If You Have DUI Charges, You Need a DUI Lawyer to Help You Protect Yourself Against the Consequences of a Conviction
Georgia DUI convictions can affect your future. If convicted, you will have:
- A criminal record. A conviction will give you a criminal record with a misdemeanor conviction.
- Your license suspended for a year or more.
A criminal record and losing your license may have life altering consequences. For this reason, you need DUI help from an experienced lawyer. To learn more about how we can help, contact George McCranie Law Firm today.
I Offer Help With Your License Suspension
The police may take your license during a Georgia DUI stop. If this happens, you only have ten days to request an administrative hearing and pay court fees, or your license will be automatically suspended. Call me immediately. As an experienced Georgia DUI lawyer, I can defend you before you lose your license.
The administrative hearing for you license is also an important first step in your case. Even if your license is suspended after the hearing, you will still have the advantage of getting to hear the officers’ statements during the hearing, to get a snapshot of what the case against you will look like.
As a Georgia DUI lawyer, I help you find a way to drive even with a suspended license. I can try to get you a work permit to drive to work, or get reinstatement of your license after completing drug and alcohol class.
I Can Challenge Georgia BAC Tests
Georgia prosecutors rely on Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) readings to get DUI convictions.
Prosecutors use a test result which shows a BAC as .08 or above to support a conviction for a DUI. However, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the BAC readings are scientifically accurate. Additionally, you have the right to present a defense to show that the test results are inaccurate. As an experienced DUI lawyer, I often challenge these tests, and know how to fight for you.
Even if a breath tests shows that your BAC was .08 or higher, we can challenge a BAC from a breathalyzer to fight your charges. A breathalyzer must be set up and used properly. That means it has to be properly calibrated as well as administered according to police guidelines. Moreover, a breathalyzer only measures the amount of alcohol in your breath, and as a result, medical conditions and food particles can stop the breathalyzer from properly measuring alcohol. An experienced DUI lawyer can use these methods to challenge a DUI charge.
If charged with a DUI, you need a DUI lawyer to help you understand how to fight these convictions.
Again, just because your blood test may show a BAC of .08 or higher, doesn’t mean you can’t fight your charges. Head-space gas chromatography is a technology used for blood testing in DUI cases. Police use this test for drug related DUIs, in order to test for drugs as well as BAC, or, when someone sustained injury in a DUI accident. However, if police did not follow the proper procedure or you have certain medical conditions, the test could be inaccurate.
If you already had a DUI conviction in the last five years, the consequences for another conviction are much harsher. Considering the severe punishments, the need for an experienced DUI lawyer becomes more important.
For example, for a second DUI you will:
- Spend at least 72 hours in jail;
- Have a minimum of 240 hours of community service;
- A three-year license suspension with a minimum 12 month wait for a work permit and 18 month wait to apply for reinstatement; and
- ALL family license plates will be confiscated and even a hardship plate for on family car will have “DUI” on the plate.
If you drive for work, a DUI could cost you your career. Having a BAC of .04 can support a DUI conviction for commercial drivers operating a commercial vehicle.
You could have your CDL suspended, or even revoked. Even worse, if this is a second DUI, you will be banned for life from obtaining a CDL.
You need a DUI lawyer to protect your CDL, your career, and your criminal record.
After just one drink, a young driver could face DUI charges that will alter their life. In Georgia, a .02 for drivers under 21 can sustain a DUI conviction.
A DUI for a minor or young adult can ruin their future. A criminal record which can hamper their ability to get into school, loans, jobs, or professional licenses.
The state of Georgia treats driving under the influence of drugs similarly to driving under the influence of alcohol. However, unlike someone with a BAC over the legal limit (.08 in most cases), the prosecutor must prove that drug use led to unsafe vehicle operation. This gives an experienced DUI lawyer like me to undermine the prosecutors case by asking the jury two essential questions: Can the DA prove the driving was unsafe? And can the DA prove that the drug use relates to the unsafe driving? That makes these drug cases harder to win than a case related to alcohol. As a result, an experienced DUI attorney works with the prosecutor prior to get a case dismissed or a better plea deal.
Marijuana and DUI Per Se
Moreover, a drug like marijuana is detectable in your system for up to a month after using. In Georgia, there is a DUI per se statute that allows a prosecutor to charge you with DUI Drugged Driving per se. In other words, it may not matter if you are intoxicated while you are driving. Any amount of marijuana found in your system can lead to a DUI charge. The only exception to DUI per se is a medication that is prescribed by a doctor. In that case, the arresting officer must be able to show that the drug you are taking diminishes your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
DUI and Prescription Drugs
Another issue you may come across is driving under the influence of prescription drugs. Police officers can pull you over under the suspicion DUI. If they believe you are intoxicated, they can force you to take a blood test. If they find prescription drugs in your car, they can also assume you are under the influence of those drugs. Just because a doctor ordered you to take them, that does not mean you are legally allowed to drive while on them. The only caveat here is that the arresting officer must in good faith belief that you are not operating your vehicle safely. They will need to demonstrate this in court in order to get a conviction.
Some legally prescribed drugs may impair your driving. These include antidepressants and other psychiatric medications such as benzodiazepines used to treat anxiety. In addition, antihistamines may cause drowsiness and slow your reaction time. Those who take sleeping pills for insomnia may find themselves still groggy in the morning. Those who take opioids for pain relief need to be very careful about how they operate their vehicle. If a police officer pulls you over and finds opioids in your system, they can charge you with drugged driving.
The general rule of thumb to follow is that you should know how the drug is going to affect you before you get into a vehicle and attempt to operate it. If a police officer pulls you over on a suspicion of DUI, they are legally within their rights to request a blood test. While you’re within your rights to refuse the blood test, this can result in an automatic suspension of your license. Your best bet is not to give them cause to believe that you’re under the influence by safely operating your vehicle.
Speak to a Georgia DUI Defense Attorney
George McCranie Law Firm helps those charged with DUI defend themselves in court. We have a thorough understanding of how blood tests are conducted and understand that the process is not an exact science. If you’ve been charged with DUI, give us a call or talk to us online to schedule an appointment today.