Avoid These Mistakes When Facing a DUI Charge
Being arrested and facing misdemeanor or criminal charges can make it difficult to think clearly.
Knowing your rights and avoiding the mistakes you may make when charged with any crime is essential. You may not know the next step or who to contact for support. When you’re not thinking clearly, it’s easy to make small mistakes that can be costly in the long run.
When a driver is arrested and charged with a DUI in Georgia, you have 30 days to file an appeal to the court to prevent license suspension and challenge your case.
The minimum consequences for your first DUI conviction are 24 hours in jail and a $300 fine. You may also face community service, probation, or mandated substance abuse courses. Penalties are elevated for the second and third DUIs, resulting in higher fines, increased community service or probationary terms, and longer jail time.
Hiring an attorney with significant experience in challenging Georgia DUI cases will help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes people make when facing a DUI charge.
Mistakes That Could Weaken Your Defense
Not Hiring a DUI Lawyer
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is essential when trying to get the best possible outcome for your DUI case. Your defense attorney can help protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, investigate your case thoroughly, and help you to avoid any legal blunders. In doing so, you might just find some weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument against you to get your charges reduced.
The last thing you want to do when arrested for any crime is to admit that you’re guilty right off the bat. That leaves zero room for the defense to fight for you.
Even if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is above the legal limit, it is possible that mistakes were made in the blood testing or the officer’s arresting procedures. These errors could help your case but only if there aren’t errors on your end. Admitting guilt upon arrest subjects you to the maximum penalties for a DUI in Georgia.
Not Using Your Fifth Amendment Rights
According to the Fifth Amendment, you have the right to remain silent immediately upon arrest regardless of the situation. Many people will forget this detail and will attempt to explain their side of the situation to the arresting police officer. Anything you say during the arrest can and will be used against you in court, making your side of the story more harmful than beneficial. Staying silent until your attorney is present is the best option.
Ignoring Your DUI Case
One of the worst things you could do when facing a DUI is to ignore it. Ignoring a DUI means facing jail time, loss of license, higher insurance premiums, job loss, credit issues, care rental refusals, and more.
Failing to Request a Hearing
In Georgia, you only have 30 days to appeal and request a hearing for your DUI, giving you limited time to make moves and hire an attorney to represent you. Failure to request a hearing within the legal time span will result in license suspension.
Appealing your case with the Georgia Department of Driver Services may result in a successful hearing and being able to keep your license.
Assuming You Can’t Win Your Case
Having a blood alcohol level above 0.08% isn’t a death sentence. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have options. While you may think the DUI will sit on your record forever, the fact is that many DUI charges get reduced or dismissed despite high BAC tests during an arrest.
Of course, this depends on the circumstances. Provided that you don’t admit guilt, your attorney may be able to build a solid defense to get your DUI reduced. The attorney can argue that there were improper testing methods, improper blood storage, lack of probable cause for the arrest, lack of evidence, or improper practices involved when you were arrested for the DUI. Any one of these arguments could be valid and stand up well against the prosecution to get your charges reduced.
Using a Public Defender
Many people make the mistake of using public defenders when it comes to charges like a DUI. This is not a recommended practice, as the public defender’s office generally has a high caseload and not enough time to properly represent you. The kind of representation you need requires time that they just don’t have. This is where hiring a defense attorney on your own is essential to getting the best possible outcome for your case.
Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz
If you have been charged with a DUI in Marietta, Georgia, look no further than Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew L. Schwartz.
Dedicated to defending the rights and freedom of those accused of a serious felony or misdemeanor crimes such as a DUI, Schwartz will take the time to out-prepare the prosecution and explain the criminal law process to you every step of the way.
Contact Andrew L. Schwartz today for a no-obligation, free legal consultation.