If you've been charged with a DUI, you'll want to call a Dawsonville, Georgia DUI attorney. A DUI lawyer will advocate for you throughout the process, from attempting to halt the suspension of your license to representing you in court. Of course, you don't just want any lawyer to represent you — you need someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about DUI law specifically. Brett Willis has over 15 years of experience in law and specializes in DUIs cases, so you can trust that your case is in good hands. Call Brett Willis Law today for a free consultation.
What Is a DUI in Dawsonville?
A DUI, or “driving under the influence,” is what you're charged with when an officer has reason to suspect that a substance is making your driving unsafe. This could be because test results showed you were above the legal limit. It could also be circumstantial evidence like failing the sobriety test or having slurred speech. Unlike other driving offenses, you won't get points on your license after a DUI charge. Instead, your license will be suspended.
Steps to Take After a DUI Charge
If you're unsure what to do after a DUI charge, don't panic. Here are the steps you should take before appearing in court:
1. Process Your Situation
If you're charged with a DUI in Dawsonville, the very first thing you should do is take a deep breath. Most people who have been charged with a DUI have never been charged with anything before in their entire life, and they've gone through a very traumatic experience. You may have been pulled out of your car, arrested in front of friends and family, treated as a common criminal, and locked up in a jail cell. Give yourself the time you need to process your situation.
2. Check Your Citation
The next thing to do is check your citation. Every citation lists a court location, which is where you'll be going first.
3. Reach Out to a Dawsonville, Georgia DUI Attorney
The final thing you need to do is reach out to a competent Dawsonville, Georgia DUI attorney. You need to get that person on the phone, tell them what's happened to you, and see if you and that lawyer mesh. You should get along and feel like you can trust them. After that, you can simply turn the matter over to that lawyer, saying, “I'm taking my hands off the wheel, this is yours.” Let them do what it is that they do.
If you need a lawyer you can trust, but you aren't sure where to turn, we're here to help. Contact Brett Willis Law today.
Why You Need the Right Dawnsonville, Georgia DUI Attorney
One of the most common calls we get at Brett Willis Law is from people who got a referral for a Dawsonville, Georgia DUI attorney. They went to consult with the lawyer and didn't have a good feeling about them. Still, they decided to hire them anyway. Many months later, they're feeling unsafe and like they don't have someone in their corner.
The main reason you should hire the right lawyer from the beginning is so you don't end up in that boat. You should be confident from the beginning that this DUI lawyer can advocate for you. You should trust that they can make your arguments first to the prosecutor and then to the jury if necessary.
What Happens After a DUI Conviction?
People ask us all the time, “How much does a DUI lawyer cost?” or “How much does it cost to hire you?” We always urge them to consider this question instead: “How much would it cost me if I lost this case and got convicted of a DUI?” A DUI has tremendous costs, both financial and otherwise:
- Fines: While the maximum fines for a first-time DUI offense are $1,000, the amount ends up being greater when you take into account probation and the $210 license reinstatement fee. You may end up having to pay anywhere from $2,000-$3,000.
- Permanent criminal record: When you're convicted with a DUI, it follows you for life. There is no way to expunge a DUI or get the records restricted.
- Insurance ramifications: Insurance premiums are far more expensive for those convicted with a DUI.
- Lower hireability: You may be disqualified from some jobs following a DUI conviction. This is particularly the case if the job involves driving.
- Higher education difficulties: During the college application process, you'll need to disclose your criminal record. Some colleges have strict policies and will not admit you solely because of your DUI conviction.
If you want the best chance of avoiding these life-changing costs, then you'll need a lawyer that specializes in DUI law. Contact Dawsonville, Georgia DUI attorney Brett Willis today for a free consultation.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can DUI Charges Be Dismissed?
In some cases, yes, DUI charges can be dismissed. This is usually the case if the officer who pulled you over or the prosecutor makes an error. For example, if an officer makes you do a sobriety test when there was no reason to suspect that you were driving under the influence, the charges may be dropped. Another example is if the prosecutor doesn't file a formal charge against you within the statute of limitations (two years). At that point, your lawyer can file a plea in bar so the charges are dropped.
What Is the Best Case Scenario for a DUI?
The best case scenario for a DUI is getting fully acquitted. As mentioned, errors made during the process could cause your charges to be dismissed. You can get acquitted if there isn't enough evidence to suggest that you were driving under the influence.
What Can a DUI Be Reduced To?
DUI charges are most commonly reduced to reckless driving charges. A reckless driving charge is preferable to a DUI because the penalties are less severe. You'll have points added to your license, but it won't get suspended unless you already have 11 or more points. You'll also likely have lower insurance premiums than someone convicted of a DUI.
The only way to reduce a DUI to a reckless driving charge is with a plea bargain. This is where a prosecutor allows you to plead guilty to a lesser charge. This can be a difficult decision, which is why it's always a good idea to talk to a DUI law specialist.
Can I Get Off Probation Early in Georgia?
The only way to get off probation early is if a judge allows you to. This is usually the case if you've been on probation for a considerable amount of time, typically over a year.