If you get arrested for DUI, you’ll be facing some pretty serious charges. People don’t realize just how scary it can be until they’re the ones in handcuffs. You go out one evening to have a good time and end up in a jail cell. When this happens, you are going to need to bring the best defenses to DUI possible.
You probably told yourself you were okay to drive. You may have only had a few drinks. The problem is, that’s all it takes to be considered under the influence. Whether you were drinking beer or shots, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is at .08 or higher at the time of your traffic stop, you can be arrested for DUI.
Once arrested, you’ll be taken to the local jail. You’ll be booked. You will have to come up with bail but not until you’ve spent a day or two in the country jail. If you get arrested on a Friday night, you could sit in jail all weekend.
This is when it becomes real. You’ll need to contact an experienced criminal lawyer right away. You’ll have your first court appearance right away. You’re going to want an attorney by your side for this first hearing.
Were You Drinking or Taking Drugs at the Time of Your Traffic Stop?
Obviously, the best defenses to DUI are the simplest, that you weren’t drinking or taking drugs prior to your arrest. There are cases where the defendant was not under the influence when they got stopped by the cops.
There are times when a field sobriety test will make it appear as if you are under the influence. This could be for several reasons, including:
- You were overtired and simply couldn’t complete the test
- You were suffering from a medical condition
- You were taking prescription medication that made it difficult to take the field sobriety test
- The officers didn’t give you clear instructions
If any of these reasons apply to your case, your DUI lawyer in Atlanta will ask the prosecutor to dismiss the charges. They’ll submit copies of the police video to show the field sobriety test. They’ll also submit proof of your medical condition or medication.
Was the Stop Lawful?
In order to pull you over, the cops need a legitimate reason. Police officers can’t just pull over random cars and hope to catch someone who’s been drinking and driving. The police report will have to list why the police stopped you in the first place.
Some of the legitimate reasons why an officer may stop you in Georgia include:
- You were swerving or driving erratically
- You don’t have your lights on
- You aren’t wearing your seat belt
- You were texting or using your cell phone
- You have a tail light or brake light out
- You ran a red light
- You failed to signal
- You were speeding
If you’re pulled over for any of these reasons, the cops will have probable cause for the stop. They’ll then speak with you. If they detect the odor or alcohol or believe you to be impaired, they can ask you to do two things: take a breathalyzer and take a field sobriety test. If you fail either of these two tests, you can be arrested for DUI.
But, if the stop wasn’t lawful, any evidence obtained after the traffic stop should be deemed inadmissible. Your Atlanta DUI lawyers will demand that this tainted evidence be thrown out of court and that your charges be dismissed.
The Breathalyzer Was Inaccurate
If you get stopped for DUI, you’ll be asked to take a breathalyzer test. On the scene, the officer will administer a portable breathalyzer test. They’ll get a reading immediately. If your BAC is .08 or higher, you’ll be arrested for DUI.
If you refuse to take the test on the scene, you’ll be required to undergo one at the police station. The police department is required to properly maintain their breathalyzer machine, If your lawyer can show that the machine isn’t properly calibrated, they may be able to get the charges dismissed.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
If you get arrested and charged with DUI you’re going to need the best DUI lawyer in Atlanta. You will be facing some serious consequences. A good DUI lawyer may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed by using one of the defenses to DUI discussed above.
A good lawyer can make the difference between having your charges dismissed or going to jail. Call Howard & Arca today and schedule your risk-free initial consultation.