IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR MARIETTA DUI LAWYER, THE LAW OFFICES OF MATTHEW C. HINES IS HERE FOR YOU. WE HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE YOU NEED TO FIGHT FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE RESULT.
If you are ever charged with a DUI, never take it lightly. Conviction comes with significantly harsh penalties that could include jail time, along with long-term repercussions such as higher insurance premiums. In some cases your driver’s license could even get suspended.
In serious driving offenses such as a DUI, you need an assertive and knowledgeable Marietta DUI lawyer. Trained and experienced lawyers can design a solid defense to ensure that you can challenge your charges. The Law Office of Matthew C Hines understands how worrisome a DUI charge can be. That is exactly the reason why we ensure that you obtain the best outcome possible. Our skilled legal team can analyze the minute details and information about your case and provide you with the best defense.
To give you an idea about what to expect if you are ever charged with a DUI in Marietta, read our quick guide below.
Georgia DUI Laws Overview
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that about 28 individuals in the U.S. die everyday because of drunk driving accidents. On a daily average, that is about one individual every 52 minutes. The statistics is staggering and disappointing, to say the least, which also explains why DUI charges are considered serious offenses.
Drunk Driving Laws in Georgia
In Georgia, any driver can be considered as driving under the influence if their driving ability is impaired because of alcohol or drugs. This condition is also known as “DUI-less-safe”.
A DUI conviction in Marietta can be obtained two ways. These are:
-If the person was driving or was in control of the vehicle with a BAC (blood alcohol content) of at least 0.08 if an adult. This figure is reduced to at least .02 grams if the driver was underage and to at least 0.04 grams if the individual was driving a commercial vehicle. This is called the “per se” provision.
-Proof of unsafe or “less safe” driving. The prosecutor of the case must be able to prove that the driver was operating the vehicle in a manner considered less safe due to intoxication. This provision will allow a per se DUI charge to the driver even if his/her BAC was lower than 0.8 and even if he/she was not impaired.
Remember that in Marietta, a conviction on a DUI can apply even if the driver was not drunk, as long as there are trace amounts of illegal drugs and substances (including marijuana) in his/her system.
Georgia imposes harsh DUI laws on offending drivers, which is exactly why you need the expertise of a Marietta DUI attorney. Any driver who is convicted of DUI can expect:
First offense: Jail time for at least 10 days up to 1 year.
Second offense: Jail time for at least 90 days up to 1 year.
Third offense: Jail time from 120 days up to a year.
First offense: Minimum $300 to $1,000.
Second offense: $600 to $1,000.
Third offense: $1,000 to $5,000.
First offense: The offending party may be required to render a minimum of 20 hours community service.
Subsequent offenses: Community service of at least 30 days.
Most DUI cases are considered misdemeanors. In certain cases, the misdemeanor case can be elevated to a felony if:
-the driver flees the scene
-the driver caused serious physical harm or death
-the driver has at least three (3) DUI convictions in the last 10 years.
Marietta DUI Charges We Handle
Hines Law Firm attorneys are trained experts in the relevant laws. They are skilled and highly-experienced in challenging our clients’ DUI charges. We are equipped to ensure that your rights are protected and your case receives the best possible attention. Some of the most common cases of DUI that we manage include:
First DUI Offense
A first DUI offense can be extremely stressful and scary. Georgia considers drunk driving as a priorable offense. What this means is that subsequent DUI offenses will carry harsher penalties.
Although first DUI offenses are considered less serious, they can also result in fines and jail times. If you try to challenge these charges on your own, you may not have the right set of skills and knowledge to increase your chances of success. It is far better to consult a Marietta DUI lawyer immediately.
Second and Third DUI Offense
After a first charge for a DUI offense, expect your subsequent cases to carry harsher penalties and even longer jail time. If you are worried about these possibilities, call us at Hines Law Firm and let us discuss the merits of your case. Depending on certain details and legalities, you could either avoid the harsher penalties or even get the charges against you dropped.
The U.S. imposes a minimum drinking age of 21. This means that anyone who violates the law at 20 years old or younger will receive a DUI charge. The penalties that accompany the charges will differ, however. Our lawyers are well-versed about the most important approaches and best strategies that will work for underage DUI cases. If you have been arrested for DUI, we can assure you of a thorough support that will help protect you and your interests.
Drugged Driving Arrest
DUI charges are not limited to drivers who operate a vehicle while drunk with alcohol. It is possible to be arrested because you are impaired due to drugs, including marijuana. If you are unsure about your chances or if there are issues that are unclear to you, call us right away for a confidential consultation.
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries resulting from DUIs are quite common in Marietta. If you caused an accident while operating a vehicle while drunk or intoxicated, you will have to face serious repercussions. If the accident turned out to be fatal to the victim, you might be charged with higher penalties.
If you find yourself involved in a DUI-related accident and are unhurt, do not leave the scene. This is considered illegal. Call a lawyer right away so they can advise you on what to do and where to go.
In Georgia, there is a 30-day period in which drivers are allowed to reclaim their driving privileges in case of a suspension because of a DUI charge. You will have to ask the Department of Drivers Services for an ALS hearing. This costs $150.
If, within the prescribed period, you fail to request for a hearing, your driving license may be suspended for as long as 12 months. Drivers who live out-of-state may have their licenses suspended in the state, although the suspension can also affect their privileges in their own state.
As an alternative, you could have an interlock device installed on your vehicle’s ignition system. However, do not choose this step without asking your Marietta DUI lawyer for advice first.
Why We Can Offer the Best Defense Strategies
When you are dealing with DUI charges, you need a lawyer who has specialized knowledge and excellent defense capabilities. Our Hines Law Firm lawyers are experienced at defending multiple DUI cases, which is why we are committed to upholding your rights as our client.
In Marietta, the prosecution is required to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. This is why getting a conviction is relatively tough – even more so when you have the support of a seasoned Marietta DUI lawyer.
Of course, every case is unique. That is why we vary our defense strategies to ensure that you receive the best legal services that we can offer. Here are just a few approaches we can consider:
-Unlawful Arrest Process
It is considered illegal for police officers to randomly stop your vehicle. If they do so, they need to have a reasonable suspicion of potential wrongdoing. Only then will they have a reason to stop your vehicle legally. Some of these reasons include overspeeding, aggressive driving, stop sign violations, weaving from one lane to another, and other evidence of careless or negligent driving.
A DUI charge that was obtained because of an illegal stop is a violation of your rights, which is why you need to call a lawyer right away. There is an exception, though. Roadblocks are a 4th amendment exception, so if you are stopped, it is not considered illegal. What we can do, however, is to challenge whether the roadblock was legal or not.
-Incorrectly Calibrated Breathalyzer
Authorities use a breathalyzer to test the concentration of alcohol in your blood. Breathalyzers are highly sensitive, which is why they have to be calibrated to ensure reliable and accurate results.
If the breathalyzer was not calibrated properly, its results cannot be considered reliable. As your lawyers, we will order an investigation of the instrument and its condition at the time it was used so any findings can be considered for challenging your charges.
-Improper Administration of Breath Tests
There have been cases where officers ignored protocols and improperly administered breath tests on our clients. There is a specific series of steps that must be followed when making breath tests and if the officers deviated from these steps, then the results cannot be considered reliable.
Breath tests, for example, must be administered by a properly trained officer. When you breathe out, the air must come of your lungs instead of just from your mouth. The breath must also be substantial enough to be used for the test.
Certain factors contribute to the accuracy of tests conducted with breathalyzers, such as some types of medications and the last meal you ate. Make sure to mention these to our lawyers during the initial consultation because these factors will affect your case.
-Incorrect Field Sobriety Test
A field sobriety test consists of three sub-tests, wherein the officer will determine whether or not you are under the influence. These include the HGN (horizonal gaze nystagmus), the walk-and-turn, and the one-leg stand. These tests are quite subjective, which leaves them open to dispute. In some cases, the officers in charge may not conduct the tests properly.
There are also factors that can affect your results, such as:
-the shoes you were wearing at the time of the test
-weather conditions (raining, snowing, foggy, etc.)
-you performed the tests on an uneven surface
-you were asked to perform the test on a noisy street or road and failed to understand the officer’s instructions clearly
How Hines Law Firm Can Help
Never underestimate a DUI charge or conviction because the consequences can be severe. Get in touch with a Marietta DUI lawyer in the soonest time possible. The earlier your lawyer can investigate and gather information in your behalf, the more likely your case can be defended successfully.
Get in touch with our legal team today. You can contact us through (770) 790-5216 so we can evaluate your case in the soonest time possible.