Skip to main content
Patrick Scott Ferris
Avvo
Pro

Patrick Ferris’s Answers

14 total


  • JUST GOT MY GA TEACHERS CERTIFACATE will a dui 20 years ago show up on my job background check with school systems

    im 45 years old and have no criminal history

    Patrick’s Answer

    Do you feel lucky? No, seriously. The answer is "maybe," based what I have personally seen.

    Why maybe? Because your initial background check MIGHT reflect the DUI. You see, a ton of jurisdictions in Georgia run DUI cases through backwards little municipal courts, recorders courts, and police courts. If that sounds familiar, your DUI ticket may never have reached GCIC. More importantly, your OBTS card may never have reached GCIC. What is this GCIC I speak of? Why it's the Georgia Crime Information Center, a clearinghouse for criminal histories in Georgia, silly! And the volume of mistakes made by GCIC is frankly mind boggling. I recall one GCIC report that stated that a guy had been convicted of DUI by the Georgia State Board of Bar Examiners - the board that grades bar exams!

    In the olden days (prior to about 2009), OBTS (fingerprint) cards and citations had to be mailed to GCIC. If your DUI case was handled in a State Court, the clerk probably sent everything in and you will have an arrest record. If they also sent in your conviction, then the DUI is likely to show up. On the other hand, if your case was resolved in some little podunk police station at 5:30 pm on the first Tuesday of the month - and this happens a lot - the clerk might have tossed your ticket into some filing cabinet where it stayed until being boxed up and sent to some moldy storage room. In this case, your DUI would not likely show up. However, if everything was sent to GCIC, there's still a chance that errors made by GCIC staff (see above) have led to the conviction being omitted. On the other hand, it could also mean that you have an erroneous conviction showing on your GCIC report. If that's the case, at least it can be corrected, although that process is far from what I'd called fast or simple.

    Bottom line - apply and see what happens. It's not like you can get your record expunged, since expunger has gone the way of the dinosaur and the legendary DUI nolo plea.

    So let's say you get the job. Whew! In a few years you're going to get a head's up that an additional background check is about to be performed. Why? Are they onto you? No. They just want to be sure you're not some creepy child molester. I have several friends who are teachers and whose DUI convictions have not popped up on these checks. Or maybe they did; at any rate, there were no consequences for my friends.

    However, you should NOT be dishonest if asked about prior convictions. Put it out there, and tell the BOE about all the wonderful things you have done since you got your DUI to atone for it. Seriously, that seems to be effective.

    Have fun being a teacher, and remember, there's really no good reason to have a SnapChat conversation with a student. Ever.

    See question 
  • My daughter got a dui back in march 2013, went to court in sept 2013, she has completed everything but her 120 hours community s

    SHOULD WE GET A LAWYER SHE HAS A NEW BORN AND HASN'T COMPLETLED HER HOURS HAS TO GO BEFORE THE JUDGE ON AUG 28TH BREAST FEEDING AND BABY WON'T TAKE A BOTTLE.

    Patrick’s Answer

    Alright so right off the bat, every lawyer who read your question SHOULD have realized that you are holding back something: the reason your daughter going back "before the judge."

    Was there some quirky progress reporting requirement that was added as a condition of her probation? Has she picked up some kind of new criminal charge? Is her P.O. trying to get her revoked on a technical for failing to complete what seems to be an unusually high amount of community service?

    The fact that she has 120 hours of community service is a huge red flag. It's less than 240 hours, so it indicates that we are talking about a 1st (in 10) DUI. It's triple the minimum amount, which indicates that your daughter's DUI may have had some ugly facts.

    This is all speculation, of course, because I'm just some lawyer on the other side of the internet that you've never met with and who certainly isn't representing your daughter. You need to get her one. Or tell her to get one. You knew that this was the correct answer when you posted the question, because if her baby isn't taking a bottle, you're not going to be able to feed it when she gets revoked for failing to abide by the conditions of her probation.

    See question 
  • What happens if I am caught driving on a limited permit and admit not going to/from work/school/etc. conditions in Ga?

    Not currently on probation or required to have an interlock device.

    Patrick’s Answer

    Whoa whoa whoa buddy. What's all this talk of "admitting" stuff? July 4 was not two weeks ago and you're talking all crazy like the British won!

    You see, after we sent those tea-drinking Brits back across the pond, a handful of farmers sat around and came up with some ground rules that we now call The Constitution of the United States of America. One of the ground rules - it's towards the back, in this part we call The Bill of Rights - gives you the right against self-incrimination. That's right, the same Bill of Rights that gives you the right to own an AR-15 and tell soldiers they cannot sleep in your bed also gives you the right to keep your mouth shut when the police start asking questions.

    So before you go admitting all this crazy junk about how you were actually going to Hot Topic and not Southern Polytechnic when you blew that red light, remember your founding fathers, and the important right to keep that trap closed!

    See question 
  • Is there payment plans available for DWI lawyers

    I'm working full time and don't have a bunch of money saved up as I had to post bail. I have 2nd degree DWI for moving my car to another parking spot and backing into a parked car. Its my second DWI but I blew .20

    Patrick’s Answer

    Depends on the lawyer. Let me tell you what EVERY lawyer hears, all the time: "for criminal cases, get your fee up front!"

    What does this mean? It means that criminal clients are notorious for having poor credit and for stiffing their lawyers - or trying to. That is why many experienced criminal defense lawyers do not offer payment plans. Or at least very good ones.

    The good news is that if you aren't a credit risk, you can get a really good payment plan at a bank. How good, you ask? Let me put it like this - you can probably get a decent lawyer for less than it costs to get a tricked out golf cart. Or you can cheap out, hire a plea lawyer and still have enough left over for a toothbrush and a bicycle. You will have fresh breath when he sells you out and you go to jail, and when you lose your license, you can ride that bike to the probation office for the next year or so. Your call!

    See question 
  • Smoked a few days before convicted of 1st DUI; If drug tested @ 1st meeting with PO, what could happen if THC is still in urine?

    In Gwinnett County on June 26th this year I went to trial for a DUI and was put on probation for 12 months, 40 hours of community service, 4 mo. license suspension, hefty legal fees, have to attend a Risk Reduction class, and random drug testing o...

    Patrick’s Answer

    Yeargan nailed it. Tell your P.O. in your initial meeting. Although the word around the nitrous balloons is that weed stays in your system for 30 days, it usually doesn't unless you're fat and smoke almost constantly. No offense to fat people. Or people who smoke almost constantly.

    If you do what Yeargan says - and what I'm also saying - and your P.O. still tries to jack you up with a revocation, call attorney Dave Clark - he's in Lawrenceville and he'll take care of you.

    See question 
  • I was involved in an accident and i left i had a shot of whiskey after i got home how can they charge me 4 dui

    how can they prove i was drinking at the time of the accident. I refused to blow breath test

    Patrick’s Answer

    The police charged charged you because that is what the police do. Your arrest ends (or in police talk, "clears") the investigation. Now they can sit back and wait for (1) you to plead guilty, (2) a jury to decide if you're guilty or not guilty, or (3) a judge to decide whether you're guilty.

    Here's the straight truth: assuming you're telling the truth, your strategy - taking a shot of whiskey and then refusing to take a breath test - is about as off-target as it gets. I'm not telling you that to make you feel bad. I'm telling you that you need to go get a lawyer who knows what they're doing, and then follow that lawyer's advice. You have dug yourself quite the hole already. It's time to put the shovel down and pay somebody to help you start working your way out. Sooner rather than later. Go now. Seriously, get off of Avvo and go hire someone now.

    See question 
  • My car was total and I was the passenger..since cops didn't know who to blame they wrote me the dui less safe and improper lane?

    After they took me to the hospital and took some blood...what do I have to do to put the charges on the driver?

    Patrick’s Answer

    I'll tell you what you should NOT do, and that's to try and convince the po-po that some other dude was driving. They aren't going to take your word for it. At this point, they have charged you and anything you say will be twisted to make it sound like you are making up some absurd excuse.

    The reason every lawyer is telling you to go hire a lawyer ASAP is because the more you try to resolve this case on your own, the less likely an lawyer is going to be able to help you out once you realize that the police aren't going to negotiate with you in good faith.

    See question 
  • Can a case be thrown out if my rights were not read to me when arrested for DUI?

    I was arrested for DUI but my rights were not read to me when the officer arrested me. Does that affect my case? Can the charges or the arrest be thrown out?

    Patrick’s Answer

    I have some bad news and some GREAT news for you.

    Bad news first: your case probably won't simply be thrown out.

    Now for the GREAT news: depending on what rights you're talking about, evidence about your performance on field tests - or maybe even the breath or blood test (or evidence of your refusal to take one) could be kept out of evidence. You need a skilled DUI defense lawyer to help you make this happen! If the test is kicked out, your chances of getting a dismissal on the DUI charges goes way, way up! Don't hire some schmuck plea lawyer, get a lawyer who knows what he or she is doing ASAP. You won't regret it.

    See question 
  • If my license is suspended at ALS hearing when can I reinstate it?

    I keep seeing two different answers, 30 days or 120 days. I am confused why people say 30 days. If I have completed my Dui class and evaluation and community service and have my sr-22 (which I think I have to have correct?) can I immediately go to...

    Patrick’s Answer

    There are two suspensions (one for as little as 30 days and one for as little as 120 days) for drivers who are over 21, who agreed to submit to a state-administered chemical test (usually either breath or blood), and who have no recent DUI suspensions.

    The "30 day" suspension is an administrative suspension. It is not truly a 30 day suspension. If driver's license is suspended administratively by DDS, and it is the driver's "first" suspension, the license may be reinstated after 30 days with proof of DUI school completion. Otherwise, the suspension will remain in place. The driver can get a limited permit during this time at DDS (the main office in Conyers, not a satellite).

    The "120 day" suspension is a suspension that occurs by operation of law upon a driver's "first" conviction for DUI. It is not truly a 120 day suspension. It is a one-year suspension, but the driver may seek reinstatement after 120 days. The driver can get a limited permit during this time if the driver obtains a certain document from the court.

    Because there are many variables that can affect both the administrative case and the criminal case, I urge you to hire an attorney who is able to answer questions that apply to the specific circumstances of your case.

    See question 
  • I was apprehended in a stadium and wasn'y on a roadway or shoulder. Shouldn't I be able to get the Judge to dismiss the charges?

    Georgia 40-6-95. Pedestrian under influence of alcohol or drug A person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug to a degree which renders him a hazard shall not walk or be upon any roadway or the shoulder of any roadway...

    Patrick’s Answer

    This depends on the judge and the way that the prosecutor approaches the issue that you raise. The prosecutor can change the original charge to one that best fits the allegations in your case. You are entitled to notification of the charge that you will face in court prior to your trial. In lower courts, I have observed that some judges actually enter a conviction for a different criminal offense than the one charged if the allegations do not satisfy the requirements of the crime that is charged.

    These are only a few of the reasons that it would probably be helpful to have the assistance of counsel in your case.

    See question