Hapeville DUI – Criminal Defense Attorney
Hapeville, Georgia is home to the Hapeville Municipal Court where Judge Monica Ewing presides over DUI, Traffic, Marijuana, and other City Violation cases brought by Hapeville Police Department. The Hapeville Municipal Court is located at 700 Doug Davis Drive, Hapeville, GA 30354.
One of the most common cases we see in the Hapeville Municipal Court are DUI cases. In Georgia, DUI can be charged in either two ways under O.C.G.A. § 40-6-391. Driving under the Influence Per Se means the State is charging the individual with being over the .08 legal limit for drivers over 21 years old. It is a .02 legal limit for DUI cases involving drivers under 21. DUI Per Se is charged where there is a breath, blood, or urine test. The second way a DUI can be charged in Georgia is DUI Less Safe. Under Georgia law, DUI Less Safe means the person is accused of driving under the influence to the extent they were a less safe driver. We typically see DUI Less Safe cases where there is no chemical test, or where there is a chemical test but it is below the legal limit.
There are numerous defenses to DUI to be explored and raised. A skilled DUI defense attorney must fiercely evaluate and raise issues starting at the purpose of the stop and ultimately the probable cause in making the arrest. Factors to be assessed are the performance of field sobriety tests if any were conducted, the lack of odor or admissions, and the driving that was observed. Additionally, the Implied Consent portion of the DUI case is highly relevant in DUI defense because in order for the chemical test to be admissible in Court, the proper Implied Consent must be read after arrest, and there must be true knowing and voluntary consent to submit to the chemical test. Under Georgia law, mere acquiescence to authority is not voluntary consent. It should be noted that any refusal to submit to breath testing following an arrest is deemed inadmissible evidence given the Georgia Constitution gives the right to decline incriminatory acts. This law was clarified and confirmed in Elliott v. State, 305 Ga. 179 (2019).
In all first DUI cases, the mandatory minimum sentence is 24 hours in jail, 12 months on probation, a $300.00 fine plus court costs (nearly doubles it), 40 hours of community service, a Risk Reduction course, and an alcohol and drug evaluation and treatment if deemed necessary. The maximum sentence is 12 months in jail on each charge. On a second, or third DUI in 10 years, the jail time is increased, as well as the fines and the community service.
Remember that DUI is a misdemeanor crime that goes onto your criminal history. In Georgia, DUI can never be expunged or restricted, and thus a DUI conviction will remain on your history forever.
A DUI charge also has intense license repercussions. If there is a refusal on the chemical test, the Officer can suspend your license for at least a year. This must be challenged within 30 days of your arrest, so time is of the essence in DUI cases. Depending on what else the individual is charged with, and how many prior DUIs he or she has, it is possible a DUI conviction could lead to a 5-year habitual violator suspension.
The options in Hapeville Municipal Court are to enter into pretrial negotiations with the goal of avoiding the harsh consequences of a DUI, or to enter a Not Guilty plea and have a trial by Judge or by Jury in State Court. As experienced DUI lawyers practicing in Hapeville regularly, we have the skill and knowledge to accomplish your goals both in Hapeville. We are trial lawyers constantly staying on top of DUI law. If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI in Hapeville Municipal Court, call us now for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999.