By: William C. Head, Drunk Driving Book Author and Board-Certified DUI Lawyer
Even if you are penniless, you need a DUI lawyer, if facing a DUI Georgia arrest. The reason for this is that a drunk driving conviction can take away your driving privileges, follow you for the rest of your life, alter your prospective employment choices and even limit your ability to travel (e.g., study abroad programs or entering the military can be blocked by a pending DUI in Georgia).
Highly important is the 30-day “window” for filing to protect your drivers license from suspension due to a Georgia implied consent law violation, which expires on the 31st day following your arrest date.
When potential jail time or probation is involved, every judge in every DUI case is constitutionally obligated to appoint an attorney for DUI, if the accused citizen is unable to pay his or her own criminal defense attorney. Never plead guilty to a DUI-DWI until your DUI defense attorney investigates the quality of the State’s DUI case.
Although some people enter a guilty plea to save their job, in some public positions or sensitive types of employment, for all others, a guilty plea can be disastrous. Consulting with a DUI defense lawyer is always wise, to learn your options to save your driving privileges, and possibly avoid a DUI being place on your permanent criminal history.
Even though I need a criminal defense attorney, how do I know if he or she is a DUI specialist? How do I go about checking attorney ratings credentials for lawyers near me, and for my DUI court location? Many criminal defense attorneys limit their practice to drunk driving, or specialize in that field of criminal law practice.
It is important to find a DUI law firm with several DUI specialists who is both a NHTSA field sobriety test instructor, and also has obtained breath alcohol test training on your State’s breathalyzer.
Few lawyers for DUI in Georgia decline all other types of criminal cases. Our DUI law firm caseload is about 85% DUI defense and 15% other criminal cases, felony or misdemeanor. About 95% of all DUI cases are in Georgia’s misdemeanor courts, like a municipal court, recorder’s court, state court or probate court.
Felonies in Georgia (based on violations of state of Georgia laws) cannot be handled by any court except a Superior Court.
Many benefits exist for a DUI specialist to also handle other types of criminal law cases — felony or misdemeanor. First, because knowing how to litigate in felony courts and misdemeanor courts, when a vehicular homicide or serious injury by vehicle GA case based on a felony DUI comes into our office, having a relationship with these felony court prosecutors in Superior Court is vital.
Handling other types of criminal defense cases, like drug possession, or drug trafficking helps broaden the criminal trial practice skills of your DUI defense lawyer. Litigating more complex cases in felony court actually helps your criminal defense lawyer be fully able to litigate or negotiate your impaired driving case in misdemeanor court.
Regardless of whether a case is a misdemeanor or felony, prosecutors know the criminal defense attorneys who are highly skilled in defending a DUI and fight for their clients. These same prosecutors also know the cheap DUI attorneys who do not fight a DUI case, in their respective Courts. When your liberty and your ability to drive are at risk, you want to hire a fighter, who knows how to beat a DUI.
The selected DUI defense lawyer should be forthcoming and clear about the DUI process, for your DUI case. He or she will have handled hundreds, if not thousands of contested DUI cases. The best DUI-DWI attorneys should have dozens of appeals to his or her credit, that deal with all aspects of a DUI case, including implied consent.
Top attorneys can explain the legal process and provide you information on what happens when you go to court for a DUI, because this is an everyday occurrence for them. Importantly, these criminal attorneys know how to save your Georgia driver’s license and can advise on any available plea alternatives (in that jurisdiction) that will keep the client driving, and out of jail.
Some attorney ratings services are diligent and very demanding for inclusion in their lists of the top attorneys for DUI defense. With fewer than 70 lawyers, nationwide, being Board Certified is the top level of achievement. Fake attorney ratings are at epidemic levels in America, but four peer-reviewed credentials-based services should be part of the selected driving under the influence attorney’s background.
Not every state permits Board Certification, but if that is not allowed, then Martindale-Hubbell, “av” and “preeminent” lawyer ratings are essential. Next, being named to Super Lawyers multiple times is valuable. Being tapped as one the Best Lawyers in America on several occasions is the most difficult and exclusive of the three lawyer ratings.
These three companies are considered the gold standards, for the legal industry. Other badges and fake credentials are rampant, and should be ignored, when considering credentials for a criminal defense lawyer.
How Much Does a DUI Cost?
If you are speaking of what a conviction costs, then the sky is the limit. Things like DUI school, community service, probation fees, alcohol and drug treatment or even ignition interlock are usually mere nuisances, as compared to losing an excellent job, or being blocked from future promotion.
The cost of a DUI on your criminal history is unknown and virtually unlimited, and can continue to be a significant DUI cost for decades. This is why winning is so valuable.
In terms of DUI lawyer cost, this will vary, based on five (5) major variables:
FREE Lawyer Consultation. Our DUI specialists are based in Atlanta, GA but can refer you to excellent drunk driving defense attorneys in other parts of Georgia, or in any other state. Bubba Head, Larry Kohn or Cory Yager — all partners and all Super Lawyers, can help you on a DUI in Georgia. Main Number: 404-567-5515. Or call toll free: 1-888-384-4323.