A DUI is one of the few crimes which is almost always witnessed by a police officer and in which the police officer can function as an expert witness for the prosecution. As a result, DUIs are one of the most intimidating types of misdemeanor crimes and can be more difficult to defend than some felonies. For this reason, anyone accused of this offense should consult with a DeKalb County DUI lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a defense. An experienced defense lawyer in DeKalb County can help to mitigate the damage associated with these charges and avoid as many of the serious consequences as possible. To learn more or discuss the specifics of your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
A DUI charge in DeKalb County means that an officer believes he has probable cause to arrest a person for driving under the influence. Probable cause could include the manner of a person’s driving, the results of the investigation after the roadside stop, and/or a blood or breath test used to detect levels of alcohol in a persons’ system. Regardless of which types of evidence are presented, however, there will still be defenses that are available. Thus, it is imperative that someone charged with a DUI talk to a Dekalb County DUI defense attorney, so that they can evaluate their options, rather than simply pleading guilty.
DUI checkpoints are a common measure instituted by some of the police departments in DeKalb County. The DeKalb County police department controls most of the unincorporated areas within DeKalb County and are particularly known to set up roadblocks near Emory University, Clifton Road and Briarcliff Road. The Decatur police department will sometimes set roadblocks in and around downtown Decatur, near Ponce De Leon and Claremont Avenues.
Other municipalities, like Avondale Estates, run periodic roadblocks on Avondale Road and East College Avenue.
Most of these roadblocks occur in areas that are popular for nightlife such as bars, restaurants, and concert venues. The police recognize that these are the areas where people congregate, consume alcohol and often leave in their vehicles to return home.
As a matter of policy in DeKalb County, there is no diversion program for first time offenders. A DeKalb County DUI lawyer can sometimes, however, negotiate a reduction in the charge. A common example could be a reduction in the charge of DUI to a reckless driving charge. The penalties for a first lifetime DUI, whether convicted or not, are generally the same as entering a plea of guilty to a lesser charge such as reckless driving, however entering a plea of guilty to the lesser charge, avoids the consequences of having a DUI conviction on the individual’s record.
With that said, the penalties for a first time DUI generally do not carry any more jail time than what the driver has most likely already served following their arrest but the state legislation mandates a minimum of 24 hours in jail for a first lifetime DUI. Most judges however, waive the requirement of a full 24 hours if the driver already did the typical six to eight hours after booking following their arrest.
The legislature also mandates a fine of up to $1000, attendance at a DUI school, which is called The Alcohol & Drug Risk Reduction Course, a separate alcohol and drug dependency evaluation with any recommended treatment, a minimum of 40 hours of community service, 12 months on probation, and a license suspension.
One of the greatest benefits of a having a local DeKalb County DUI attorney is his or her experience in dealing with the particular court in which the driver is facing charges, whether that is a municipal court like Avondale Estates, Decatur Municipal Court or DeKalb County State Court. An attorney will be experienced in knowing the flow of the case, the timeline, and the best available options, whether that is a plea, or going to trial.