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People who have been arrested for DUI or DUI Less Safe often think they have no options to beat or reduce the charges. They believe the evidence is heavily weighted against them and all they can do is plead guilty and face the consequences. The turth is, you have rights and there are legal ways to fight DUI charges.
As DUI lawyers in Glynn County we know that DUI convictions often hurt the lives of otherwise law abiding people. Besides an arrest record, results may include fines, damaged reputation, loss of driving privileges, and impaired ability to seek employment in the future.
Being arrested on DUI charges can arise from something as simple as having a few beers or a couple of glasses of wine at dinner. Beyond just alcohol, a condition of being under the influence can be alleged for persons using prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, marijuana, narcotics, and any type of controlled substance.
Fighting DUI charges can result in dismissal or reduction of charges. Even if the evidence seems to be indisputable, we can often achieve having a borderline DUI reduced to reckless driving - imagine how much better that would be for your life.
It is not illegal to drink and drive in Georgia — it is only illegal if you drink too much. We are not afraid to question whether police made mistakes in their field work.
DUI Lawyers in Brunswick
A conviction for a DUI charge can result in long-lasting consequences. In addition to any formal sentence, it can affect your job opportunities, child custody rights, and more. We will work hard to get your charge dismissed or reduced — or to win a not guilty verdict at trial — so you can keep your license and protect your future.
Our law firm has established a reputation as expert DUI lawyers who know how to fight DUI charges. We will be straightforward with you and fight for the best possible outcome.
Examples of DUI Defenses
There are many defenses we will explore to get you the results you need.
- Did police have a right to stop your vehicle? If not, we want the charges dismissed.
- Were you driving someone else home, as a Good Samaritan, at the time you were pulled over?
- Was the breath or blood test compromised? If so, we want this evidence thrown out.
- Did police make errors when conducting field sobriety tests? Can this highly subjective evidence be trusted by the court?
- Is this arrest your first run-in with the law? We want your good driving record to be considered.
Don't Lose Your License. Act Now!
The 30 Day Letter
In all but a few Georgia DUI arrests, there are two different legal matters that must be dealt with — the administrative license suspension (ALS) and the criminal driving under the influence (DUI) case. In essence, this dual-tiered approach means that to win a DUI case, you need to fight both issues in two separate court cases, each with its own judge and prosecutor. Besides the usual criminal DUI prosecution (which most of the time comes last), the ALS appeal concentrates on the single issue of your pretrial loss of driver’s license.
Filing The 30-Day ALS Letter Inside Of "30 Calender Days"
After you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, the ALS appeal is initiated only upon your written request asking for a hearing regarding your driver’s license suspension. This process must be initiated by you within 30 days of your DUI arrest. When determining the due date, you need not count weekends or state holidays (but not federal holidays), and the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) must receive your letter by the 30th day.
Remember, Georgia state and local governments are represented by skilled and experienced attorneys and law enforcement agents — and you deserve a defense lawyer just as good. To protect your rights you should act quickly. Contact our office today to preserve your freedom.
The 30-Day Letter Must Be Submitted As Quickly As Possible
As of July 1, 2017, the law gives you two options when it comes to challenging the pretrial suspension of your driver’s license. Note that both options, however, require you to make quick decisions.
- Option One —
- If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 or greater, or if the police officer considered your conduct refusal to submit to BAC testing, the officer can suspend your driver’s license and start the 30-day administrative clock running by issuing you a 1205 form, which also serves as a temporary 45-day driver’s license.
- You now have 30 days to appeal the revocation of your license. Appeals cost $150, must be made in writing and should be sent by certified mail. The ALS appeal hearing date will likely be anywhere between 55 and 65 days following the date that the 30-day letter was read by the DDS.
- The 45-day temporary driver’s license can be extended by the DDS, thereby allowing you to drive until the hearing date or the date a decision is made.
- On appeal, your case will be heard by an administrative judge who determines whether the stop of your vehicle was lawful, whether the implied-consent warnings were read properly and whether any civil rights were violated.
- Option Two —
- Instead of appealing the administrative revocation of your driver’s license, you can apply for an ignition interlock limited permit. To get the permit, you must:
- Pay a $25 permit fee
- Apply within 30 days of the arrest
- Surrender your driver’s license, and
- Sign a waiver of the administrative hearing
- The permit is good for one year and the interlock device must be installed on your vehicle for the duration of the permit.
- Conditions may also be placed on your limited permit such as only driving to and from work, for medical care, school, treatment, court or other approved activity.
- If you refused the BAC test, are under 21, hold a commercial license, have an out-of-state license, or have been convicted of one or more DUIs within the past five years, you cannot selection option two — you’re stuck with option one.
Failing To Submit To A Chemical Test And ALS Consequences
When you fail the chemical testing performed by the arresting officer (urine, blood or breath) it could lead to a 12-month driver’s license suspension for first-time offenders. This time frame increases to three years for a second offense within five years and six years for a third offense. You are also facing revocation of your driver’s license at this point.
- Refusing the administrative suspension could lead to a limited work permit. A driver’s license suspension founded on refusing to undergo chemical testing may only hurt your right to drive if you do not fight to keep it. You can get a work permit by doing so. By winning or negotiating a “withdrawal” of the driver’s license suspension, you would be able to drive.
- Repeat ALS offenders receive greater penalties. If you get two administrative license suspensions within five years, you are at severe risk of having your license suspended for three years. Also, a work permit will not be granted.
Remember — Administrative and Criminal Cases Are Different
You must understand that the administrative license suspension is a civil matter as opposed to the DUI itself, which is criminal. There are many more penalties following a driving under the influence conviction than there are for losing your driver’s license. For instance, you could face prison time, heavy fees and other consequences.
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, contact a top DUI lawyer in Brunswick today for experienced, effective legal representation for both your ALS and DUI cases. Call 912-502-1400 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Glynn County DUI lawyer.