If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you are likely concerned with keeping your driver’s license and staying out of jail. You may even be worried about keeping your job if your employer finds out that you have been charged with a DUI. If you do lose your job, you will most likely have a very difficult time finding another one with a DUI on your record.
In Atlanta, being arrested for DUI is a serious matter that often requires the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. The criminal defense attorneys at Andersen, Tate & Carr have the vast knowledge and extensive expertise needed to navigate your charges and defend against them.
We will work to protect your rights, and we will also work hard to minimize your charges and penalties. We have successfully defended countless vehicular homicide, DUI, reckless driving and other serious driving offense cases.
If you have been arrested for DUI or face similar charges, you can speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case during a free, confidential consultation. Contact us now online or by calling 770-822-0900 to schedule your free case review today.
Our Atlanta DUI Defense Process
At the beginning of each case, your Atlanta DUI defense lawyer will start by helping you understand your rights and the challenges associated with a DUI charge. For example, there is the civil counterpart to the criminal DUI charge that takes place before the Administrative License Suspension Board. This civil component requires a “30-day letter” to be sent to preserve your right to drive while the criminal DUI charge is pending.
In addition, we can explain the different types of DUI charges and varying penalties. Your sentence will depend upon whether you were charged with DUI less safe, driving with a BAC above 0.08%, charged as a commercial driver or driving with a BAC above 0.02% under 21 years of age.
Often, our clients assume that because they failed a field sobriety test or because they tested over the limit on a breathalyzer test, they are going to be convicted of DUI. This is not always the case.
Why You Can Be Charged with a DUI Even if You Didn’t Blow 0.08
Georgia laws (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391) state that anyone who is determined to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while in “actual physical control” of the vehicle can be charged with a DUI.
An officer can determine that you were under the influence based on their observations of your driving behavior and the results of a field sobriety test. Because of this law, a police officer can charge you with DUI even if you did not blow higher than 0.08 BAC on a breathalyzer. Drivers who do blow a 0.08 will always receive a DUI charge, but police officers can still charge you with DUI if you blow lower than that but exhibit signs of being “under the influence.”
Georgia has a lower tolerance for certain drivers, meaning that they will be charged with DUI if they blow at or above their respective BAC limit. For those driving under the legal drinking age of 21, Georgia has a “zero tolerance” BAC limit of just 0.02. Commercial drivers have a BAC limit of 0.04.
Atlanta DUI Laws and Consequences for DUI Convictions
If you are charged with a DUI, the amount of prior DUI convictions that you have received within the past 10 years determines whether you are a multiple offender.
Atlanta DUI fines and penalties are as follows:
- Refused Breathalyzer: Automatic 12-month license suspension
- 1st DUI Offense
- Jail: 24 hours – 1 year
- Fine: $300 – $1,000
- License suspension: Up to 1 year
- 2nd DUI Offense or 1st Offense w/ BAC ≥0.15
- Jail: 3 days – 1 year
- Fine: $600 – $1,000
- License suspension: 3 years
- Possible Ignition Interlock Device installation
- 3rd DUI Offense
- Jail: 15 days – 1 year
- Fine: $1,000 – $5,000
- License suspension: 5 years
- Ignition Interlock Device installation
- 4th DUI Offense (Felony charge)
- Jail: 1 year – 5 years in state prison
- Fine: $1,000 – $5,000
- License suspension: Indefinite
- Ignition Interlock Device installation
Note that the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) handles license suspension cases as a civil proceeding parallel to your criminal trial.
On top of these criminal penalties, you will also have to pay for other DUI consequences. If your vehicle was confiscated, you will have to pay an impound fee. If you are assigned with probation, you are responsible for paying for its costs. If you were asked to complete a “DUI driving school” program and attend substance abuse counseling, you will have to pay for each.
Add these costs to the risk of having much higher insurance premiums, and the total cost of a DUI conviction can easily top $3,000, even for your first offense. The high costs of a DUI motivate many to defend against their charges or attempt to have their sentence reduced with the help of an Atlanta DUI lawyer.
Steps Our Attorneys Use to Get Atlanta DUI Cases Dismissed
Even if you failed a field sobriety test or if you failed a breathalyzer test, there are many other defenses available to combat the charges against you and weaken the prosecution’s case. While each case is unique, we will analyze the legal validity of the stop, the admissibility of the field sobriety tests, the arrest itself and the admissibility of the breathalyzer test or refusal.
Often, a case can turn towards our clients’ favor due to the unintentional, yet improper, actions of the police officer, the improper working condition of a chemical breath test machine, the chain of custody, or the improper working procedures used to draw urine or blood.
Our skilled DUI attorneys will make every effort to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced. Hiring the right expert is a key aspect of successfully defending DUI cases, and we have great working relationships with the best experts in Atlanta.
We Offer Our Services For Other Atlanta Driving Offenses
At Andersen, Tate & Carr, our criminal defense attorneys do not solely focus on DUI cases. We handle a broad range of driving offense cases, and we would be glad to help you get the legal representation you deserve for your unique case. There are plenty of traffic violations that are considered criminal offenses under Georgia law.
If you receive a traffic violation in Atlanta that qualifies as a criminal offense, it will appear on your criminal record. You may also pay a fine, attend court, do community service, lose your driving privileges or even spend time in jail.
Traffic violations that are considered criminal driving offenses include:
- Failure to maintain a lane
- Following too closely
- Insurance violations, such as driving without a license
- Driving with a suspended license
- Hit and run, serious injury by vehicle or vehicular homicide
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Drag racing
- Habitual violator
- Aggressive or reckless driving
- Failure to observe traffic signal
Contact Our Team of Experienced Atlanta DUI and Other Driving Offenses Attorneys Today
Our experienced DUI and driving offense attorneys can potentially help you avoid jail time or prevent your license from being suspended or revoked due to traffic violations. In addition, we can assist you with avoiding points being added to your driving record and reducing your fines. With every client, we engage in a vigorous defense that often results in their case being dismissed or reduced.
The attorneys at Andersen, Tate & Carr are experienced and knowledgeable, and several have attained their DUI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Certification. This allows our team to best represent their clients in DUI cases and understand their experiences.
If you are facing DUI charges in Atlanta, remember that you have the legal right to defend against them. You can work with an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer who cares about your case and wants to keep you informed of the most effective legal strategies at your disposal.
For more information, contact our team today for a free, confidential consultation.