Answers from an Atlanta DUI Attorney
The time following a DUI arrest can be confusing. The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson wants to assist individuals through this process so that they can take the necessary steps toward a successful case resolution. If you or someone you love has been arrested, please view answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about DUI which are listed below.
What is the first thing I should do after an arrest?
If you have been arrested, the first thing that you should do upon being released is to request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing. This must be requested within ten days of the arrest. If it is not, then you are waiving your right to contest your license suspension, and the suspension will go into full effect.
Can I handle my case without an attorney?
While it is possible to handle your case without the help of an attorney, it is not advisable. An attorney skilled in DUI defense practices will know not only the DUI and administrative laws, but will also be familiar with the time constraints and defense tactics necessary to get charges dismissed or reduced. The more experience on your side, the better, and Richard Lawson has resolved over 4,900 cases.
Is it wise to accept a plea bargain?
This is something that can only be answered by the attorney of your choosing. A plea bargain can be a very viable option in some instances. For example, pleading guilty could result in your charges getting significantly reduced or receiving lighter penalties. This will be different from case to case.
If I get placed on probation, what happens if I violate it?
Being placed on DUI probation means that you are essentially going through a "trial phase" that involves heavy scrutiny and regular check-ups with a probation officer in some instances. Any violation of the terms of your probation can result in an arrest and even additional penalties that are greater than the ones you originally faced. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you fully understand the terms of your probation.
Can I refuse a field sobriety test?
Here, it is important to note the difference between a standardized field sobriety test and chemical testing such as breath, blood and urine testing. It is illegal, per implied consent laws, to refuse a chemical test. Refusing a chemical test results in automatic license suspension. It is not illegal to refuse a field sobriety test, however, doing so will likely result in an arrest. After a lawful arrest, an officer can then require a chemical test.
How can I get my license back?
If you have just been arrested for DUI, then you have the opportunity to get your driving privileges restored at an ALS hearing. If you do not succeed, then you may be able to petition for a hardship license that allows you to drive at certain hours of the day and to certain locations. If you have already been convicted, then the Georgia Codes dictate when a driver becomes eligible to seek reinstatement with the Department of Driver Services.
For more answers, call Richard S. Lawson!
This is not a comprehensive list, but instead can serve as a general guide to some of the most frequently asked questions about DUI arrests. For answers to more questions, please do not hesitate to contact the firm for a free evaluation of your case! The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson has successfully resolved more than 4,900 cases and Mr. Lawson is also a former DUI prosecutor. This is experience and a track record that can be trusted.