By: Bubba Head – Reckless Driving Georgia, Criminal Defense Attorney Atlanta
Until you have a criminal defense lawyer to fight the charges, the accusation for driving recklessly can largely be based on the police officer’s opinion. Fighting reckless driving charges in Georgia can be very important, especially to drivers licensed in other states (any conviction of reckless driving VA, or NC, or any repeat reckless driving in SC), young drivers licensed in Georgia (who face a 6-month suspension), any reckless driving ticket where our client was involved in an auto accident resulting in serious injury by vehicle, vehicular homicide charges, and first degree homicide by vehicle charges. This means that a reckless driving felony indictment is coming.
Simply stated, driving under the influence is more of the status of being either impaired or “over the alcohol legal limit.” A reckless driving ticket in Georgia is not connected with driver impairment, but is proven or not proven by the specific facts and circumstances of that illegal, flawed, or errant driving “event.” For most, the critical difference between reckless driving and DUI is that a conviction for reckless driving does not trigger an automatic suspension of a Georgia driver’s license. Any drunk driving conviction, even a first DUI offense in Georgia, will cause immediate driver license suspension by GA DDS, by operation of law. This is a BIG difference.
Clients commonly ask our criminal defense attorneys, “Can a DUI be reduced to reckless driving?” Where a DUI reckless driving Georgia misdemeanor arrest is made, the driver was observed driving in an errant, unsafe manner, and then also was suspected of driving intoxicated. Unlike a hit and run with another count of DUI, which constitutes two HV-level serious driving offenses. If a conviction for both drunken driving and reckless driving occurs, this driver still could get a first DUI offense limited driving permit based on drunk driving offenses in the past 5 years.
No “formula” for getting a DUI reduced exists. To get a DUI reduced to reckless driving, more than a fancy suit and tie is needed. When it gets to court, the charges have to be fought. In selecting the best criminal attorney, look at credentials, experience, attorney reviews, and client ratings. Be aware of the realities of intractable Georgia DUI laws, and how some courts have policies against any DUI reductions. IN this situation, your DUI lawyer Atlanta should be gearing up for trial, from the beginning of the DUI in Georgia.
Some courts will not consider dropping DUI to reckless driving. For others, in a lower level court, such as a municipal court or probate court, a person with a first offense DUI may have a decent chance so long as neither an accident, nor a very high breathalyzer test result was obtained, nor bad behavior towards the police officer. Plus, the prosecutor must also know that the DUI lawyer they would be facing at trial is a fighter, and know how to beat a DUI in court. Because criminal cases have many “moving parts”, the arresting officer, your assigned prosecutor, and your judge all can be barriers to negotiating for the getting the DUI reduced to reckless driving.
In addition to not causing an automatic license suspension, a conviction for reckless driving in GA does not require mandatory jail time, as required by Georgia DUI laws. While a 2nd DUI in GA mandates at least 72 hours in jail, a 2nd reckless driving in GA does not require jail time.
Any reckless driving felony conviction resulting from a DUI serious injury by vehicle in GA, or vehicular homicide in GA will call for prison time for up to 15 years, per serious bodily injury or death, which can be sentenced consecutively. Both felony offenses have a minimum mandatory prison sentence, but hardly any judges will only give the statutory minimum prison time, especially if it is a 2nd DUI in GA (or from a prior DUI-DWI from any other state).
In Georgia, all traffic offenses are misdemeanors. So, unless a reckless driving is accepted by a judge as a first offender, then it stays on both your state and federal criminal history forever, just like a DUI. The difference is that DUI in Georgia cannot receive first offender treatment. Finally, federal laws do not recognize state first offender or expunction rules.
The best criminal defense attorneys in Atlanta know how to beat a reckless driving charge, if they specialize in traffic crimes like DUI, hit and run, and reckless driving Georgia. The experience level and the relationships with the personnel at Georgia traffic court locations provides a distinct edge to these traffic ticket attorneys. This is why you need the best Atlanta DUI lawyers handling your case.
Book author and Georgia DUI Lawyer William C. “Bubba” Head, has been a criminal defense lawyer for 41 years and is a GACDL Life Member and a NACDL Life Member for over 20 years. In handling felony or misdemeanor cases across the State of Georgia, he has been to over 400 different courts and appeared before nearly 1000 judges over the past four decades. Very few top-rated criminal lawyers travel statewide, but our partners do.
So, regardless of Court or County, Bubba Head and his two law partners are all criminal law specialists and can assist you with an aggressive criminal defense. Whether charged with a first DUI offense, DUI, or any reckless driving Georgia case, felony vs. misdemeanor, or even vehicle homicide or a serious injury death case, we are ready to help you.
Because your initial lawyer consultation is FREE, call us NOW. Dial our main number, at 404-567-5515, and let us evaluate your chances of winning your Georgia reckless driving case (misdemeanor or felony), or possibly getting a DUI reduced to reckless driving.
Mr. Head’s partners, criminal defense lawyer Larry Kohn, criminal defense attorney and (at two different law enforcement agencies totaling about a decade) ex-police officer and criminal defense attorney Cory Yager, or senior partner, Bubba Head, a Georgia criminal defense specialist since 1976. All three of our law firm’s partners are Super Lawyers for 2017.
We have multiple law office Georgia locations, including Athens, Marietta, Alpharetta and Sandy Springs. We maintain a few satellite office locations to facilitate having computers and office equipment if needed during a multi-day trial.
Our primary office location is in Sandy Springs, where GA highway 400 and I-285 intersect. We can be on an Interstate highway in less than 5 minutes, on our way to courts across the state of Georgia.