Too many people arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol assume they will be found guilty just because they are charged with the crime. As a result, a great many Georgia drivers plead guilty to DUI when they should not. You have a right to have your case defended and with an aggressive defense, you can possibly reduce your charges or even possibly have them dismissed.
If you or someone you care for has been arrested for DUI, an experienced Georgia DUI attorney can defend your case and protect your constitutional rights. Never assume that you are guilty just because you are charged with a crime.
Georgia Arraignment: To Plead Guilty or Not
One of the first decisions you have to make at the initial pleading stage of your DUI case is whether to plead guilty or not guilty. A plea of guilty almost completely ends your case, handing the Georgia prosecutor an easy win he or she may not deserve. You give up your rights to fight for your defense, often without thinking it all the way through.
A plea of not guilty, on the other hand, puts all of the arresting officers' factual allegations at issue before the court. This means that those facts can be challenged pretrial and at trial to the effect of possibly having your case dismissed or charges reduced. Even if your charges remain unchanged, defending your Georgia DUI case can have a helpful impact on your ultimate sentence if convicted.
In some cases, an eventual plea may be appropriate. The key word here is eventual. You should not plead guilty at the initial stage of your case and never without the advice of experienced legal counsel.
Georgia prosecutors have to prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, a high standard meant to protect the rights of American citizens. Because the burden of proof is high, in many cases the prosecutor is willing to negotiate lesser charges in exchange for a plea of guilty. In this way, both the prosecutor and the accused driver can benefit from the negotiations.
The Value of Experienced Georgia DUI Counsel
Negotiating with a prosecutor is tricky business for someone without years of experience and legal training. To negotiate a better plea deal, your attorney can:
- Show the prosecutor holes in his or her case,
- File a motion to suppress evidence,
- Demonstrate your good character and how it should justify lesser charges,
- Show that Georgia law enforcement failed to follow the law during the arrest.
You should not be expected to understand all of the complexities of DUI defense or be a master negotiator. An experienced attorney knows the intricacies of Georgia DUI defense and how to handle even the most stubborn of prosecutors.
Consult a Georgia DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI, do not assume that you are guilty and do not plead guilty without the advice of a knowledgeable lawyer. If you plead guilty, you lose the ability to prove your innocence or weaken the State's case against you, so you could face higher criminal penalties as a result.