Dawson County DUI Lawyer

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Dawson County DUI Attorney

It is illegal for anyone to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, yet driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most commonly prosecuted criminal offenses in Dawson County and throughout Georgia. If you have been charged with DUI, you must know your rights, how to build a defense against the charge, and the value of having an experienced Dawson County DUI lawyer representing you in criminal court.

Experienced Criminal Defense Counsel for DUI Charges in Dawson County, GA

The attorneys at Teague Law have extensive professional experience providing responsive and effective criminal defense counsel to clients accused of all types of criminal offenses in Dawson County, including DUI. We know what could be at stake in your case and the challenges you could face in building your defense. Our goal is to help you reach a positive outcome for your case as swiftly as possible.

If you are arrested for the first time, it is an understandably stressful experience that could be life-changing in many ways. It is natural to worry about the penalties you could face, and your situation may also feel desperate if you are accused of a DUI offense you did not commit. If you have previous DUI convictions, it is understandable to worry about how a new charge could lead to increased penalties.

Ultimately, every DUI case is unique, and every defendant will face different challenges when it comes to fighting their charges. Many people in this situation are not fully aware of their rights and the value of having experienced legal counsel representing them in criminal court. The first steps you take immediately following an arrest for DUI are crucial, and it is essential that you reach out to a Dawson County DUI lawyer at your first opportunity.

Benefits of Hiring Defense Counsel for Your Dawson County DUI Case

The attorneys at Teague Law have practiced criminal defense in Dawson County and surrounding areas for many years. Our firm has a reputation as a leading choice for defense representation in all types of criminal cases, and we have deep roots in the Dawson County community that we leverage on behalf of our clients. We know the local prosecutors, judges, and court officers who regularly handle DUI cases.

Partner Sarah Sevcech graduated from the University of North Georgia and has been a professional legal presence in the area since. The team at Teague Law knows the local customs, laws, and regulations that are likely to come into play in your case and will do everything in our power to help our client. We aim to provide each client we represent with every advantage we can provide as their case unfolds.

No defense attorney can ever promise any client a specific outcome to their case, but the attorneys at Teague Law can promise responsive communication throughout your proceedings, answers to your most pressing legal questions, and unwavering support no matter what your case entails. A Dawson County DUI lawyer can be an invaluable asset for helping you avoid conviction if possible or minimizing your penalty if necessary.

Know Your Rights During an Arrest for DUI

Many people who are arrested for suspected crimes are not fully aware of their rights in this situation, or they may make mistakes that jeopardize their ability to defend themselves as their cases unfold. The Constitution ensures that every American citizen is protected from self-incrimination by the Fifth Amendment and has the right to legal representation under the Sixth Amendment. It is vital that you understand and exercise these rights after an arrest for DUI.

When it comes to your right to remain silent, it means you are not required to act as a witness against yourself. You are under no obligation to answer any questions from the police. Do not make the mistake of thinking that remaining silent makes you look guilty. The reality is that if you try to explain your side of the situation, you are likely to unintentionally say something that will be used against you.

Comply with arresting officers’ instructions; do not resist arrest; otherwise, you could face additional charges. Politely comply with instructions through the arrest and booking process, and eventually, you will have the opportunity to make phone calls. This does not mean you are required to submit to any test or answer any questions – you do have a right to refuse, but you should do so polielty. At your earliest opportunity, reach out to the Dawson County DUI lawyers at Teague Law so they can respond to your situation and start building your case right away.

The Sixth Amendment ensures you have the right to legal counsel when you are accused of a crime. It is vital to take full advantage of this right and select an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the local area and has a proven track record of successful criminal defense in cases like yours. Teague Law has helped many past clients navigate their DUI cases with confidence, and we are ready to make this experience work for you.

If you believe the arresting officers have mishandled you, violated due process, or breached your civil or constitutional rights, bring this to your attorney’s attention immediately. For example, if the arresting officer never read you your Miranda rights, it could be a major due process violation that could heavily influence your criminal case. Teague Law can identify any such variables you might be able to leverage in your defense.

DUI Charges in Dawson County

The criminal court system of Dawson County prosecutes various forms of DUI charges. It is possible for any DUI to be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, and there are special rules for certain types of DUI charges. For example, boating under the influence (DUI) applies to any incident in which a person operates a watercraft while intoxicated, and underage DUI pertains to a DUI charge filed against a driver under the age of 21.

It is also possible for a driver to be charged with aggravated DUI under certain conditions, such as causing an accident resulting in injury or death. Additionally, such cases are likely to result in more than one charge being filed against the driver. They may be charged with reckless endangerment, vehicular manslaughter, or criminal negligence.

Police in Dawson County verify DUI with alcohol by using a blood or breath analysis. DUI with drugs must be confirmed with a blood test, and there are special rules that the police must follow to ensure a credible sample. When it comes to alcohol, the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) for most drivers is .08%, while the legal limit for commercial vehicle drivers is only .04%, and the limit for drivers under 21 is .02%.

Police must follow specific rules when it comes to administering tests for DUI. Georgia’s implied consent law allows the Government to file and Administrative License Suspension (ALS) thtat can result in an automatic suspension if you fail to take action within 30 days from the arrest. They might ask a driver to perform a field sobriety test, but the implied consent law does not include preliminary alcohol screening, and the driver is not required to submit to the test.

Field sobriety tests typically involve mobility assessments that can be very difficult for some sober people to complete. Agreeing to take a test to prove that you are not intoxicated may not work out in your favor. If you fail the test, you could be providing the officer with probable cause to arrest you. If you are arrested and refuse a test, you face an automatic administrative license suspension (ALS) from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

After a DUI arrest, you will only have 30 days to request an ALS hearing and argue to have your license reinstated or to secure a restricted/limited license that will allow you to continue driving for work and emergencies. If you do not file your request for a hearing or apply for an interlock permit (if you are eligible) within this 30-day time limit, you will not get another opportunity and could face a full-year suspension of your driver’s license.

Penalties for DUI in Dawson County

State law allows judges who sentence defendants convicted of DUI the discretionary authority to adjust a sentence as they see fit, but there are baseline penalties for different levels of DUI offenses. Generally, the most important variables that can determine a defendant’s penalty are whether they have a record of past DUI convictions and whether they harmed anyone in an accident. Other aggravating and mitigating factors can also come into play.

Aggravating factors work against the defendant, increasing the likelihood that they will face severe penalties if they are convicted. Mitigating factors work in the opposite manner and may lead to some leniency in sentencing. For example, if a defendant has never broken the law before, did not cause an accident, and displays genuine remorse, these are potentially valuable mitigating factors.

At a basic level, there are specific penalties assigned that vary based on the number of previous DUI convictions a defendant has on their record. A first-time DUI will typically lead to a fine of up to $1,000, a minimum of 24 hours in jail, up to a maximum of one year in jail, and a driver’s license suspension of up to one year. The defendant may also be required to complete a substance abuse treatment program and perform community service at the judge’s direction.

Many judges are willing to offer probation in lieu of jail time for first offenders. If a defendant is sentenced to probation, they will need to follow various conditions and maintain contact with an assigned probation officer. If they successfully complete probation, they will avoid jail time. However, if they violate probation or break the law again during their probationary period, they are likely to face harsh penalties.

If a defendant is convicted of a second DUI within five years of the first DUI conviction, their penalties automatically increase. Their fine may range from $600 to $1,000. They face a minimum of 72 hours in jail, up to one year in jail, and their driver’s license will be suspended for up to three years. The judge could also order the defendant to perform community service, attend DUI school, and complete a substance abuse treatment program.

For a second or greater DUI in the state, judges will commonly require defendants to have ignition interlock devices (IIDs) installed on their vehicles after their driver’s licenses are reinstated. An IID will require a driver to breathe into the device before the vehicle starts and at random intervals while the vehicle is in operation. If the driver does not provide a sample or if they have a detectable BAC, the device logs the event and will not allow the vehicle to start.

A third DUI conviction within five years of the second conviction results in greatly increased penalties. The defendant’s fine increases to between $1,000 and $5,000, and they face a mandatory 15 days in jail, but their total jail sentence could be 120 days to one year. Their driver’s license will be revoked for five years, and the DMV will seize their vehicle’s license plate. Other penalties may be assigned at the discretion of the sentencing judge.

Anyone who is arrested for a third or greater DUI will be legally classified as a habitual offender. Their picture and information pertaining to their most recent arrest will be published in county newspapers to notify the public that they are potentially dangerous. The defendant will also be required to complete a full clinical evaluation to determine whether they have a substance abuse disorder, and if so, they must complete a treatment program at their own expense.

Felony Driving Under the Influence

If a driver is convicted of a fourth DUI within 10 years of their third conviction, they face an automatic felony. They will be incarcerated in state prison for up to five years and face up to 10 years of driver’s license suspension. Their fines will also increase, and additional penalties assigned by the judge will be more expansive as well.

It is also possible for a driver to face a felony DUI charge based on the severity of their actions. If they caused an accident resulting in great bodily injury or death, had an excessively high BAC, or if their case involves multiple other aggravating factors, they could automatically qualify for prosecution at the felony level.

Additional Penalties Outside of Criminal Court

When you are charged with DUI in Dawson County, it is natural to worry about the penalties that could be assigned to you in criminal court. However, the reality is that a DUI can present additional consequences outside of the criminal court system. This is especially likely if you caused an accident with another driver while under the influence.

If you hurt anyone because of intoxicated driving, you will not only face criminal prosecution from the state but also a civil claim from the victim. They will likely file a claim against your auto insurance policy to recoup their losses, and if your insurance cannot fully cover their damages, they may file a personal injury suit against you. If you caused a fatal injury, you should expect to face a wrongful death suit from the family of the victim.

Your insurance premium on your auto insurance policy is also likely to increase after a DUI conviction, or your conviction may count as a violation of your policy terms, and your insurer may cancel your policy. Ultimately, many people convicted of DUI will face significantly increased insurance premiums after their driver’s licenses are reinstated.

Building Your Defense to a DUI Charge in Dawson County

In every criminal case, it is up to the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard of proof that will require the prosecution to present evidence and testimony that proves that there is no room for any reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant committed the offense. The burden of proof rests on the prosecution, and it is the defense attorney’s job to prevent them from meeting this burden of proof.

You may have more defenses available to you than you initially realize, and your Dawson County DUI lawyer can help you leverage all available defenses as effectively as possible. Depending on the specific details of your case, successfully avoiding conviction may require proof of a mistake of fact, a mistake of law, procedural violations, or a combination of different forms of exculpatory evidence.

Some people have medical conditions that can give them the appearance of intoxication or cause them to report a false positive on a chemical test for DUI. Your defense attorney can help you expose any such issues in your case, such as by securing medical records that prove the nature of your medical condition.

If you believe you did not commit the offense, you may need to prove a mistake of fact by challenging the results of the chemical test that was administered following your arrest. You may need to argue that the test was performed incorrectly or that the results were compromised in some way. It is also possible that you may need to prove a mistake of law, such as the police officer’s failure to properly establish probable cause before conducting your arrest.

Some people are subjected to excessive force or even brutality while in police custody. If you have been mistreated, you must bring this to your attorney’s attention immediately. They can help you address the situation, leverage the facts effectively in your defense, and may help you secure accountability against any officers who violated your rights and their professional duties.

Your Dawson County DUI lawyer will know what defenses are most viable in your situation. However, if you did break the law, you can still rely on your defense attorney to help you potentially avoid the worst of the penalties you could face if you are convicted. Your defense lawyer may engage in plea bargaining with the prosecutor if the prosecutor is willing to offer a plea deal.

Plea bargaining allows the court system to conserve resources and may allow a defendant to mitigate their penalties when the prosecutor is sure to secure a conviction. In exchange for the defendant pleading guilty, the prosecutor may offer reduced charges and/or lighter penalties. Your attorney can advise you as to whether this may come into play as an option in your case and, if so, whether you should accept the deal or fight the charge in court.

What to Expect From Your Dawson County DUI Lawyer

Teague Law has the professional resources, experience, and skills necessary to provide compelling criminal defense representation in the most challenging cases. You can rely on our firm to help you determine your most viable defenses, prepare you for each new phase of your case, and do everything we can to help you avoid conviction if at all possible or minimize your penalties if necessary.

You have a very short time to request an ALS hearing after an arrest for DUI if you want to keep your driver’s license or secure a restricted license. Connecting with a Dawson County DUI lawyer right away can ensure you meet this deadline and provide your defense team with ample time to collect exculpatory evidence and begin building your case.

Remember your rights if you are arrested for DUI in Dawson County. Say nothing until you are able to speak with an experienced defense attorney. When you choose Teague Law to represent you, you can expect us to respond quickly to requests for legal counsel. We can review the police report from your arrest, examine the details of your arrest and booking, and meet with you to hear your side of the story.

Teague Law has a reputation for successful DUI defense cases in Dawson County, and we are prepared to leverage the full extent of our skills and experience to handle your case. Contact us today and schedule your free initial consultation with a Dawson County DUI lawyer to help you build the strongest possible defense.


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