Four Critical DUI Defenses in Georgia
Columbus GA DUI Lawyer Mark Jones Discusses Four DUI Defenses
In Georgia, the four main defenses to a driving under the influence charges in Georgia. Most of these are based on the Fourth Amendment, which is Lawyer Mark Jones’ guiding principle in criminal cases. However some of these defenses are based on evidentiary issues. It is critical that you hire an experienced DUI attorney to defend you in your DUI case. Do not try to handle the matter on your own.
For instance, if you are in the Army, you will face the very real possibility that your military career will be over if you are not able to get the DUI charge reduced or defeated in court. For younger defendants, a DUI will impact their ability to obtain entrance in college, graduate, or professional school, depending on the severity of the offense.
So what are some of the defenses DUI lawyers use to defend their clients against DUI charges brought by the State of Georgia?
Challenge the Validity of The Traffic Stop:
The US Supreme Court has held that in Georgia in order to make a lawful independent stop of a driver, the police officer must have “reasonable suspicion” that a violation of the law has occurred or is in progress. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968). Oftentimes, this will come in the form of an independent traffic offense committed by the driver such as: speeding, failure to maintain lane, running a red light, or expired tags. An experienced DUI lawyer should be well-versed in the nuances of Georgia’s caselaw concerning what provides reasonable suspicion that a driver is committing a DUI.
Ordinarily, the validity of a traffic stop is challenged via a motion to suppress filed by your defense attorney.
Challenge Probable Cause to Arrest:
In order to pull someone over or detain them very briefly, the police must have reasonable articulable suspicion, but in order to arrest someone for DUI, the police must have probable cause. Probable cause must exist to arrest someone under our law. Oftentimes, the basis for the arrest will be the “failing” of field-sobriety tests such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN test), finger-to-nose test, walk and turn test, or the one leg stand. Although these tests are highly subjective, Courts and officers alike will employ these in determining whether there is/was probable cause to arrest someone suspected of DUI. Of course, the alco-sensor is also used, although it is highly inaccurate.
Challenge Implied Consent:
In Georgia, the police officers, state troopers, and task force members (such as the nighthawks), must comply with Georgia’s implied consent law, whereby a standardized warning is read to you (depending on your age and license type). The warning informs the driver of his/her right to an independent chemical test as well as his/her right to refuse the state-administered test. It also informs the driver that failure to take the state-administered test will result in a one-year license suspension. Failure to read the implied consent warning to driver will result in exclusion of any breath, blood, or urine test results.
Challenge the Breath, Blood, or Urine Test:
You can also challenge the actual test itself and how it was administered. For the intoxilyzer 5000, common defenses revolve around calibration, operator certification, and improper maintenance. For blood tests, common defenses include the use of an expired blood test kit, improper storage, improper labeling, lack of phlebotomy certification by the medical technician, or use of a non-criminal processing hospital.
DUI cases require an attorney experienced in DUI defense. For soldiers, your career is on the line. For the general public, your license is on the line. For younger persons, your future educational prospects are on the line. Mark Jones and his team are available to fight for you in court at a reasonable, cost-effective price. Call Mark and his team today to represent you in your DUI case.
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