Was My DUI Stop Legal?
Police officers are required to have probable cause to perform a traffic stop. The cause may be a traffic violation, defect in the vehicle's safety equipment, or a driving action that displays that the driver is intoxicated.
Common reasons to stop a vehicle include:
- Failure to use signals
- Rolling through a stop sign
- Driving with burned-out lights
If the police officer did not have a valid reason to pull you over, you may be able to use this as defense to your DUI.
What Are the Penalties for DUI?
The penalty that you face in Georgia for your offense of driving under the influence will depend on how many previous offenses you have received. For just a first-time offense of driving under the influence, you can face 24 hours to 1 year in jail, fines of $300 to $1,000, as well as a license suspension of up to 1 year. Penalties continue to increase for each subsequent offense.
Will I go to jail?
For a conviction of driving under the influence, there is a good chance that you will go to jail. The length of time that you will spend incarcerated, however, depends on the number of offenses you have. The breakdown is as follows:
- 1st Offense – 24 hours to 1 year
- 2nd Offense – 3 days to 1 year
- 3rd Offense - 15 days to 1 year
- 4th Offense – 1 to 5 years
You must serve the minimum sentence for your specific charge but the remaining time can be suspended or probated by the judge.
Will I Lose My License?
After being convicted for a DUI, you will lose your license for a temporary timeframe. The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will suspend your license for either being charged with DUI or for refusing to take a chemical test. The length of time in which it will be suspended depends on the circumstances of the arrest, including:
- Your age
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC)
- Whether you refused a chemical test
What Is a Limited Driving Permit?
You may be able to obtain a limited driving permit in Georgia if your license has been suspended. You may be eligible for the limited driving permit if you plead guilty to driving under the influence and it is your first offense within five years. DUI driving permits are known as limited driving permits and can be valid for 120 days from when you were convicted.
What makes a DUI a felony?
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia will be considered a misdemeanor or felony. Most DUIs are classified as a misdemeanor, but you could be charged with a DUI felony if you have prior offenses on your record or you violated another law in addition to drinking and driving.
Some of the circumstances that can lead to a felony DUI charge are:
- Causing an accident that results in extensive property damage
- Causing an accident that leads to serious personal injury
- Causing an accident that results in wrongful death
- Transporting a child while impaired
- Arrests for a fourth DUI
What Is a Field Sobriety Test?
Field sobriety tests are used by police officers to identify possible drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. They are roadside field sobriety tests that occur when an officer pulls over a driver and is suspicious that he or she is under the influence of alcohol.
The three main field sobriety tests are:
- Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
- Walk and Turn
- One-leg Stand
What Happens if I Refuse a Breath Test?
If you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, you should be aware of the consequences of refusing a chemical test, such as a breath test. You will be charged for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test and may also be charged with DUI. The state can take your license because of the refusal to submit because of the Administrative License Suspension Process. You will have 10 days to request an ALS hearing to defend your driving privileges.
Can I fight my DUI even if I fail a breath test?
Even if you fail a breath test and your blood alcohol content is over the legal limit, you can still fight your DUI. There are many errors that can lead to a false BAC result and our firm can help you fight these charges. If the regulations for administering a breath test are not strictly observed, a false positive result may be shown.
Some of the ways a breath test can be proven inaccurate include:
- Operator error
- Improper calibration of the device
- Certain medical conditions
- Environmental contamination of the sample
- Inaccurate record-keeping
When Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?If you want to fight your DUI case and to pursue a reduction or dismissal of your charge, you should immediately hire an attorney. You will want to work with a lawyer who understands the laws relating to driving under the influence charges in Georgia. Whether you have been charged with DUI for a BAC result that was above the legal limit or you refused to submit to a breath test, you should get the legal help you need at once and contact our firm!
How Does Bankruptcy Work?
Bankruptcy legal process that is designed to help individuals and businesses that have more debt than they are able to afford. In filing for bankruptcy, a person or a business can eradicate most or all of their debt in a relatively short period of time, or pay back what they owe over time by way of an agreed-upon payment plan. A Roswell bankruptcy lawyer from The Sherman Law Group can help you find out more about the process.
Are There Different Types of Bankruptcy?
There are three primary types of bankruptcy, and they each cater to those with specific financial situations or needs:
- Chapter 7, or “straight bankruptcy,” involves a person liquidating their non-exempt assets for the purpose of paying back creditors. Their debt is usually discharged by the court in a period of months.
- Chapter 11 serves businesses and individuals with high debt loads, and involves being given more time to pay off debt so that they can reorganize/restructure and return to financial viability.
- Chapter 13 sees the individual working out a payment plan with their creditors through the bankruptcy court, and then making payments on that plan until their debts are satisfied. This method typically takes a number of years.
Can All Debts Be Discharged in a Bankruptcy?
Only those debts that have been incurred prior to filing for bankruptcy are eligible for discharge. Any debts incurred after the fact are not able to be addressed by the person’s current bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, there are also debts that are always ineligible for discharge, no matter when they were incurred. These include child support debts, alimony, student loans, and back taxes.
Does One Have to Qualify for Bankruptcy?Each bankruptcy type has certain qualifications that a person must meet before their petition will be accepted. Those intending to file for Chapter 7 must take a “means test” that establishes the validity (or lack thereof) of their financial hardship. Those intending to file for Chapter 13 must be able to prove that they have the income necessary to make payments to their creditors on their payment plan.