Lawrenceville DUI Attorney
At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, our Lawrenceville DUI Lawyers specialize in DUI defense. We are top-rated DUI lawyers with over 25 years of experience and over 5,000 clients represented. Our practice is dedicated to helping those charged with DUI getting their life on track again. Don't let a DUI charge ruin your life. Contact us now for a free case evaluation and see how we can help.
There are Two Cases Against You When You are Arrested for DUI In Lawrenceville
The State of Georgia requires drivers to obey rules and regulations to obtain and retain a driver's license. A lot of people think the driver's license is a right. However, this is not true. Your ability to drive is a privilege, and it can be taken from you if you fail to adhere to Georgia driving laws. If you have been arrested for DUI in Lawrenceville, your license will be automatically suspended if you do not request an ALS hearing within 30 days from your arrest.
In many states, including Georgia, a DUI arrest commences two cases against you: a civil case and a criminal case. The criminal case is the one most people are familiar with and expect. The civil case has to do with your driver's license and your privilege to drive in Georgia. The criminal case begins on the court date listed on your DUI citation. The civil case, or Administrative License Suspension (ALS) case, starts as soon as the citation is filed. You have only thirty (30) days to request a hearing or an ignition interlock device, or your driver's license will automatically be suspended. Georgia requires a $150 fee to set the ALS hearing.
If a hearing or interlock device is not requested before the 30-day deadline, your driver's license will be suspended. If you refused the State's test of your blood, breath, or urine, you could expect a license suspension of a full year without an opportunity for a limited permit or restricted license. If you did submit to testing during law enforcement's investigation, you could only experience a 30-day suspension. You could then be eligible for a limited permit or restricted license that could allow you to drive to school or work.
Keep in mind that the ALS hearing process is entirely separate from your DUI case. Choosing a competent Lawrenceville GA DUI Lawyer makes everything less complicated.
Probation in a Lawrenceville DUI Case
Many people are concerned about jail time when charged with a DUI in Lawrenceville. If convicted of DUI, jail time may be unavoidable, but the good news is that most of judges allow you to serve out the majority of their sentence on probation. For first time DUIs, most people only spend a minimum of 24 hours in jail, and then the rest of the the time is served through probation (generally one year).
While many people think probation is better than sitting in jail, they are unaware of the many requirements they will have to adhere to. There are a number of conditions the probationer must adhere to, or else they will wind up back behind bars. The probation terms vary case by case and even by the judge. However, for first time DUI convictions in Lawrenceville, the driver will be required to pay a fine up to $1,000, perform at least 40 hours of community service, complete a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program, have a one year license suspension, and engage in a clinical evaluation. All of these things are in addition to the fine.
On top of this, the judge may add additional probation conditions related to alcohol and driving. This includes staying away from drugs or alcohol during your entire probation period. This can be tested by random drug or alcohol testing. Alcohol testing for probation may involve other tests that can determine you've had a drink up to a few days later. If you get a random drug test, don't think that you're in the clear and can have a few drinks at the bar. Another random drug test can come again a few days later. Any positive alcohol or drug test during your probation may result in a technical violation.
Other limitations may include prohibition from going to certain places, such as bars, and even prohibiting you from being around certain people. During this time, you may even be required to pay for your own probation supervision costs. You may even be asked to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel.
Probation is oftentimes a lot more restrictive than people think. The probation officers are watching you very closely, and all the deadlines and meetings can be difficult to keep up with. Even just one missed appearance can result in a violation of probation and having to finish out the sentence in jail. While probation may seem like a better option compared to jail, it is always best to consult with an experienced Lawrenceville DUI Attorney before making any decisions. We will let you know exactly what you should expect but also fight to get the charges dropped, so you don't have to participate in probation.
Probation Violation in Lawrenceville
If you are caught violating your probation, your probation officer may file a petition to have your probation revoked. This may include a warrant for your arrest. Unfortunately, it may take awhile between your arrest and the time for your probation hearing, which means you'll have to spend that time in jail. However, you may be able to negotiate a hearing before you are arrested, and your Lawrenceville DUI lawyer may be able to arrange this so you won't have to wait it out in jail.
During a probation revocation hearing, your probation officer will lay out the allegations against you, including any evidence that you violated probation by testing positive for alcohol, failed to make a required payment, or didn't show up for a required meeting. You have the opportunity to respond, and may want to have your lawyer represent you during the revocation hearing, to make sure your rights are protected. In the end, the judge will determine what happens next.
The judge may decide that you haven't violated probation, and you may continue your current terms. However, if the judge found you did violate the terms of your probation, they have a lot of leeway as to what will happen next. You may have to go to jail, be given extended probation, be placed under house arrest with a GPS ankle device, or forced to go through additional counseling sessions at your own cost. If you didn't get a Lawrenceville DUI lawyer to fight your DUI charges, a lawyer at your probation hearing will help keep you from getting thrown back into jail.
Let Our Lawrenceville DUI Lawyers Help You From the Beginning
The best way to avoid a probation violation is to make sure you never get convicted in the first place. Remember that a Lawrenceville DUI arrest does not have to lead to a conviction. Furthermore, you do not have to plead guilty! There are always DUI defenses we can use to defend your case. As Lawrenceville DUI lawyers with years of experience defending clients charged with DUIs, we understand how serious the penalties can be. We have successfully gotten thousands of clients' charges reduced or dismissed entirely. With our extensive training, experience in the courtroom, and understanding of how the police and prosecutors make their case, we will be the advocate you need to fight for your rights.
The first step in your defense is a thorough investigation of your case. We have teams of medical experts available to evaluate any medical conditions that could have affected your performance on the chemical tests or the field sobriety tests. Our DUI Lawyers in Lawrenceville will review police tapes, police records, interview witnesses, visit the scene of the incident, and more. There is no way we can build a successful defense without having all of the details. Once we have examined all of the evidence, then we can start discussing how to beat your case. We have former prosecutors on our team that used to prosecute DUI offenders. Now, they work for us, helping give us the inside advantage. We know how to make the law work for you, not against you.
Not only will we defend your DUI charge, but we will also defend against any underlying traffic offenses. In many cases, we have been able to successfully defend the initial traffic stop, which can cause the collapse of probable cause supporting the stop and, therefore, support of the DUI charge. While this does not happen in every case, it is critical to hire a Lawrenceville DUI Attorney who has the expertise to make this a reality!
Lawrenceville Municipal Court
Lawrenceville Municipal Court hears cases involving city ordinance violations, misdemeanor violations, and traffic violations that occur within Lawrenceville City Limits. It also hears Georgia State Patrol traffic violations that occur within the city. The Chief Clerk of Court is Demetra Morton, and may be reached by calling (770) 963-3288. The court is located at the Lawrenceville City Hall Building with an address of 70 South Clayton Street, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.
Contact Us Today
We understand that you may be overwhelmed and scared when charged with a DUI in Lawrenceville. DUI penalties are harsh even for a first time DUI and can affect your family, job, and school. You need our DUI Lawyers in Lawrenceville who will fight to protect your rights. Your freedom is as important to us as it is to you. Contact one of our Lawrenceville DUI Attorneys to speak about your options. We are ready to take your call.