What Factors Should I Consider When Hiring An Atlanta DUI Attorney?
Facing a DUI charge in Atlanta can be one of the hardest things you will ever have to deal with. DUI laws can be very complicated especially if this is the first time you are dealing with the criminal justice system. What might you look for in an Atlanta DUI attorney though?
An Attorney that Knows the LawIt is very important that your DUI attorney know Atlanta's DUI laws. For example, although O.C.G.A. ?40-6-391 defines an illegal alcohol content at 0.08, so long as a person is under the influence to the point that they are less safe to drive, that person could still be convicted of driving under the influence. If you are charged, you may be charged for your first, second, or additional DUI. The difference is very significant because it can affect the punishments you will likely be facing. For a first time DUI you could receive over 24 hours of jail time and a maximum of 1 year, fines of up to $1,000, state surcharges, mandatory DUI school and at least 40 hours of community service. A second time DUI would mean you could get over 3 days in jail, fines of up to $1,000, state surcharges, mandatory DUI school and at least 240 hours of community service. If you were arrested on a third time DUI you would might receive all of those punishments in addition to a $5,000 fine and a license suspension for five years. The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety reports on its website that in 2008 there were 416 alcohol impaired related fatalities, accounting for 28 percent of fatalities overall, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. These numbers explain the reason for Georgia's strict DUI laws.
An Attorney that Will Protect Your RightsNot only should your attorney know DUI laws, but they should know the laws related to your legal rights. If you are arrested for your DUI and you are not properly Mirandized, or the police are not following proper procedures, you may be able to dismiss your charges. This all depends on the circumstances surrounding your DUI, so it is very important that you contact a licensed Atlanta DUI attorney to know what your options are. Even with a felony DUI charge, if there was some malfunction in the machine taking your breath test, or if the machine was not properly calibrated, or if the officer did not spend an adequate amount of time observing you, your charge could be dismissed. This is why it is imperative that your Atlanta DUI attorney possess a thorough understanding of your rights which must be protected.
An Attorney that is Experienced in Client AdvocacyIt is critical when hiring an attorney that your counsel be experienced in representing clients with DUI charges. The nuances of Atlanta DUI law are enough that when you need DUI help in Atlanta you want an attorney that is familiar with the process you will be going through. Whether it be a first, second, third, or felony DUI, possessing that experience will be critical to advising you in your case.