DUI Defense Attorney in Marietta

Arrested for drunk driving? Contact a Marietta criminal attorney today!

There is a reason why the term "designated driver" exists in our culture today. The number of fatalities caused by alcohol-related car accidents is staggering-more than 30,000 deaths across the country every year. This number makes up more than 30% of all annual car accident fatalities. Drunk driving is illegal and only requires a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, which can be achieved in less than 3 drinks. However, it is also possible for someone to be wrongfully accused of driving under the influence of alcohol.

DUI Charges and Penalties

DUI charges may be prosecuted against driver under the age of 21, drivers who are legally permitted to drink and against drivers who are accused of being under the influence of a controlled substance. Each of these charges is unique and defending against them requires specific legal tactics. At The Merchant Law Firm, our legal team has nearly seen it all when it comes to handling DUI cases, and we are prepared to use our deep pool of experiences in representing clients charged with any type of DUI offense.

Our legal team also possesses the legal skills and abilities to handle even the most complex and high stakes DUI cases. These include DUI charges that may involve:

  • DUI resulting in accident
  • DUI causing injury
  • DUI manslaughter
  • DUI hit and run
  • Multiple DUIs

These charges are extremely serious and pose harsher criminal penalties, including substantially heightened fines and longer terms of imprisonment. Having prior DUI convictions on your record can also make you vulnerable to suffering increased penalties. The DUI penalties in Georgia are as follows:

First DUI
First offenders face 24 hours to one year in jail, fines from $300 to $1,000, and a minimum of 40 hours community service.

Second DUI
A second DUI can subject you to jail time from a minimum of three days up to one year. Minimum fines increase to $600 and community service increases to a minimum of 30 days. You will also be required to complete treatment or an evaluation.

Third DUI
If you are convicted of a third DUI, you face a minimum term of imprisonment of 15 days and a maximum of one year. Fines also increase to a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $5,000.

Fourth DUI
A fourth DUI conviction is a felony offense. Penalties are increased significantly, and if convicted you can be incarcerated for a minimum of one year and a maximum of five years.

The penalties you face with any DUI allegation are incredibly severe. Georgia has become a part of the national movement to crack down on those who drive drunk, and they prosecute and penalize offenders harshly. Additionally, anyone charged with a DUI will also face penalties to their driver's license. Consequences regarding your driving privilege are handled by the DMV, and our legal team can assist you during both your criminal and DMV proceedings in order to greatly reduce your risk for suffering the maximum penalties. If you face a DUI charge of any kind, you need to work with attorneys who care about protecting your future.

Police Misconduct & Faulty Breath Tests

When an officer suspects a motorist may be driving while intoxicated, he has every right to pull them over. Very specific procedures must be followed, however, before a legal DUI arrest can be made. One of the ways in which an officer could determine whether or not a person is intoxicated is by subjecting them to field sobriety tests. There are three standard field sobriety tests (SFST) that are used in Georgia:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
  • Walk-and-Turn
  • One-Leg Stand

These tests are designed to gauge a person's attention level and physical/mental capacity on a basic level, which is why they are the most trusted way to determine if a person is drunk. The only problem is that other factors can affect the results of these tests, such as physical disabilities or high anxiety.

In addition to SFSTs, a police officer will likely ask the driver to take a breath test to determine their BAC. If the BAC level is at .08% or higher, a legal arrest is possible. Such results may be faulty, though, if the officer did not calibrate the breathalyzer machine properly or at all. An experienced Marietta criminal defense attorney could be able to help you uncover misconduct or false test results, so don't hesitate to consult with one as soon as possible.

Get a Marietta DUI Defense Lawyer on Your Side

The Merchant Law Firm could provide the aggressive representation and knowledgeable advice you need to fight your false DUI charges. We may also be able to help you reduce your charges and prevent the infliction of any serious damage on your record. DUI convictions can result in license revocation or even a federal offense, so call our offices today. We could fight for you!

Save your driving record from a wrongful DUI conviction. Contact a Marietta DUI defense attorney from the Merchant Law Firm for excellent advice and representation.