Union County DUI Lawyer

Home /  Union County DUI Lawyer

Union County DUI Attorney

Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal throughout the United States, but DUI consistently ranks as one of the most commonly prosecuted crimes in the state. If you have been arrested for DUI in Union County, you must know your rights in this situation and the importance of connecting with an experienced and reliable Union County DUI lawyer as quickly as you can after your arrest.

The team at Teague Law has cultivated a strong professional reputation as the leading choice for criminal defense counsel in Union County and surrounding areas of Georgia. We develop an individualized defense strategy for every client we represent, addressing their unique needs and concerns as their cases unfold. We can provide the responsive and results-driven criminal defense counsel you need when you have been charged with DUI in Union County.

Criminal Defense Counsel for DUI in Union County, GA

It is vital for everyone to know their constitutional rights when they are arrested for any crime. Experiencing an arrest for the first time can be a distressing situation, and many people make critical mistakes that jeopardize their forthcoming legal proceedings. Teague Law can help you understand your situation in clearer detail, potentially enabling you to reach a better outcome in your case than you might expect.

Our goal for your case is to help you avoid conviction if at all possible, but if you did break the law and the prosecution has a solid case against you, you can rely on our team to do everything we can to mitigate the penalties that could be assigned to you in sentencing. No defense attorney can ever promise their client a specific outcome to their case, but we can promise responsive communication and close attention to detail in every stage of your proceedings.

Have Your Questions Answered During Your First Visit

During your initial consultation with your Union County DUI lawyer, you can get the answers you need to your most important legal questions, clarify the defensive options available to you, and learn how your defense team can help you approach your case with confidence. Teague Law is ready to leverage the extent of our firm’s experience, skills, and resources in managing your defense in your Union County DUI case.

Our team has strong roots in the area, and we know the local prosecutors, judges, and court officials who are likely to manage your case. We’ll help you understand how your case will unfold, identify the greatest challenges you face in building your defense, and uncover opportunities you can leverage to your benefit that you may have overlooked on your own. The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can begin building your defense.

Know Your Rights During an Arrest in Union County

Every American citizen is protected by the United States Constitution, and two amendments in particular come into play when a citizen is arrested for a crime. First, the Fifth Amendment preserves their right to remain silent upon arrest so they are not forced to self-incriminate. Second, the Sixth Amendment ensures they can have a legal representative defend them in court. It is vital to exercise both of these rights to the fullest possible extent.

No matter what the arresting officers may say to the contrary, you are under no obligation to answer any of their questions once you are placed under arrest. You are not required to give a statement or sign any statements prepared for you. Comply with their directions so you are not accused of resisting arrest, but say nothing until you are allowed to make your phone calls. Immediately reach out to Teague Law so we can start building your defense.

Remain Silent After Miranda Warning, Except to Ask to Speak With Your Attorney

When you are placed under arrest, the arresting officer is legally obligated to read you your Miranda rights, which is a succinct explanation of your Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights as they apply in this situation. Listen carefully to what they say and remain silent until you are allowed to make your phone call to a defense attorney. If they do not read you your Miranda rights, notify your attorney immediately.

Many people who are arrested for DUI, especially those arrested for the first time and those who know they have done nothing wrong, may make the mistake of trying to explain their way out of this situation. While this is understandable, it is often a critical error that will backfire tremendously on them. Assume that anything you say to the police will be taken out of context, and do your utmost to remain silent until you can speak to your Union County DUI lawyer.

Important Rules for DUI Arrests in Union County

There are specific rules the police must follow in performing an arrest for a DUI. Generally, these cases begin when a police officer notices suspicious activity from a driver or catches them committing a moving violation. They will initiate a traffic stop, and if they establish probable cause that the driver is intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, they will arrest the driver for DUI. It is important to understand how an officer may establish probable cause in this situation.

The police officer may observe the driver slurring their speech, they may detect the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, or they may see open alcohol containers inside the vehicle. They may also see evidence of drug use. If a police officer does not notice any such evidence, they may ask the driver to perform a field sobriety test or preliminary alcohol screening. However, these tests are not required by the state’s implied consent law.

Georgia implied consent law allows for an Admistrative License Suspension (ALS) to be filed if a driver refused to submit to a chemical test after they have been lawfully arrested for DUI. If an ALS is filed the driver has 30 days from the date of arrest fo either file an appeal to keep their license or apply for an interlock permit (if they are eligible).

You are not required to perform a field sobriety test. Do not assume that passing the test will prove that you are sober. The reality may be that the police officer is looking for you to fail the test so they can use that as probable cause to arrest you. However, if they do arrest you and you refuse to take a chemical test, it would be a violation of the implied consent law, and you would face an automatic Administrative License Suspension (ALS).

If your license is suspended in this manner, you will only have 30 days to request an ALS hearing. During this hearing you can request reinstatement if you believe you did not commit the DUI or request a restricted license that will let you drive for work and for emergencies. However, if you do not request your hearing within this 30-day time limit, you will lose this opportunity and will not be allowed to appeal your driver’s license suspension.

The legal BAC limit for most drivers is .08%. Anything above this amount, even .081%, qualifies as a DUI with alcohol. For commercial vehicle drivers, the BAC limit is .04%, and the legal limit for drivers under the age of 21 is .02%. Any detectable amount of drugs in a driver’s chemical test will qualify as DUI with drugs, but due to the metabolization rate of many substances, it is possible for drugs to appear on a test even though the driver was not intoxicated.

Possible Penalties for DUI Conviction in Union County

The state enforces strict penalties for DUI convictions, and the penalties increase based on multiple variables. Generally, the most important factors for consideration when it comes to determining the severity of a convicted defendant’s penalty will be whether they have a record of prior DUI convictions and whether they caused an accident while under the influence. Many other aggravating and mitigating factors can also influence the final outcome of the case.

Aggravating factors will generally lead to harsher penalties for a defendant, while mitigating penalties work in their favor and potentially lead to leniency in sentencing. For example, if a defendant has been arrested for the very first time, shows genuine remorse for their actions, and did not cause an accident, these are important mitigating factors that will work in their favor.

Aggravating factors could include excessively high BAC, operating a vehicle under the influence of both drugs and alcohol, driving recklessly while under the influence, or causing an accident, especially one resulting in severe injury or death. If the defendant has committed a prior DUI, harsher penalties will also be applied. Generally, a subsequent DUI within five years of a prior conviction automatically increases the defendant’s penalty.

First-time DUI convictions in the state result in a maximum fine of $1,000, a mandatory 24 hours in jail, and a maximum of one year in jail, unless certain exceptions apply, a driver’s license suspension of up to one year, and at least 40 hours of community service. The judge may also assign additional penalties at their discretion, such as mandatory DUI school or a substance abuse treatment program at the defendant’s own expense.

A second DUI within five years of the first conviction raises the defendant’s fine, with a maximum fine of $1,000, they will be required to serve a minimum of 72 hours in jail up to one year, and their driver’s license suspension period extends to two years. Additionally, the judge may require the defendant to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle after their license is reinstated. This device requires a clean breath sample to start the vehicle.

A third DUI conviction within five years of the second conviction increases the fine from $1,000 to $5,000, a mandatory minimum of 15 days in jail with a 120-day to one-year sentence, and they will lose their driver’s license for five years. Additionally, after three DUI convictions, the driver is legally classified as a habitual offender. The information of their arrest will be published in local newspapers as they will be deemed a threat to public safety.

After three DUI convictions, the defendant will be legally required to complete a clinical evaluation to determine whether they have a substance abuse disorder. If they do, the court will require them to complete a substance abuse treatment program at their own expense. If they are later convicted of a fourth DUI within ten years of the third conviction, they face an automatic felony DUI charge with severe penalties.

Punishments for felony DUI in Georgia include incarceration in state prison, up to 10 years of driver’s license suspension, and additional penalties assigned at the discretion of the sentencing judge. Beyond the scope of penalties a defendant could face if they are convicted of DUI in Union County, there are also many other economic effects they can face outside of court.

Often Overlooked Consequences of DUI in Union County

While a defendant charged with DUI in Union County may be worried about the penalties they could face in sentencing, they can also face a wide range of additional effects they may not initially expect. If they caused an accident with another driver, it is especially likely that the injured driver will seek compensation for their losses with an auto insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit.

If you are sued for causing a drunk driving accident, you could be found responsible for all the damages you inflicted on another party. They can seek compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost income, and the pain and suffering they experienced from the accident. If you caused a fatal crash, you are not only likely to face felony DUI prosecution but also a wrongful death lawsuit from the surviving family of the victim.

Your DUI conviction can also affect your auto insurance coverage. Your insurance carrier could cancel your policy if a DUI is a violation of your policy’s terms, or they may increase your premium rate. This can significantly raise the cost of your insurance for years to come. DUI may also diminish your standing in your local community, and you could also lose your professional license, forcing you to find a new job while having a criminal record.

Building a Defense Against a DUI Charge in Union County

In every criminal case, the burden of proof rests on the prosecution. It is the prosecution’s job to prove that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a very high standard of proof. Meeting this burden of proof means presenting evidence to show that there is no room for any doubt as to whether the defendant committed the crime. The prosecution will leverage all available evidence and witness testimony to make their case.

Your Union County DUI lawyer can be your most valuable asset for preventing the prosecution from meeting their burden of proof. Depending on the unique details of your case, one or more defenses could be available to you. If you did not commit the DUI and were wrongfully arrested, success with your defense may require proving a mistake of fact, a mistake of law, or a due process violation.

Proving a mistake of fact means challenging the prosecution’s evidence. For example, if you intend to challenge the chemical test that reported you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may need to prove that your test was not administered correctly or that the testing facility that processed your sample compromised the result in some way.

It is also possible for a person to have a medical condition that can cause symptoms that give the appearance of intoxication, or their condition may cause them to report a false positive on a chemical test for DUI. In either case, their Union County DUI lawyer can help them gather any medical records necessary to prove the nature of their condition and how it wrongfully led to their arrest for a DUI they did not commit.

If you must prove a mistake of law, it could entail showing that the prosecution did not obtain their evidence in the correct manner or that the evidence does not show what they claim. Due process violations could include an arresting officer failing to read you your Miranda rights upon arrest, failing to establish probable cause, or other procedural violations. Your Union County DUI lawyer can identify all the various defenses you can leverage in your case.

Plea Bargaining in a DUI Case

When the prosecution has the evidence they need to secure a conviction, they may wish to conserve court resources and offer a plea bargain to the defendant, avoiding a lengthy trial. It is important to remember that this is not guaranteed for some cases, especially those filed against habitual offenders. It is also possible for a prosecutor to offer a plea deal if they are unsure whether they can secure a conviction, hoping the defendant will agree and plead guilty.

In a plea deal, the defendant agrees to enter a guilty plea to streamline the case in exchange for reduced charges and/or lighter penalties. Again, it is not a guarantee, and some defendants may fare better if they fight their charges in court. However, if you know you committed the offense, accepting a plea deal can reduce the time it takes to resolve your case and may result in lighter penalties than you could expect if you fight the case at trial.

Your Union County DUI lawyer can help you determine whether accepting a plea deal suits your interests better than attempting to fight the case. They can negotiate with the prosecutor for you if necessary. For many defendants, plea bargaining is a chance to avoid the most serious penalties that they could face in courtroom sentencing.

How Your Union County DUI Lawyer Can Help

Do not underestimate the value of having an experienced defense attorney represent you in a DUI case. The right attorney can potentially help you avoid conviction or, at the very least, assist you in securing a much lighter sentence than you could otherwise expect. Teague Law has cultivated a strong professional reputation as a leading choice for criminal defense counsel in Union County. Trust us to help you reach the optimal outcome in your case.

DUI cases often appear straightforward at first, but the reality is that these are highly technical cases that involve many complex details only a trained attorney can discern. Our firm can carefully examine the details of your arrest and booking to ensure that your rights were protected, and that due process was followed at all times. We can also examine the prosecution’s evidence to ensure everything is admissible and was obtained legally.

If you did not commit the DUI, we can help you disprove the prosecution’s case. It is also possible that you broke the law, but you did not harm anyone else, and the prosecution is unable to meet the standard of proof that conviction requires. It is also a possibility that you did commit the offense and need a defense attorney to help you secure a plea deal with the prosecution to avoid the harshest penalites.

Whatever your case entails, trust Teague Law to provide unwavering support through all stages of your proceedings. During your initial consultation with our team, we can review all relevant evidence and help you determine the most realistic defenses you can employ in your case. Our goal is to help you avoid conviction if at all possible, but we can help you mitigate your penalty if necessary.

You have a very limited time in which to start building your case, especially if you intend to request an ALS hearing to hopefully have your driver’s license reinstated or to secure a restricted license. The sooner you reach out to our team, the sooner we can start allocating time and resources to building your defense. Contact Teague Law today to schedule your free initial case review with a trustworthy Union County DUI lawyer.


Translate »