Being pulled over by a Georgia police officer after having a couple of drinks with friends, possibly ranks as one of the most nerve-wracking experiences. In this situation, many people don’t do what they should do, which is to call an experienced Georgia DUI attorney immediately. This lack of positive action could be due to the factthe accused feels they cannot afford an attorney, because they are extremely embarrassed about the entire situation, or because they truly do not understand the serious nature of the charges.
Failing to call an attorney has a number of negative repercussions, primarily the fact that the charged person is likely to continue making mistakes so long as there is no legal representation in place. From the time the blue lights start flashing, there are several common mistakes that can either derail a DUI case entirely, or, at the very least, make it much more difficult for the attorney eventually hired to achieve a positive outcome. Some of the mistakes to guard against include:
- Deciding the case is over before it has begun. Many people believe once they are charged with a DUI, there is little likelihood of a positive outcome. Because of this belief, they assume pleading guilty to the DUI charges and taking their punishment is the most expedient thing to do in this situation. In truth, pleading guilty to DUI charges will result in a conviction 100 percent of the time. Further, thinking a guilty plea will get the matter out of the way quickly, is simply not accurate. A guilty plea, and the resulting guilty verdict, will result in much larger problems for a long time to come. These could include: jail time, probation, a suspended license, a jump in insurance rates, mandatory attendance at a treatment program and a permanent blot on the criminal record.
- Taking too much time before hiring an attorney. Anyone who is facing Georgia DUI charges will regret not taking those charges very seriously. Failing to take a proactive stance and hire a DUI attorney immediately, could well result in missed deadlines and a DUI conviction.
- Deciding to forego an attorney. There may be a very small number of those charged with DUI who successfully represent themselves. Much more likely, a person who skips hiring an attorney could face such issues as failure to appear, a high bail, probation violations and jail time, simply through lack of knowledge.
- Failing to hire an experienced Georgia DUI attorney. Believing one DUI attorney is much the same as another is a critical mistake. Hiring a Georgia attorney who does not practice DUI law on a regular basis can vastly reduce the chances of a positive outcome. Georgia DUI statutes and case law can be extremely complex, and highly skilled representation is essential.
- Failing to request a DDS hearing within the allowed time. Following a Georgia DUI arrest, for those whose BAC registered above .08 percent within three hours (or if the BAC test is refused), a DDS Form 1205 will be issued, along with the Criminal Court summons or the DUI citation. The 1205 form is a 30-day temporary driver’s license as well as notice to suspend the license. The person charged with DUI has ten business days to request a hearing to appeal the Administrative Suspension of his or her license. This request halts the administrative license suspension until a hearing can be held, and missing this deadline takes away that right.
- Being unaware of Constitutional Rights. Unfortunately, not all DUI stops are by the book. A highly skilled DUI attorney knows exactly what questions to ask in order to determine whether these rights were violated during the stop. As an example, there must have been reasonable suspicion on the part of the officer that a violation of the law had occurred or was in progress for the stop to be legal.
- Not taking your rights seriously. This could well be one of the biggest mistake made by those pulled over on suspicion of DUI. Too many people believe if they can only explain to the officer, they will soon be on their way home. There is only the legal obligation to politely give the officer a name and address. From that point on, anything said absolutely will be used against the charged person in a Georgia court of law.
- Missing a court date while deciding whether to hire a Georgia DUI attorney. Those who are waffling about whether to hire an experienced Georgia DUI attorney must absolutely not miss the first court appearance or they are likely to find themselves in even deeper trouble.
In truth, those who lack proper Georgia DUI representation will very likely spend thousands of dollars and possibly time behind bars, as well as being subject to a myriad of other negative consequences. DUI attorney Melanie Ellwanger will attempt to find any instance in which protocol was not properly followed during your arrest or after the arrest. Melanie understands your anxiety about your DUI charges and will work hard to fully answer your questions and explain the process. For highly qualified, experienced Georgia DUI representation, call Melanie Ellwanger at 404-803-3105.