DUIs are serious crimes that have the potential to impact people from all walks of life. For this reason, it is imperative that if you are charged you consult with a Fulton County DUI lawyer immediately after your arrest to discuss your rights and options under Georgia law. An experienced attorney in Fulton County can work to protect your privilege to drive and ensure that you know what to expect throughout the entirety of the legal process.
A DUI in Fulton County can be charged in a number of ways. The legal limit for arrest is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. If you are driving a car and your BAC is over 0.08, then you are guilty of driving under the influence regardless of your driving ability. However, in the event that there are no issues with your driving prior to a BAC test, an officer must have had a valid reason for pulling you over.
Interaction between you and an officer at a constitutionally mandated DUI checkpoint or roadside checkpoint can give rise to an arrest for DUI.
With that said, there is also another form of DUI in Georgia, called DUI Less Safe that does not require any breath or blood test for conviction. Simply operating a vehicle and driving in an unsafe manner, such as failing to maintain your lane, failing to stop at a stop sign, or speeding, can lead to a DUI conviction. Factual evidence observed by the officer or witnesses who can testify to your unsafe driving while under the influence of alcohol can be enough for a DUI conviction without a breath or blood test even being necessary.
The difficult part for the state is proving whether you’re under the influence of alcohol. Typically, the officer’s testimony regarding your behavior, responses to the officers questions after the stop, as well as field sobriety tests are the proof presented by the officer. The officer will use his professional training to determine whether or not he thinks you are under the influence. Based on his observations and your possible impairment, he will testify that you were both a less-safe driver and were under the influence of alcohol. Your Fulton County DUI lawyer will understand the implications and validity of this proof when putting together a strong defense.
Although a DUI is a misdemeanor offense it has its own body of law carved out by the judiciary which means it carries a number of harsh penalties for those convicted. Jail time is a serious threat even for a first time DUI charge in the state of Georgia and it also tends to carry a high number of fines. In addition, a number of other accompanying penalties may be used including:
A DUI lawyer in Fulton County understands that this threat of punishment is intimidating and frightening and that the emotional consequences are unlike that of any other misdemeanor, and will do what they can to assist in mitigating the damage and building a strong defense.
There are many judges within Fulton County state court and the municipalities that make up the smaller, lower courts, each of which is different. With this in mind, having a local attorney with experience is imperative when charged with driving under the influence in Fulton County, Georgia.
An experienced Fulton County DUI attorney will know the team of prosecutors, the judge on the stand, and knowledgeable of the different personalities. A local attorney has a good understanding of what to expect from the prosecutors and judges in order to make the best possible decisions in pursuing your optimal outcome.