DECATUR DUI LAWYER
If you, a relative or someone you care about has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Decatur, or any of the surrounding cities of Atlanta, you need to call an experienced and locally based attorney today. Our Decatur DUI Lawyers specialize in DUI cases and have handled DUI cases for over 25 years.
Atlanta DUI laws are complicated and DUI defense is a specialty. An Atlanta arrest for DUI usually initiates two separate cases. The first case is a criminal case, while the second case is a Department of Motor Vehicle case. Those arrested for drunk driving who hold professional licenses (attorneys, physicians, nurses (registered nurses or licensed vocational nurses), physical therapists, teachers, certified public accountants (CPA's), pilots, stock brokers, bankers, veterinarians, dental hygienists, x-ray technicians, or other professionals) are at risk of having an additional case initiated by the board or commission which issued the license. This additional case may impact a person's license to practice their profession or affect their employment. The importance of hiring an experienced DUI lawyer in Decatur cannot be overstated. Call now for a free case evaluation.
Decatur DUI Punishments
DUI is treated as a serious crime in Decatur and all other cities in Georgia. Each county has a district attorney's office which prosecutes (charges) criminal cases and Superior Court which handles the cases. Every city has a particular way of punishing people who have been convicted of driving under the influence.
If a person is arrested for DUI, a criminal arrest record will be created. If convicted, the record of conviction may be viewed negatively by present and future employers and can also impact a person's educational and professional opportunities. A person who is convicted of DUI is also subject to harsh legal consequences, such as jail time, fines, license suspension, DUI school, and probation. Sentences which can be enhanced if the driver refused to take the BAC, had a child in the vehicle, or had prior DUI convictions.
Decatur DUI Defenses
Most people who are charged with DUI are left confused and feeling helpless; however, it is crucial to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. With certain defense tactics, you have an opportunity to maintain your innocence, challenge the evidence presented against you, and avoid harsh legal consequences. Believe it or not, there are many Atlanta DUI defenses available to you. Some of the defenses include but are limited to:
Failure to Read Miranda Rights: If the arresting officer failed to read you your Miranda Rights, statements you made after your arrest can be excluded from evidence. According to Georgia law, a police officer must read you your Miranda rights if they hold you in custody and question you about the events prior to your arrest.
Lack of Probable Cause - Before law enforcement can arrest you for DUI, they must have probable cause. Probable cause is a reasonable belief that a crime was committed. This means that an officer must have a reason to believe that the accused was drunk and operating a motor vehicle before they can make a legitimate arrest.
Unlawful Traffic Stop: A police officer can only make a traffic stop for a suspected DUI if they observe specific driving behaviors. If the officer fails to provide justifiable reasons for the traffic stop, the accused is entitled to a “suppression hearing.” At the suppression hearing, a judge will decide if the police officer met the standard for a legitimate DUI stop. If not, the entire DUI case can be dismissed.
Inaccurate Field Sobriety Test Results: Often people are not able to perform the field sobriety tests (FST) to an officer's expectations. A person may fail the field sobriety tests due to fatigue, weather conditions, lack of direction, or nervousness. All of these factors can impact the results of FST performance, even if the person is sober.
False BAC Readings: A breath alcohol test can report high readings if alcohol is still being absorbed into a person's bloodstream. When alcohol absorbs into the bloodstream, it is called the absorption phase. The absorption phase can last up to 3 hours after the person has finished drinking. If a breath test is administered during this phase, results will likely be false.
Decatur Municipal Court
Decatur Municipal Court holds first appearance and preliminary hearings for felony and misdemeanor charges to determine if probable cause exists to bind the case over to superior or state court of DeKalb County. The municipal court holds trials for traffic charges, some misdemeanors, city ordinance and parking violations that occur within the city limits of Decatur. The judges can assign fines and incarceration if the person is found guilty.
Rhathelia Stroud serves as the Chief Judge, and the associate judges are, Berryl A. Anderson, Matthew McCoyd and Hollie Manheimer. The two substitute judges are Charles Bailey and Fred Slotkin. Bryan Downs is the City Attorney; Larry Steele serves as the Municipal Court Solicitor.
Court is held at 420 Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030. You can call the court at 678-553-6655.
Contact One of Our Decatur DUI Lawyers Today
If you have been arrested for DUI in Decatur, obtaining a qualified attorney is the most important decision you can make. A DUI attorney can protect your rights, inform you of your legal options, investigate the circumstances of your arrest, question law enforcement officers and witnesses. A skilled attorney can also provide the resources and aggressive defense you will need to successfully fight your DUI charges.
Our Decatur DUI Lawyers have the education, training, and experience to defend your DUI case. We can also help you schedule your hearing with the DMV and represent you at the hearing. You only have 30 days to prevent your license from being suspended. Our lawyers are ready to help you or your family member. A member of the office is available to speak with you regarding the case any day of the week. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer your questions. Call now.