Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer
If you are facing DUI allegations anywhere in Gwinnett County, you are right to be concerned. The penalties for a DUI conviction in Gwinnett County are harsh. They will not only have criminal punishments that can lead to having a DUI on your criminal record but can also affect your ability to drive in Georgia.
Furthermore, there are numerous ways for police officers to pursue allegations of DUI. A police officer can pull you over for a simple traffic offense, and if they believe that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can make an arrest. DUI is not just for alcohol, but also illegal drugs and even prescription drugs with a lawful prescription. Furthermore, DUI charges are often accompanied by other moving violations or criminal charges. It is not unusual for police officers and prosecutors to charge drivers with DUI and reckless driving, child endangerment, speeding, failure to maintain lane, or other miscellaneous moving violations.
Georgia takes DUI charges very seriously, and Gwinnett County has been cracking down on DUI. It is challenging to work out a deal or avoid some of the harsh punishments without hiring an experienced Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer. Our DUI Attorneys in Gwinnett County have been practicing DUI defense for over 25 years. Furthermore, our founder, Richard S. Lawson, worked as a prosecutor before opening up his own firm. This experience gives us the advantage because we know how the other side thinks. We also understand the unspoken laws in Gwinnett County courts and have established respectful working relationships with the police officers, judges, prosecutors, and other staff in the Courts. That is just one of the many reasons why we are able to obtain great results for our clients. To achieve the best outcome in your case, it is vital to work with a Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer who will fight to protect your rights, freedom, and future every step of the way.
Gwinnett County DUI Laws
Georgia's DUI laws are convoluted and lengthy. It can be challenging to wade through the various rules and try to figure out what you were charged with and how to defend against it. Our Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers have been handling DUI cases for more than 25 years. We know these laws inside and out and understand all the intricacies that coincide with them. We have dedicated our practice to DUI defense because we believe that you deserve a DUI Lawyer in Gwinnett County who is an expert on DUI law.
There are numerous ways you could be charged with a DUI in Gwinnett County.
1. DUI Less Safe
Under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391(a)(1) states that a person shall not “drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.” This does not mean that the driver blew over the .08 Georgia limit. Instead, this means that the officer can use his observations during a DUI investigation to determine that a person was a less safe driver. The officer is often looking for clues such as slurred speech, difficultly understanding questions, bloodshot eyes, admissions of drinking, alcohol odors, and giving inconsistent answers.
2. DUI Per Se
O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(a)(5) prohibits “any person to drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while the person's alcohol concentration is .08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended.” DUI per se requires that the driver completed an alcohol test that had the result of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more.
3. DUI Drugs
Georgia law O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(a)(2) prohibits driving “under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive.” Unlike DUI Per Se that requires .08 grams or more, any amount of drugs while driving constitutes DUI Drugs. However, the State must prove that the drug rendered the driving incapable of driving safely. DUI Drugs includes prescription drugs where the driver had a lawful prescription. DUI drug charges are extremely complicated, and it is in your best interest to hire a top-rated and knowledgeable Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer for your case.
In addition to the different ways a DUI charge can manifest, Georgia DUI laws require the police officer to read an Implied Consent Notice to any person arrested for DUI. This must be done before requesting a chemical test to determine the person's BAC. There are different notices depending on the person's age and license class. There are separate notices for drivers 21 or over, drivers under 21, and commercial drivers. A lack of reading this notice or reading it incorrectly can result in your Gwinnett County DUI Attorney filing motions to have the results withheld from evidence.
Gwinnett County DUI Defense
No matter if you have been charged with DUI Drugs, DUI Per Se, or DUI Less Safe, we are here to help. All of the Gwinnett County DUI Attorneys at The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson will be able to explain the entire court process to you. We will dispel any myths you may have heard, such as your case cannot be won, and you should just plead guilty. No matter what stage you are at in your case, we can help. Whether you have questions about posting bond or would like to appeal a DUI conviction, our DUI Lawyers in Gwinnett County are here.
Successful DUI defense combines knowledge, experience, negotiation skills, and advocacy from your Gwinnett County DUI attorney. While every case is different and results cannot be guaranteed, many of our clients have had their DUI charges dismissed, reduced, had jail time modified to community service, and more.
At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, Mr. Lawson formerly served as a prosecutor but has spent more than 25 years defending those charged with DUI. Because of his experience as a prosecutor, he is able to bring an incredible and rare perspective and knowledge to each case.
It is critical to get an attorney involved immediately in your defense because many opportunities can be waived by failing to meet tight deadlines. Meeting these deadlines can mean the difference between keeping your license or losing it.
Our DUI Attorneys in Gwinnett County will consider all avenues when defending your case. We will thoroughly examine all the evidence, interview witnesses, obtain police reports, and more to make sure we get the full picture. Once they understand the circumstances surrounding your arrest, we will begin to build your defense. Some of the issues we will look at include:
- the adequacy of the stop
- whether the procedure for implied consent was followed
- whether a lawful arrest occurred
- if proper procedure for the breath or blood test was conducted
- the chain of command for the testing
- the maintenance log for the breathalyzer test
If there is a defense that applies to your case, we will find it and collect the evidence to support it. We care about your future and will work with you to achieve the goals for your case.
Rights in a Gwinnett County DUI Case
Many people make the mistake of thinking that they do not have any rights when arrested for a DUI. However, you have rights throughout the entire process, from the initial arrest to even appealing the decision. Our Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers will make sure your rights were protected before, during, and after the arrest.
Right to Due Process:
Both the Fifth Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment provide that that government cannot take a person's life, liberty, or property without due process of law. This means that you must be given a hearing before you can be convicted. Due process is all about fair procedure and process. There are numerous ways your due process rights can be violated during a DUI case in Gwinnett County. That is just one of the reasons why it is critical to hire a DUI Lawyer in Gwinnett County.
Right to Discovery:
You have the right to request the evidence against you. If you file a motion for discovery, the State must disclose evidence, whether it is material to your guilt or innocence. In felony cases, full discovery is required, but it is limited in misdemeanor cases. In misdemeanor cases, discovery does not require the State to produce police reports, crime scene photos, the victim's criminal history, repair records for property damaged, or copies of 911 calls.
Right to Knowing Witnesses:
A person charged with a DUI in Gwinnett County has the right to request a list of the witnesses on whose testimony the charge is based on.
Right to a Trial:
The Sixth Amendment grants criminal defendants the right to a jury. However, if you plead guilty, then you have waived your right to a trial. For misdemeanor DUI cases in Gwinnett County you have to right to a jury trial of 6 jurors. For a felony charge, there are 12 jurors. It is important to note that only the accused can waive the right to a jury trial, not his or her attorney.
Right to the Presumption of Innocence:
“Innocent until proven guilty” is the foundation of the administration of criminal law. You enter the trial with this presumption until and if the State overcomes it with evidence sufficient to convince the judge or jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if you plead guilty, then you are convicted as if you went to trial.
Right to Testify and Present Your Own Evidence:
You have the right to testify if you so desire. However, it is important to speak with a Gwinnett County DUI Attorney first because testifying also has risks. When you testify, the State now has the opportunity to cross-examine you. Many people want to share their side of the story but are scared of what the State will bring up or what they will say on cross. Contact one of our lawyers today if this applies to you.
Right to an Attorney:
Under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, you have the right to be represented by an attorney during criminal prosecution. This also includes the right to an attorney of your choosing. However, there are some limitations to this right. The court can disqualify the attorney you chose if there is a conflict of interest, if they are not a member of the bar, or if the attorney declines to represent you. Additionally, if you cannot afford the attorney you desire, the court can appoint one for you.
Right to Remain Silent:
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution gives people the right to remain silent. Essentially, this means that no person shall be compelled to provide self-incriminating testimony. This right applies in a couple of different situations. First, it applies if the police interrogate you. You can indicate your desire to remain silent. It also applies during a trial. The State cannot force you to testify against yourself.
Right to Appeal:
Even if you think you have no options after a conviction, you still have the right to appeal. This right is given to defendants under the Georgia Appellate Practice Act of 1965. While you can appeal, the issues you can raise are limited. Your claims are usually limited to ineffective assistance of counsel, defective plea procedure, and illegal sentencing. You have six months to appeal a conviction for a misdemeanor traffic offense in Georgia.
If you have been convicted of DUI and think your case should be appealed, contact one of our Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers today.
Gwinnett County Superior Court
Gwinnett County Superior Court has exclusive jurisdiction over felony cases. There are 12 judges on the court. The Superior Court is located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. The Clerk of Court for Gwinnett County is Richard T. Alexander, and his office can be reached at 770-822-8100.
Gwinnett County State Court
Gwinnett County State Court is a court of limited jurisdiction covering misdemeanor traffic violations and other civil actions. If your DUI case begins in one of Gwinnett County's Municipal Courts or in the Recorder's Court, you have the right to transfer your case to the State Court for a jury trial. This means that a new solicitor and a new judge will preside over your case. The State Court is located at 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. The Clerk of Court is Richard T. Alexander, and his office can be reached at 770-822-8100.
Gwinnett County Recorders Court
If a Gwinnett County Police Officer stopped you, your case will proceed to Gwinnett County Recorder's Court. This is the traffic court for Gwinnett County. The Court is located at 115 Stone Mountain Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046. The phone number is 877-794-0988.
Our DUI Lawyers in Gwinnett County are able to help if you are facing any sort of DUI charge in Georgia. They will work tirelessly to help you understand your rights and to combat the evidence the prosecutor tries to prove in court. They will thoroughly investigate the incident to discover any holes in the evidence whether it was in the police officer's reasoning for the initial stop or in the chain of evidence dealing with your test results. They will fight for your rights every step of the way. Let our Gwinnett County DUI Attorneys help you today. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.