Contrary to popular belief, when you are arrested for DUI, you can fight your charges and even possibly overcome them! It's important to understand that like any other criminal offense; you are legally entitled to a defense! For some reason a lot of people forget this fact, but attorney Richard S. Lawson has proven over and over again that DUI charges can be effectively challenged in court! Over Mr. Lawson's 20 plus years in the field of DUI law, he has helped more than 4,000 Georgians keep their driver's license despite the criminal charges they were facing!
Please, feel free to browse through this website for more information on the DUI process. For further information you are encouraged to contact a Gwinnet County DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson without delay.
The state of Georgia is harsh when it comes to all criminal matters, including DUI. If you are convicted of DUI and this is your first offense, you can expect to lose your license for up to 1 year, pay up to $1,000 in fines, and you will face up to 1 year in jail and up to 40 hours of community service.
With DUIs, the penalties for any second or subsequent conviction increase accordingly. The penalties for a second DUI are up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, a minimum of 30 days of community service and up to 3 years driver's license suspension.
If you are convicted of a 3rd DUI and you have two prior convictions for DUI, then you are in serious legal trouble. The penalties for a 3rd DUI are up to 12 months in jail, up to $5,000 in fines, a minimum of 30 days community service and a license suspension for 5 years.
Best DUI Lawyer
When you are facing criminal charges of any sort, you are facing the negative consequences of a criminal conviction. Since your family, your future and your freedom are on the line, you owe it to yourself to find the best Gwinnett County DUI attorney you can find.
The DUI process begins with initial traffic stop. The first thing the police will do is ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. Depending on how you perform these tests and any other obvious signs of impairment the officer will ask you to submit to a breath test.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The short answer is yes, you need a lawyer to defend you against your DUI charges. A skilled and aggressive attorney will know exactly how and where to look for flaws in a DUI case. These potential flaws or errors can be the key to getting your charges dismissed.
Accidents and Serious Injuries by Vehicle
If you were involved in an accident involving serious bodily injury than chances are you will be facing serious criminal charges. An experienced attorney can enlist the services of independent investigators to examine the accident and the circumstances leading up to it.
Once you are arrested for DUI, you have just 30 from the date of your arrest to request an ALS hearing to challenge your driver's license suspension. The ALS hearing is separate from the criminal hearing as it strictly addresses your driving privileges.
Blood & Breath Tests
Blood and breath tests are chemical tests which measure the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in a person's blood. The results of these tests are used as evidence against a driver to secure a DUI conviction. Failure to submit to a blood or breath test results in an automatic license suspension.
In Georgia, if you are arrested for drunk driving and you are found to have had a child under the age of 14 in your vehicle at the time of the arrest, then you will face child endangerment charges on top of the DUI charges. If you are convicted of DUI and child endangerment you will be classified as a "habitual offender," even if you don't have a prior criminal record.
DUI Under 21
In Georgia, it's against the law for an underage driver to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of just .02% or higher. If they are found driving with alcohol in their system then they will be charged with DUI. The laws in this state come down hard on underage drivers, and if you are facing this legal situation, it's critical to enlist an attorney at once.
Field Sobriety Tests
There are three standardized field sobriety tests that are used by law enforcement across the nation to assess whether or not a driver is intoxicated. Even when correctly administered, these tests are only 77% correct. These tests are used to gain "probable cause" to make a DUI arrest.
GA DUI By Out of State Driver
Just because you were arrested in Georgia, doesn't mean you're off the hook. Today, most states share information with each other's databases. Meaning, if you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, then you can expect to experience the same consequences to your license in your home state.
If you are found in possession of marijuana, your driver's license will be suspended for six months for the first offense. A second marijuana possession charge will result in a 1 year driver's license suspension. If you are found in possession of more than an ounce, you face felony charges.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
Minors who are caught possessing or purchasing alcohol face serious penalties. The penalties associated with a conviction include a driver's license suspension, which is a serious problem for minors who need to drive to work or school.
Plea Bargain vs. Trial
In some DUI cases the prosecutor will offer a plea bargain to someone who is being charged with DUI. If you are offered a plea bargain you will have to decide whether to plead guilty to the lesser charge or go to trial. It's important to discuss your options as well as the implications with a DUI attorney.
Prescription Drugs & DUI
People are often surprised to learn that they can be convicted of DUI for driving on their lawfully prescribed medications. As the pool of drunk drivers on the roads has been decreasing, the numbers of people under the influence of prescription drugs have sharply increased.
Prior DUI Convictions
Anyone who is arrested for DUI and has a prior conviction within the last five years faces up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, up to 3 years license suspension, court mandated drug or alcohol Risk Reduction Program, probation, and much more.
Breath Test Refusals
Under the "implied consent" law once you accept your driver's license from the DDS, you are agreeing to consent to submit to a chemical test in the form of a breath test, a blood test or a urine test if you are under suspicion of drunk driving; failure to submit to a chemical test when asked to can result in a 12 month automatic license suspension.
Georgia law enforcement has the habit of setting up sobriety roadside checkpoints throughout Gwinnet County's city streets and rural roads. In order to set up a checkpoint, they must follow a specific legal protocol. If you were arrested at one of these "checkpoints," attorney Richard S. Lawson can question the legality of the checkpoint itself.
When you are arrested for DUI you face up to 1 year driver's license suspension. If you want to challenge your driver's license suspension you must request an ALS hearing within just 10 days of your DUI arrest, otherwise you lose your right to fight for your driving privileges permanently.
Vehicular homicide can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Georgia, depending on the facts surrounding the case. If you were drunk driving and caused death to another human being, then you are in a very serious legal situation.
Violation of Probation
If you violate any of the terms of your DUI probation, you can be sent to jail and face the maximum sentence for the original charges. Should the judge decide that you are in contempt of court and deserving of the maximum penalties, then you are in a bad situation.
Seasoned & Aggressive Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, the founding attorney Richard S. Lawson has been practicing in the field of DUI law for more than 20 years. Not only that but he is also a former DUI prosecutor, which gives him a unique insight into how the prosecution thinks and acts. He always uses what he learned as a DUI prosecutor to give his clients the greatest advantage. Over the course of his career he has successfully resolved over 4,900 DUI cases and he has helped over 4,000 Georgians retain their driver's licenses. If you are looking for the best DUI defense in Gwinnett County, you have come to the right place!
Contact Gwinnett County DUI defense attorney Richard S. Lawson for top-notch legal support in your DUI case!