If you are facing a DUI case in Georgia, especially if it is your first offense, you are likely scared and unsure of what to do or how to handle this situation. DUI convictions can be life-altering, costing you money, respect, and possibly your freedom. But, beating a DUI charge starts the moment you are pulled over, and how you handle yourself will either make your DUI defense lawyers job much easier or much harder. Read on to learn from Attorney Shequel Ross and the SHElaw firm® 6 tips to remember that will help you beat your DUI case.
You can also call to learn more at 470-378-1162.
#1 BE QUIET. Rule Number 1 is Keep Your Mouth Shut!
Do not talk to police beyond what the law requires, which is your name and your address. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that the only information you are required to provide is your name and address, which should be displayed on the driver’s license you have just provided the officer. The core tenet to follow in how to beat a DUI in Georgia, or anywhere else in the country is DO NOT give the police any evidence by speaking or behaving belligerently. Remain silent. DO NOTHING.
Talking and answering questions can diminish your chances of beating your case, even if it is a “DUI less safe” (for intoxicated driving due to overconsumption of alcohol or drugs, but below the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content). This means that while our impaired driving lawyers may be able to find a legal problem with the collection of your blood test or breath test, your own words, behavior, and other circumstantial evidence of belligerence can be enough to convict you. Do not yell at the officer or “act out,” claiming no reasonable suspicion or that you did nothing wrong. Remain calm and SILENT, your words will get you nowhere.
Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you if your case goes to trial. If you admit to using prescribed medications or even over-the-counter products like Benadryl, this information may be enough to authorize the officer to arrest you, write up DUI charges, and then request a blood test. The most damaging information in most DUI cases is what comes out of a client’s mouth. If you want to beat a DUI, you need to Keep Your Mouth Shut!
#2 Say No to ALL Field Sobriety Tests
All road side evaluations, exercises, or tests are 100 percent optional, and are designed to be very difficult for anyone with alcohol in their system to complete. These tests were designed by the law enforcement community, and as such are geared to help them, not you; DO NOT AGREE TO THEM!
Be prepared when the situation arises, and know what to do when pressured to perform field sobriety tests like the “eye test” (the HGN test), the one-leg stand, the alphabet, or the walk-the-line evaluations. Any attempts to do these subjectively graded roadside exercises will become the primary evidence prosecutors focus on, especially if your BAC is below the legal threshold.
Do nothing in terms of “sobriety screening” on the roadway. In Georgia, every roadside exercise or so-called “field sobriety test” is both voluntary and unscientific. No experienced DUI lawyer will ever advise a client to attempt to perform roadside field tests requested by a police officer, because these bogus evaluations have been the source of more innocent people being convicted of drunk driving than anything else as they are highly unreliable.
These NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) roadside evaluations are 100% OPTIONAL. Do not let the officer test your eyes, or have you repeat letters in the alphabet, walk a straight line or do the one-leg stand. Even the pre-arrest, handheld breathalyzer is OPTIONAL. Don’t take any tests (before you are cuffed) and remember Rule # 1!
#3 Do Not Blow Into the Portable Roadside Breathalyzer!
The third way to beat a DUI is to never take a roadside breathalyzer test. In Georgia, the numeric breath test results of the hand-held preliminary breath test machine are NOT an “approved” forensic device. For these purposes, “forensic” means “admissible in a court of law.” In a DUI trial in Georgia, the “number” on a preliminary breathalyzer is not admissible, but a police officer is allowed to testify that the result was “positive” for alcohol. Too often, jurors hear this phrase and are quick to think the worst.
Additionally, no “waiting period” is used, and the person may have had their last drink only minutes after the time of driving from the bar, resulting in inaccurate results. To win your DUI case, DO NOT agree to submit to the misleading roadside breath test; simply decline to blow into this portable breathalyzer. This is a voluntary alcohol screening test. Say “NO,” but do it politely.
#4 Take the Implied Consent Breath Alcohol Test
Do not mistake your post-arrest OBLIGATION to take the “implied consent” breath test or under exceptional circumstances, a blood test (only if drugs are reasonably suspected, or if you refuse breath testing), with the optional pre-arrest tests mentioned above. They are not the same! The post-arrest test is done via a scientifically calibrated, stationary device, and requires a waiting period, resulting in more accurate, but FAR from perfect results.
If you assert your right to talk to a criminal lawyer, the arresting officer may claim that this constitutes a refusal. Be clear and affirmatively tell the officer you WILL take his or her requested type of test, you are allowed (under GA DUI law) to change your mind and submit to the breath alcohol test or BAC blood test.
DUI test refusal can lead to a license suspension, effective immediately, even before the criminal case comes up. In Georgia, once you TAKE the arresting officer’s requested type of implied consent test, you become entitled to obtain an independent test or tests from a person of your choosing, which can prove vital to your lawyer’s defense.
#5 Do Not Talk to Anyone About Your Case While in Jail
Anything you say in jail, including phone calls, may be recorded. So, don’t think that verbal admissions made to another prisoner, or a guard won’t be used by a prosecutor as potential incriminating evidence against you. They will!
Only speak to your Decatur DUI defense attorney. Remain silent while in jail and focus on posting bond, taking notes of everything you remember and getting good descriptions and names of potentially favorable witnesses. Provide that information to your DUI lawyer and leave it to them to do the lawyering and get the charge dismissed.
#6 Hire the Best DUI Defense Lawyer – Shequel Ross at SHElaw firm®
One of the common threads tying together the vast majority of people facing a DUI charge is to immediately hirer a DUI defense lawyer with a track record of beating DUI charges. The best DUI attorneys gather key evidence and (using DUI case law) find flaws in the police officer’s case. Shequel Ross is one of these exceptional DUI defense lawyers with years of experience as one of the top criminal defense lawyers near you.
When considering a DUI attorney, people often get hung up on how much will my lawyer cost. The actual question that people should ponder is what will it cost me if I lose? While a DUI defense attorney may seem expensive on its face, being convicted of a DUI will always be more expensive than your attorney fees, and the impact of a DUI conviction will affect much more than just your bank account.