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If you or your loved one has been charged with a DUI in Georgia, it is imperative that you retain a skilled and knowledgeable attorney early in the process. Savannah DUI lawyer Kurtis Bronston will help you protect your rights and avoid the suspension of your privilege to drive through the Administrative License Suspension process.
How Can You Challenge a DUI?
The best way to attack a DUI charge is to attack the evidence. The State carries the burden of proof throughout a criminal case. In other words, the State has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
DUI cases, specifically, are highly technical. It is imperative that you have a highly skilled and knowledgeable Savannah DUI attorney handle your case to ensure that you receive the best result possible.
Common Evidence in a DUI Case
A DUI almost always starts with a traffic stop. It is usually for a minor traffic offense, such as failure to maintain lane or improper turn signal. In order to stop a vehicle for a traffic offense, the officer MUST have probable cause for the stop. Otherwise, any evidence collected after that stop will be suppressed. Following the traffic stop, the officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe you are under the influence of some intoxicating substance, such as alcohol or drugs.
How Accurate Are Field Sobriety Tests?
The key to Standardized Field Sobriety Testing is in the name itself, “Standardized.” The Georgia DUI laws requires that the officer conduct the SFST’s (or Standardized Field Sobriety Testing) in a manner within substantial compliance with his/her training and the accepted practices set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There may also be some environmental issues, as well as physical or medical conditions that people may have that may invalidate the results of these tests.
What Are the 3 Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus – A scientific test that measures for an involuntary jerking or bouncing of the eyeball that occurs when there is a disturbance of the vestibular (inner ear) system or the oculomotor control of the eye, which has been correlated, through scientific studies to be associated with alcohol impairment, amongst other causes.
- Walk and Turn – A physically demanding and divided attention task, intended to detect physical manifestations of intoxication.
- One Leg Stand – A physically demanding and divided attention task, intended to detect physical manifestations of intoxication.
Are Breathalyzers Admissible in Court?
The Portable Breath Test (PBT) is a “roadside breathalyzer" and the numerical results of which are not admissible in court. However, whether or not the results of the PBT are “positive or negative for the presence of alcohol” is admissible in court.
Can You Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?
After the completion of the SFST’s and the PBT, the officer will tell you that you are under arrest, and will read the Implied Consent Notice. The final sentence of the Implied Consent Notice is a question that you are required to give a “Yes,” or “No” answer to. If you fail to give a clear response the officer will consider your response a “No” or a refusal to submit to the state-administered test. If you refuse testing when pulled over for a DUI you could face penalties including a license suspension.
If you did submit to a breath or a blood test do not despair. In some cases, the manner in which the evidence was collected, the equipment used to collect it, or the way the evidence was handled after collection can lead that evidence to be suppressed by a Judge. That's why it's imperative you contact an experienced Savannah DUI lawyer for a consultation.
How Many Points Is a DUI in GA?
The state of Georgia utilizes a point system when it comes to traffic violations, with a certain number of points being assigned based on the offense. If an individual has 15 points within 2 years their license can be suspended. In regards to a DUI, you may not receive any points from that particular conviction as licenses are suspended following the charge. However, if you are charged with driving with an open container of alcohol, you could receive 2 points.
How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance in Georgia?
In Georgia, an SR-22 form is required to get your license reinstated following a DUI and it remains in effect for 3 years. It will also impact your policy, leading to an increase in your insurance rates and premiums. Your insurance provider will need to file this SR-22 certificate with the state DDS before your license can be reinstated following a supension.
How Long Does a DUI Stay On Your Record?
A DUI will stay on your record indefinitely in the state of Georgia. The state also implements “look-back” periods for additional DUI offenses. If pulled over for a second DUI, the state will look at convictions within the past 5 years in terms of license suspensions and convictions within the past 10 years in terms of penalties and sentencing.
Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?
Yes, in the state of Georgia DUI checkpoints are legal. However, in order for these checkpoints to be utilized the state must enforce certain conditions. This includes that a reasoning for the roadblock needs to be provided and lawful, the location of the checkpoint must be evident to individuals on the road, and when and where the roadblock is to take place must be provided and authorized.
Can a DUI Be Expunged?
No, a DUI conviction cannot be expunged in Georgia. In the event that charges were dropped or there was a verdict of not guilty, you may be able to have your record expunged. However, this is not a common practice and does not apply to plea arrangements. That’s why it’s imperative you consult with a qualified Savannah lawyer to build your defense.
We Have the Experience Necessary to Assist With Your DUI Case in Georgia
Kurtis has prosecuted nearly a thousand DUI cases at all levels from municipal court, up to the Georgia Court of Appeals. He knows exactly what evidence is required for a conviction. Kurtis will bring a unique perspective to your defense team and has an intimate knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of a DUI case.
When you work with Attorney Kurtis C. Bronston on your legal issue, you can expect the informed and knowledgeable guidance of an experienced leader. With a variety of legal experience in the DA’s office, as a prosecutor, and experience training other prosecutors and law enforcement officers, Savannah Attorney Bronston is well-prepared to handle your case.
Offering Experienced Legal Representation
During his time as a prosecutor he has tried several jury and bench trials while handling over 1,000 DUI’s, several hundred domestic violence cases, and hundreds of complex drug cases. Every case is unique, and Attorney Bronston will develop personalized strategies for each situation. Our Savannah lawyer will orient your case based on your goals, and will take an educational approach to inform you of your situation every step of the way so you can feel confident about your choices.
- Creative Solutions
- Former Prosecutor
- Educational Approach
- Personalized Attention
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