A DUI Lawyer can be a useful investment for your case. If you’ve been charged with DUI in Athens, Georgia, you’re facing very serious fines and other penalties. The Courts in Georgia take drunk driving very seriously. The same goes for driving while under the influence of drugs or other intoxicating substances. Once you’re arrested and booked for DUI, you’ll have no choice but to face the charges. Most people know that they’re in a much better position if they do this with a DUI lawyer in Athens by their side. The question is, how much does it cost to retain this kind of attorney?
Being charged with DUI means you’ll be facing fines of up to $5,000. It all depends on whether it’s your first offense or a subsequent offense. Even if the fine is only $300 – the minimum for a first offense – you’ll still be facing possible jail time and other consequences. If your attorney is able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed, it’s worth every penny. It comes down to how much you’re willing to pay for your freedom and peace of mind.
Your Athens Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help Get the Charges Dismissed Early
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, the police must have had some reason to believe you were driving while under the influence. Whether they felt you were drunk or high at the time of your arrest, the charges will be the same. For a first offense DUI, you’ll face fines of up to $1,000 and possibly jail time. You’ll also lose your license for one year and may have to attend DUI risk reduction programs. Rather than deal with all of this, your DUI lawyer in Athens may be able to get the charges dismissed within days or hours of your arrest.
If the police didn’t have the right to pull you over, there is a good chance the prosecutor will have to dismiss the charges against you. Once you retain your lawyer, they’re going to request a copy of the discovery from the prosecutor. Early in the case, there may not be much to go on. All you may have will be the results of the breathalyzer and a copy of the police report. Days later, your attorney will demand that they be provided with a copy of the arrest. This is where things may get interesting.
Can Your DUI Lawyer in Athens Challenge the Arrest Itself?
In order for the police to pull a driver over, they need to have reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed a violation. This could be anything from speeding to having an expired registration. Once the police establish reasonable suspicion, they are legally allowed to pull your vehicle over. Once they approach the vehicle and speak to the driver, they’re going to look for evidence of wrongdoing. This, of course, includes looking to see if the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If there is evidence that such behavior is present, they are allowed to have you get out of the car and submit to various tests.
It is difficult to prove that the cops didn’t have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. All the officers have to say is that you were weaving in and out of lanes to prove they had authority to pull you over. While your Athens criminal defense lawyer will try to argue the stop wasn’t lawful, there is a good chance they will be unsuccessful.
What if Your Athens Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Challenge the Field Sobriety Test?
Even if your lawyer can’t challenge the traffic stop, they may be able to successfully challenge the field sobriety test. Officers in Georgia must conduct a lawful and fair field sobriety test (FST). If they fail to do this, you may have grounds for a dismissal. Your attorney is going to look at the video of your arrest and look carefully at how the FST was administered. If they feel something was not done properly, they will petition the prosecutor to drop the charges against you.
There are several ways in which the FST can be considered unlawful or unfair. Some of these include the following:
- Was the test administered during inclement weather?
- Were you asked to perform unreasonable tasks?
- Did the officer provide you with clear and fair instructions?
- Did the officers interpret your performance properly?
- Did you alert the cops that you were suffering from a medical or physical condition that restricted your ability to perform the FST?
Depending on what your dui lawyer in Athens finds, they may be able to convince the State to dismiss the charges. At a minimum, they may be able to get the charges reduced to reckless driving.
What Do DUI Lawyers in Athens, Georgia Charge?
When our clients ask us what it will cost to retain their services, we have to be upfront with them. It is not cheap to hire a DUI lawyer in Athens. Whether you’re charged an hourly rate or a flat fee, it will be a couple of thousand dollars. What you need to remember is that this money is meant to hire somebody who can help get the charged against you dismissed. This is even more important if you have prior convictions for DUI.
In Georgia, if you’re convicted of a second or third DUI offense, you’ll be facing very serious charges. Some of the penalties associated with a subsequent DUI offense include the following:
- Fines anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000
- Up to a year in jail
- At least 30 days community service
- Enrollment in a DUI risk reduction program
- License suspension of at least one year
- Possible probation
Keep in mind, if your license is suspended for a third or fourth DUI, the judge isn’t going to approve a work permit. This means you’ll have no way back and forth to work or school for at least a year. The money this could cost you will be much more than you would ever pay a DUI lawyer in Athens.
Your DUI Lawyer in Athens is Worth Every Penny
We recommend that you contact our office as soon as possible after your DUI arrest. Even if you pay a few thousand dollars to retain a DUI lawyer in Athens, it is well worth the cost. If you’re convicted, it will not only cost you dearly, but it will remain on your permanent criminal record as well. Even if you’re paying for peace of mind, it is money well spent.