Law Office of Paul W. Hamilton

What Are Some Mistakes That Are Detrimental To A DUI Case?


The most common mistake one can make in a DUI case if failing to hire an experienced DUI attorney. Going to court and trying to handle the nuances of a DUI criminal case without proper representation can be a huge mistake and can be fraught with a number of traps. You do not want to get caught saying things that can make your situation even worse, because if you are not experienced and trained in DUI cases. Hiring a professional who has a toolkit of resources at their disposal can make a huge difference in the outcome of your DUI case. For example, you might not know that the officer that cited you for a DUI has something in his personnel record, such as a history of dishonest, that might be problematic if the case goes to trial.

You might not know whether the officer administer the field sobriety tests properly. You might not know that the officer did not conduct the field sobriety tests in proper sequence. If you do not know what to look for, you can hinder your case by making admissions that you do not necessarily need to make. Those are a few of the most common mistakes I have seen over the years.

How Do You Advise Clients That Want To Plead Guilty to DUI Charges?

My advice to clients who want to plead guilty to a DUI charge is that is admirable in that you are taking personal responsibility, but it is also foolish. I have that conversation often with potential clients. As I alluded to earlier, you do not know that there is a possibility that your case could be dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. Once you have a DUI conviction, which goes on your record, it is there forever. It never goes away. Remember if you want to apply for jobs that require a CDL license or require a high degree of responsibility or trust and that potential employer sees that you were convicted of a DUI, most likely you will not get that job. There are many occupations that you can absolutely forget about it if you there is a DUI conviction on your record.

Sure, it is going to cost you to hire a lawyer to see if mistakes were made by the officer, and to determine whether your DUI case is solid. But remember, if convicted, that conviction is going to stay with you forever. I often tell people that it is worth it to make sure that every “I” was dotted and every “t” was crossed before you decide to enter a plea of guilty on a DUI–that is why I strongly suggest you hire an experienced DUI attorney.

What Happens To the Driver’s License When Someone Is Arrested for DUI?

One of two things will happen with someone’s license if they are arrested for a DUI in the state of Georgia. In some cases, you will not have your license taken from you and you are allowed to keep the license while the DUI case is pending. If you are cited in a smaller municipality, the officer generally will not take your license at that point. If an accident occurs at the scene and there is a pending DUI blood test, you might still be able to hold on to your license. They will wait to see how the test results come back. In seventy to eighty percent of cases, the license is immediately taken from the individual that is cited for a DUI. When that license is taken, the officer is required to present a sworn affidavit that says that you were arrested for a DUI. It is called a DDS Form 1205. The form, usually a yellow sheet of paper, will also serve as your temporary license.

That form allows you to drive for a period of thirty days. When your license is taken and you have that form in hand, you have exactly ten business days to request an administrative license suspension hearing in front of an administrative law judge in the state of Georgia. With that request, you must pay a fee of $150. There are two ways that your license can be suspended in the state of Georgia. One is administratively at an administrative hearing, basically the scope of that hearing is whether the officer did or did not have probable cause to arrest the individual for a DUI. It is a relatively low threshold and may licenses are administratively suspended even before the criminal case goes to court. The other way your license can be suspended is by a conviction of DUI in the criminal court.

If your license is administratively suspended, you may be able to obtain a temporary limited license.

For more information on Common Mistakes in a DUI Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (229) 207-0850 today.

Paul W. Hamilton, Esq.

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