Were you charged with driving under the influence? Being convicted of a DUI can carry severe consequences ranging from the loss of your license to jail time. Make sure you hire an experienced DUI lawyer to help protect you.
Baker & Slider, LLC has over a decade of experience as a DUI and criminal defense lawyer and can guide you through every step of the legal process, from communicating with the police to representing you in court. We'll defend your rights and argue for the best possible outcome in court.
Contact our DUI lawyer in Athens or Jackson County, GA today to set up a consultation.
Want to know more about DUI law? Here are some of the most common questions we get asked:
Q: When a police officer pulls me over and asks if I had been drinking, how should I answer him?
Typically, a police officer can smell the odor of alcohol when they approach an individual, so the answer to the question is unlikely to determine whether the officer follows up with more questioning or a request to submit to field sobriety evaluations. An individual is not required to answer any questions about drinking including how much, when or how recently when stopped and questioned by a police officer.
Q: Can the police charge me with a DUI even if they didn't see me driving the car?
Yes, a police officer can charge somebody with a DUI even if they do not see them driving. The prosecutor needs to be able to prove that a person was in physical control of a car while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which does not require the officer seeing the person actually drive the car. An accident is an example of a case where a police officer could arrive after the driving was over and still be able to charge a person with DUI.
Q: What is DUI Less Safe?
Less safe means that a person is impaired by alcohol or drugs to the extent that they were less safe to drive than if they were not impaired. It can also be restated as incapable of driving safely. This is a very vague term and leaves a lot of area for interpretation as to whether a person is less safe. The amount of alcohol that makes an individual less safe may be different for another individual. Officers and prosecutors try to use everything they can to say somebody is less safe to include driving and performance on field sobriety evaluations. They try to point to as much evidence as they can to say that somebody is impaired or less safe. Our criminal defense lawyer can advocate on your behalf in court.
Q: Do I have to submit to a roadside test?
No, roadside field sobriety tests (also called SFSTs or FSEs) are voluntary. This means that an officer cannot require a person to perform these evaluations or tests.
Q: Do I have to submit to sobriety testing?
Similar to roadside testing, an officer cannot require a person to perform sobriety testing.
Q: What should I do if I get arrested for a DUI?
If you get arrested for DUI the first thing to do is to contact lawyers to find a first time DUI lawyer that you feel is competent and that you are confident can handle the intricacies that come with providing DUI defense. Time is sometimes of the essence, because if the officer served the person with a DDS-1205 or administrative license suspension form, that individual has only 30 days to decide what path they will take as to that specific license issue. Our DUI lawyer can help you get through the legal process as quickly as possible.
Q: Can I lose my license if it's my first DUI offense?
If you are convicted for a first time DUI offense, your license or privilege to drive in Georgia (if you are an out of state license holder) will be suspended for a certain period. That period depends on a person's age, what type of DUI they were convicted of and whether there was an administrative license suspension.
Q: Will I go to jail if convicted on a first DUI charge?
A first DUI conviction for a person over 0.08 grams blood alcohol concentration requires a person to serve 24 hours in jail with other statutory minimum sentence requirements. Some courts are willing to waive the remainder of that time, especially in a DUI less safe case. As the number of DUI convictions for a person increase, generally that comes with an increase in expected jail time. However, the expected jail time for a first or repeated DUI often times varies significantly depending on the county in which the person is convicted.
Q: Is there any way to avoid a suspended license?
A conviction for a DUI requires a minimum period of a license suspension. During that period of suspension, people are often times able to obtain a limited permit that allows them to drive to work, school, medical appointments and other specified activities. The only way to completely avoid a suspended license is to avoid the DUI conviction, with either a reduction or dismissal of the DUI charge.
Q: When do DUI charges come off my record?
A DUI conviction stays on your record, which is the reason why it is so important to get a lawyer that is experienced in DUI law to have the best opportunity to avoid a DUI conviction. DUI lawyers look for all possible legal and factual defenses to avoid a DUI conviction.
If you have more questions, we'll be happy to help. Call our criminal defense lawyer in Athens or Jackson County, Georgia at 706-208-1514 today.