If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may be feeling hopeless. Not only could you be facing the suspension of your driver's license, but you may even be sentenced to time behind bars if you are convicted. Fortunately, you are not without options. What you may not realize is that there are several different ways to fight your DUI charges; however, the first and most important step is to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney at Henrickson & Sereebutra. As former prosecutors with more than 75 years of experience, we know how to win a difficult case.
#1: Failing a Breath or Blood Test is Not the End of Your Case
Most people think that they will automatically be convicted of DUI if they have taken, and failed, a breathalyzer or blood test. Although it might make it more difficult to fight your charges if test results show that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was above the legal limit, this does not have to be the final nail in your coffin. With the help of a DUI defense lawyer, you can challenge the validity of a breath or blood test, or even move to have this evidence suppressed before trial. Our firm has seen BAC evidence thrown out due to illegal stops, lack of probable cause, rights violations and much more.
Learn more about challenging DUI evidence by clicking here.
#2: You Can Fight to Save Your Driver's License
After being arrested for DUI or refusing to participate in a breath or blood test, your license may be confiscated. However, the automatic suspension will not go into effect right away. You have the right to challenge the impending suspension by scheduling an administrative hearing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) within 10 days of your arrest. If you fail to request a hearing within this period of time, the suspension will automatically go into effect. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney at our firm as soon as you have been arrested for DUI.
Learn more about DUI license suspension by clicking here.
#3: Field Sobriety Tests are Only 70% Reliable
One of the first things that you may be asked to do after being pulled over for suspected drunk driving is to participate in a series of field sobriety tests. Some of these tests may include the one-leg stand, the walk, and turn or the horizontal gaze nystagmus. While all of these tests were validated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the 1970s, it is important to understand that they are not reliable indicators of alcohol impairment. In fact, studies have shown that they are only accurate about 70% of the time. For this reason, you are not required to take any of these tests.
Learn more about field sobriety tests by clicking here.
#4: Accepting a Plea Bargain is Not Your Only Option
If you have been arrested for DUI, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer. You may be pressured into pleading guilty for the promise of a lighter sentence, but you should know that this is not your only option. Even if there is significant evidence against you, you won't know what you are really up against until you have spoken to an attorney. We have seen countless DUI cases dismissed, even when our clients were facing up to 12 months in jail. When you work with Henrickson & Sereebutra, we will explain all of your options and help you make an informed decision.