Tag Archives: Gwinnett traffic attorney

Georgia Drivers Have a New Way to Be Haunted by Prior DUIs

There are many reasons why a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction can be disastrous. Besides the immediate consequences of license suspension, jail, probation, community service, etc., a DUI conviction ALWAYS stays on your driving and arrest records. While some drivers already know that a prior DUI conviction can result in a harsher sentence for any future DUIs, there is another, lesser-known reason why you don’t want a DUI conviction: if you are arrested for a subsequent DUI, the prior DUI conviction MAY be introduced into evidence at trial against you.

Georgia is one of the few states (potentially the only state) that allow such evidence, which used to be known as “similar transaction evidence”. That is because a prior criminal conviction generally is only admissible to show motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.  And since DUI is not a crime where someone specifically intends to drive while impaired, (unlike, say, a crime spree where someone robs several banks), most states have ruled that prior DUIs are just not relevant to a current DUI charge.

Oh, but not Georgia, where the Constitution seems to apply to every citizen except those charged with DUI!  In the recent case of State v. Jones, decided on June 1, 2015, the Georgia Supreme Court held that prior “other acts” evidence (the new name for “similar transaction evidence”) IS admissible for the purpose of showing a general intent to drive while either impaired or over the legal blood alcohol limit.

So, when charged with a first time Georgia DUI offense, it’s wise to hire an experienced traffic attorney specializing in DUI defense to try to fight that charge as aggressively as possible in hopes of avoiding a conviction, because if convicted, the DUI stays on your record forever and can come back to haunt you should you ever receive another DUI arrest.

5 Important Facts about BUI Laws in Georgia

The boating season is about to begin in earnest in the next few weeks. While boating can make for a great summer day, certain safety and legality measures must be followed. Below are 5 important facts to remember when you’re out on the water.

  1. In terms of Boating Under the Influence (BUI), “boating” includes operating, navigating, steering or driving any moving vessel on the waterways of Georgia. This includes boats, jet skis, moving water skis and moving aquaplanes.
  2. Rangers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can stop your boat for any reason. Unlike a stop involving a car, the police can stop your vessel for the purpose of verifying proper documentation, for proper safety equipment on board, and more. In one Georgia case, the court held that “merely observing a can of beer in the hand of one who is otherwise operating a boat in a safe manner gives cause for a stop of the vessel.”
  3. If you are arrested for BUI and refuse to take the state chemical test, your operating privileges can be suspended for a year.
  4. The legal limit for BUI is the same in Georgia as it is for DUI (Driving Under the Influence): .08 grams of alcohol. However, you can be charged with BUI if you are operating your vessel in a less safe manner due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs even if you have less than the legal limit of alcohol in your system.
  5. If you are BUI and cause either death or serious injury to someone, you can be charged with a felony, punishable by imprisonment for 3 to 15 years. Unlike automobiles, which have many safety features designed to protect us in the event of an accident, most watercrafts have few (if any) safety features, and serious injuries and deaths can occur on the water. Please be mindful of boating safety this summer.

While a BUI conviction doesn’t result in the loss of your driver’s license, it can result in hefty fines, community service, probation, and even jail time. Therefore, if you’re arrested for BUI, you should hire only a Georgia traffic lawyer experienced in BUI cases to defend your rights. Schedule a consultation with Mickey Roberts, PC to discuss your case, or, for more legal tips, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Fast Facts about Alcohol

When many people hear about DUI charges, they often have the misconception that only heavy drinkers need to be concerned about the possibility of one day facing a DUI charge. However, any driver can be forced to defend themselves against an accusation of a DUI. Throughout my 35 years of legal experience, I’ve noticed that many DUIs are the result of a simple lack of information, whether it’s a misunderstanding about how much of an effect alcohol can have on the brain, or an underestimate about the dangers of driving drunk. To help Georgia drivers develop a better understanding of alcohol and its effects, I’ve compiled some quick facts and statistics that can help you become a safer driver.

gwinnett dui attorney

There’s no question that drinking and driving can have real and powerful consequences. But similarly, drunk drivers aren’t the only ones who find themselves in defense against a DUI charge. The best step any driver can take is to be knowledgeable about their rights. To learn more about your rights as a Georgia driver, explore my website or join me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, or contact me to schedule an appointment regarding you DUI or traffic law case.

Crackdown on Gwinnett County Texting and Driving

We’ve all heard and seen the horrifying public service announcements about the dangers of distracted driving , especially texting and driving.  While the results of not paying attention while driving can be very apparent, officers say that actually enforcing texting while driving laws is difficult.  For this reason, Gwinnett county police officers conducted a two-day undercover operation in December to catch offenders and write tickets for texting and driving. ticketed for texting and driving in georgia

During the operation, three Gwinnett county police officers were positioned in unmarked SUVs along Pleasant Hill Road.  Upon seeing someone they thought was texting while driving, they signaled to other officers down the road to pull the car over.  During the crackdown, officers wrote 17 citations during one, 11 hour span.  Gwinnett Police Cpl. Jake Smith said in article from The Gwinnett Daily Post that these results were “pretty telling” of the problem’s prevalence. Smith said that similar operations will not happen regularly because of the man power required; however, drivers should be aware it will happen intermittently in the future.

As a Gwinnett traffic attorney with over 18 years of specialized experience representing clients for traffic offenses ranging from speeding to vehicular homicide, Mickey Roberts (MRGADUI) understands that fighting a traffic ticket can be a complex matter.  Mickey shares, “what a lot of folks don’t realize about the new texting and driving law is that you don’t need to physically be texting for police to pull you over.  According to SB360, any individual who is caught manipulating their cell phone and transferring data by texting, checking email, etc. can be cited.”

Currently, anyone who receives a texting citation also receives a $150 fine and a point on their driver’s license.  The relatively new law is still rather gray, as Corporal Smith stated in the aforementioned article about what is and isn’t allowed of driving cell users, “If you’re mounting it to the dash, or looking at it from time to time, that’s fine,” Smith said. “But you can’t be fooling with it.”

To learn more about the latest cell phone laws, visit the MRGADUI blog.  To inquire about legal representation for traffic offenses, contact Mickey G. Roberts.  You can also connect with Mickey on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

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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.
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