beach fill up with families, swimmers, and boaters. With recent stories of boating accidents occurring on the lake, Georgia state legislators have discussed the existing blood alcohol limits for boaters. Currently, Georgia’s blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for boat drivers is 0.10, up 0.02 from the standard in place for driving a motor vehicle under the influence. Governor Nathan Deal and other state legislators have been pushing to lower the limit to 0.08 to match the driving law stating, “If you are too drunk to drive an automobile, you are too drunk to drive a boat.” Of course .08 is just a legal limit imposed; no studies show that a person is “drunk” at that level.mr gadui

Gwinnett traffic and DUI attorney Mickey Roberts has represented clients for traffic and DUI offenses on the road and on the water. Even though 0.02 is not a drastic change, it should remind boaters to think again. Boat accidents are just as dangerous as car accidents, and Mickey encourages boaters to understand the laws of operating a boat on a lake or river in Georgia. While we are all familiar with the fines and penalties related to a DUI conviction, a BUI (boating under the influence) conviction has the same consequences whether you are operating a small boat or a yacht.

If you are suspected of boating while intoxicated, you will be pulled over by police that patrol Georgia’s lakes and rivers. The protocol remains the same as if you were suspected of driving a car under the influence with being asked to perform field sobriety tests and/or submit to a breathalyzer test. Consequences for a BUI conviction will still include fees and possible jail time, and the ability to operate a boat is suspended. As Mickey often reminds his clients, it is important to remember the 4 simple rules when stopped by police to avoid incriminating yourself and to understand your rights as a driver.

The state House of Representatives has passed Governor Deal’s proposal, however, it is still under review from the Senate. Be sure to stay up-to-date with our blog for more traffic law news. To inquire about legal representation for DUI or other traffic offenses, contact Mr. GaDUI today. Also, connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

How Motions Can Win a DUI Case

There are many ways of winning a DUI case, and one way is to fight the case with “motions”. Motions are pleadings filed with the court asking it to throw out the case entirely or limit evidence that the State can use against the defendant.

The most common motion I use is called a Motion to Suppress.  This motion serves 3 purposes. First, it could possibly win the entire case, such as when the court rules the stop illegal. Second, it allows me to cross examine the cop to see if he/she can actually articulate why the defendant was arrested for DUI, whether they followed their training, and so forth. This is especially important in cases where there is no video of the arrest. I can cross examine the officer and many times show the State that the officer did not follow basic operating procedures for a DUI arrest, or doesn’t make a good witness.  Finally, sometimes the officer fails to appear for the hearing and the case gets thrown out.

One of my most recent cases shows the importance of motions: my client was stopped for weaving, supposedly failed all of the field sobriety tests, and registered a BAC (blood alcohol content) of .08 on the breath test. At the motions hearing, the officer was unable to remember or articulate my client’s physical appearance, could not articulate how he administered the field tests, and most importantly, NEVER testified that he read the implied consent warning (the warning needed as a prerequisite BEFORE admission of any State breath test). As a result the .08 was excluded from evidence. After the hearing, the State approached me and offered a dismissal of the DUI in return for a plea to reckless driving. My client readily accepted the reduced charge, and the case was over without the further expense of a jury trial for my client.

Motions are an important tool in aggressively defending DUIs, and any good DUI attorney should use motions on most DUI cases.  To learn more about the DUI defense and other traffic related services I offer visit my website and continue to read by blog.  Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter for access to the latest traffic offense news and updates.

Contact MrGADUI

Please leave this field empty.

Archives

Newsletter

Location

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.
dui attorney atlanta