Many lawyers repeatedly tell people that the 10-day letter is the most important thing to be done following an Atlanta DUI arrest. Certainly, the 10-day letter or administrative license suspension (ALS) appeal letter is crucial. The 10-day letter keeps your driver's license or privilege to drive in Georgia valid until a hearing has been held upon the suspension is undoubtedly important, but if your attorney is seeking to actually defend your DUI charge, there are some more pressing concerns that we believe can be more helpful to you. Also, be mindful that many DUI attorneys in Atlanta (and other areas, to be fair) try to place a tremendous amount pressure on people to retain them immediately following arrest. These attorneys try to do this in a multitude of different ways, but the 2 most common are:
- Telling the client that representation is required at the 1st appearance in the DUI Court in the Atlanta Municipal Court, and
- Impressing upon the client the importance of the lawyer filing the 10-day letter immediately.
Those are valid concerns, but I don't think lawyers should be stressing clients out over these issues. These items are relatively low stress, so let's turn to what is really time-sensitive.
ACTING TO PRESERVE AND RETAIN CRUCIAL EVIDENCE IN YOUR ATLANTA DUI CASE
Much to the surprise of many people, many DUI cases in and around Atlanta do not have a video of the arrest. Therefore, obtaining any video evidence of the Defendant's condition can be vital. Further, much to the surprise of many people, there are videos of DUI defendants that even prosecutors do not have.
THE TACTICAL ADVANTAGE OF HAVING DUI VIDEOS THAT THE STATE DOES NOT
There is a distinct advantage in having a video that the prosecution does not. An attorney that has a video that the prosecution does not have has an emotional and tactical advantage in the trial of the case. Most juries view videos as the most critical and reliable evidence in DUI cases, so a defendant that produces a video that the prosecution does not have is viewed as better prepared.
THE IMPORTANCE OF REQUESTING JAIL AND BREATH TESTING ROOM VIDEOS EARLY
Videos from the Atlanta Detention Center, Fulton County Jail, and other local jails are lost if they are not requested soon after a DUI arrest. Breath testing videos, in particular, can be essential in the defense of a DUI case. However, the State is under no obligation to preserve the videos, so your DUI attorney in Georgia must request preservation of the videos immediately following your arrest.
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