Below is a list of the 5 most common mistakes in Georgia DUI cases. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but these are some issues that commonly arise in DUI cases and ones that attorneys handling DUI cases commonly screw up:
- Not filing a 10-day letter. The administrative license suspension in Georgia is triggered by the arresting officer in a DUI case sending a DDS Form 1205 or 1205-S to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The administrative license suspension in Georgia does not occur automatically or immediately. The suspension, if does in fact occur, will take place 30 days after the issuance of the Form 1205 or Form 1205-S. However, there is absolutely no reason why your Georgia driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia should be suspended 30 days after your DUI arrest. The suspension can be quickly and easily stayed until a hearing is held upon the suspension before the Office of State Administrative Hearings. The suspension imposed following a DUI arrest is stayed (or put on hold) with the filing of a 10-day letter that appeals the suspension.
- Accepting the blood, breath, or urine results based on a printed result and making a decision based solely on that result. As a general rule, blood, breath, or urine tests should not be the basis for the entry of a guilty plea until a qualified DUI attorney has performed a thorough investigation as to the admissibility of the tests results. If the test results are not admissible against you in your case, they certainly should not be the basis of the entry of a guilty plea.
- Buying into the validity of field sobriety tests. Don't let anyone try to convince you that 4 out of 8 possible on the walk-and-turn test or a certain number of clues on any given field sobriety test means that you were impaired in your ability to drive safely. We understand how to effectively undercut these types of allegations.
- Failing to understand the significance of the administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing. The administrative license suspension hearing is an important, if not crucial, part of your case. Any decision made in the administrative license suspension case should be made with a full understanding of the impact of the decision made in an ALS hearing upon the available choices in your criminal DUI case.
- Not giving yourself a chance to win at motions and trial. Every time that a DUI case goes to court on a contested hearing (motion hearing or trial), you have a chance to win the case. Except in very limited circumstances (for example, Uniform Act proceedings), the State always has the burden of proof. Contested hearings are stressful, but they present opportunities. The issues that we litigate at motions hearing and trials are sometimes distinct, but some carry over.
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