By: William C. Head, Atlanta Attorney Named “Best DUI Lawyer” in 2017
People arrested in Georgia for driving while intoxicated (DWI) immediately search the Internet to how to beat a DUI, since this acronym is the most widely used GA abbreviation for drunk driving. They comb through web listings of DUI attorneys to look for examples of DUI cases won, or tips on getting out of a DUI in Georgia. They have read about celebrities arrested for DUI and getting a DUI dismissed or beating a DUI charge in a trial. Potential clients ask us all the time how to get out of a DUI.
Also, since about four out every 10 Georgia DUI cases are within a county within a 25- mile radius of Atlanta, people who need criminal legal defense look for lawyer ratings on the best lawyer in Atlanta, whose profile proves that he or she knows how to beat a DWI-DUI.
7 Factors That Affect Your Chances of Beating a DUI Charge on a Georgia DUI
No algorithm or cell phone app exists to calculate who is the best DUI lawyer for YOUR court location, but these 7 factors are the primary influencers in estimating the likelihood that a DUI attorney with high attorney ratings can see a clear path on how to beat DUI charges. These seven factors help estimate the likelihood of being able to obtain (through negotiation) a Georgia reckless driving and not a DUI in Georgia.
Common logic will tell you that if you submitted to the implied consent law test and had a HIGH reading in the BAC levels, most prosecutors feel compelled to seek a DUI for such cases. So, other more negotiable cases MAY find a DUI reduction based on these 7 factors:
- The DUI lawyer and his or her prior history dealing with the Court and its personnel to listen to a DUI defense lawyer about getting a DUI reduced to reckless driving, or some other alternative disposition. As this factor implies, prior experience getting DUI cases dismissed with this court is critical information. With 1,000+ courts in Georgia DUI cases, this is no easy task, even for the best DUI lawyer in Georgia.
- Whether or not the Client exercised his or her right to NOT self-incriminate by talking and answering police questions. Name and address are all that our Constitution requires a person being investigated for DUI in Georgia to provide, yet 98% of people stopped for speeding or other traffic violations in Georgia GIVE UP EVIDENCE that can be used against them later. When being “investigated” and before being cuffed, you have no right to DUI Miranda rights, in Georgia, and no right to call a DUI lawyer.
- Our client’s criminal history, for all offenses, including any prior reckless driving in Georgia, that started out as a Georgia DUI arrest. If the current case would be a 2nd DUI in GA, most prosecutors balk at even CONSIDERING allowing the case to be resolved as DUI dismissed or the case ending as reckless driving in GA. Nearly 100% say no to a plea offer other than driving under the influence if this would be 2 DUIs in 5 years. This resistance to discussing a reduction of a DUI charge is also true for a 3rd DUI in GA, of course.
- Video evidence from the DUI arrest, which contains the best evidence of the Client’s physical characteristics and demeanor, when confronted by police. Beyond slurred speech and unsteadiness of his or her feet, Prosecutors look for admissions to drinking or smoking weed, lying to police, berating the officer or any other misconduct. Hopefully, atrocious driving will not be captured on the arrest video.
- Field sobriety test scores and your “performance” information (according to the arresting officer’s subjective scoring) are a big issue with most DUI court prosecutors. If the Client has taken these voluntary roadside evaluations, for the HGN, walk and turn and one lag stand, and has “failing” scores, a request for reckless driving vs DUI becomes more difficult. Any client smart enough to not try to perform the field sobriety tests greatly increases his or her chances of beating a DUI, especially if the Client has a DUI refusal of the breath alcohol test requested under Georgia implied consent law. The police video of the roadside encounter is usually the deciding factor for such evidence.
- Is there any compelling reason that your DUI defense attorney can give the prosecutor to WANT to help this particular Client? This does not mean how losing your driver’s license would affect you. It means a compelling personal story. Every case is different, but some examples of emotion-laden Client profiles include war veterans (especially those who were wounded), military special forces, or the driver is undergoing a major health crisis like cancer treatment. IT does not always work, of course, but in a marginal case, these personal facts can play a role.
- The DUI attorney’s historic “track record” of fighting his or her DUI cases. When your case is in an entry-level court (e.g., municipal court, probate court, recorder’s court) and the case can be transferred OUT by simply requesting a jury trial, the prosecutor knows that DUI defense lawyers known for fighting a DUI are most likely NOT going to plead a Client guilty, and leave the money and the case in the lower court. For some prosecutors, this issue is of little concern, while others appreciate the leverage of the situation, and would prefer to leave the money in their Court, if a deal is viable.
If Negotiation Fails, Going to Trial With the Best DUI Lawyer Is How to Beat a DWI
Similar to all aspects of life, like in competitive sports or contests, the best trained and most experienced “players” win more often than the less skilled and inexperienced competitors. For beating a DUI, this is a proven fact.
Any DUI lawyers that you evaluate who have not had over 100 contested cases that they have won are still in the learning process. These wins can be through aggressive pretrial motion practice, to get the DUI dismissed, by using an implied consent violation to exclude a high breath alcohol test, or going to a bench trial (judge only) or trial by jury.
Interrogate any candidate on his or her DUI cases won — AT TRIAL. Ask for specifics. Then call the law office of William C. Head, PC and let us list out the number of cases we have won at trial, and the number of DUI charges reduced to reckless driving. Call (404) 567-5515 anytime day or night to reserve your FREE professional case review.