If you've been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Catoosa County, an attorney from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson may be able to help you stay out of jail. At the firm, we are passionate about defense representation and hold our practice to a high standard of legal professionalism. Since our beginning more than 20 years ago, our lawyers have resolved more than 4,900 DUI cases.
As DUI defense attorneys, we are dedicated to understanding the science behind chemical sobriety testing and field sobriety tests. Armed with this knowledge, we are able to use the weaknesses of these techniques to the advantage of our clients in court. Every year, officers arrested motorists for driving under the influence of alcohol because they were unable to complete standardized field sobriety tests correctly. If you've been arrested, talk to an attorney from our firm; field sobriety tests are not always accurate.
In fact, these tests may be an accurate indication of intoxication at all. For example, police officers may ask you to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line to determine whether or not you are sober. A woman in high-heels may not be able to complete this task even if she was completely sober. Similarly, a clumsy person could trip or stumble during the test, resulting in an automatic failure. If you were arrested for failing a sobriety test by an over-zealous police officer, call our office today.
Whether you realize it or not, DUI does not only refer to driving under the influence of alcohol; it can refer to drugged driving, too. In short, drugged driving refers to the crime of driving while under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs. Drugged driving is dangerous. At the firm, we believe that convicting an innocent person of a crime they didn't commit is wrong, too. That's why we've devoted ourselves to helping people who have been wrongfully accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The vast majority of drug-related DUI arrests involve marijuana. In the state of Georgia, individuals can be arrested even if they aren't driving while impaired by marijuana. Why? According to Georgia's per se law, driving with any traceable amount of an illegal drug in your system is a crime – even though marijuana stays is traceable in blood and urine tests long after impairment has worn off. At first, the per se law may see like a reasonable guideline. In reality, this law allows people to be arrested, charged and convicted of DUI when they aren't actually under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
ALS Hearings: Help Getting Your License Reinstated
Your license will be automatically suspended after police arrested you under the suspicion of impaired driving. Fortunately, you may be able to get your driver's license reinstated at an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing. At the hearing, you may present a case in you favor demonstrating that you need your driver's license and that it should not have been suspended in the first place. In a typical ALS hearing, a variety of determinations will be made. For example, the hearing will discuss whether or not the arresting officer had reasonable grounds to suspect you for driving under the influence.
Additionally, the hearing may determine if you caused an accident, injury or death while driving impaired and whether or not you submitted to a blood or breath test. Although you may represent yourself at an ALS hearing, having an aggressive attorney fighting for you may be wise. At the firm, our lawyers have a broad understanding of the DUI legal system and can help you understand your rights and legal circumstances so that you can enter your hearing fully prepared.
Areas of Practice
In Georgia, there are a multitude of DUI types. In fact, DUI is a general term that may refer to any number of impaired driving offenses. For example, a standard intoxicated while driving offense may be charged as a misdemeanor, while an injury-related DUI arrest may result in felony charges. Vehicular homicide is the most serious DUI offense you can be charged with. Generally speaking, vehicular homicide refers to the crime of unlawfully killing another person while driving under the influence. In order to be convicted, prosecution must demonstrate that you drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that your DUI was responsible for the death of another person.
Experienced Plea Bargaining
Sometimes, it is in your best interest to plead guilty. If the prosecution has a great deal of evidence stacked against you, you may want to negotiate a plea bargain. What is a plea bargain? A plea bargain refers to an agreement between the defense and prosecution in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty if the prosecution charges them with a lesser crime. For example, if you do not want to take your case to trial, the prosecution may decide to charge you with reckless driving instead of DUI.
At the firm, we are highly experienced in plea bargaining negotiations. Without a respected attorney by your side, the prosecution may assume that you are going to plead guilty and no offer you a favorable bargain. If you've been accused of DUI and don't know where to turn, talk to a lawyer from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson today and schedule a free case evaluation.