Alpharetta DUI Lawyers with Experience
Have you been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Alpharetta? If so, it is important to know that your future, rights and driving privileges may be on the line. Without the representation of an attorney, you could be facing very serious penalties. At The Law Offices of Daniel W. Mitnick & Associates, we are proud to offer outstanding representation to individuals who are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have been arrested, working with an from our team can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Have you been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Alpharetta? If so, it is important to know that your future, rights and driving privileges may be on the line. Without the representation of an attorney, you could be facing very serious penalties. At The Law Offices of Daniel W. Mitnick & Associates, we are proud to offer outstanding representation to individuals who are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you have been arrested, working with an Alpharetta criminal defense lawyer from our team can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Representation during your DUI case is absolutely essential. DUI lawyers are trained to help people, like you, who have been charged with driving under the influence. They can do a number of things for you. First, they can explain to you what the legal circumstances are surrounding your situation. DUI lawyers understand the law in Alpharetta, including what constitutes a DUI and the seriousness of the charges you are facing. They can use this knowledge to help you to fight the charges. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your lawyer might be able to get the charges completely dropped against you. But even if you don’t have the charges against you dropped, The Law Offices of Daniel W. Mitnick & Associates can help you navigate the DUI process and might be able to get you a better deal by negotiating with prosecutors.
Prosecutors are going to try to get you to plead guilty immediately, making you feel like you have no other choice. This is a bad idea without talking first to a lawyer. He or she can evaluate your case and figure out whether pleading is in your best interest.
A good lawyer can also challenge evidence against you. Perhaps lab results are tainted or perhaps statements you made are not admissible at a trial. If a DUI lawyer is able to get this evidence against you dropped, you will at worst establish a good defense and, at best, could get the charges against you dismissed.
Especially if you end up going to trial, DUI lawyers are invaluable. He or she will help select the jury. The lawyer will provide expert witnesses to testify on your behalf and strengthen your defense. Finally, he or she will help you navigate the process.
Hiring a lawyer seems like a huge investment. And it is. The investment you are making might be one between serving time in jail and paying a fine or walking free. The potential money and freedom you will gain by lawyering up immediately is worth it.
How Did I Get a DUI?
The obvious answer is that you were driving when you were intoxicated. Police are out looking for drivers who are under the influence. It is important to note, however, that police cannot pull you over just because they suspect you are drunk. You must have made some sort of traffic error while driving. This might include running a red light, making an incorrect turn, or having something wrong with your vehicle. Once the police pull you over, they will look for clues of DUI. Some warning signs might include slurred speech or open bottles. You’ll be asked if you have been drinking. Whether you admit to it, or not, police will ask you to do what’s called a sobriety test.
What Happens at the ALS Hearing?
Our attorneys will work tirelessly to make sure your license is not taken away. Here are some of the things our attorneys look for:
- Were you read your Miranda rights?
- Did you request an independent test and were denied?
- If you were arrested due to a roadblock, was the roadblock done in a constitutional manner?
- Was implied consent given correctly?
- Did the officer explain how your test results would be used?
What Happens At Arraignment?
You have just had a scary experience of being pulled over for a DUI and arrested. But another experience can be just as jarring: getting your court date sent to you in the mail. We want to make this process easier on you, so we are providing a walkthrough of the process of getting a DUI in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Your case will be heard by the Alpharetta Municipal Court. They are located at:
12624 Broadwell Road in Alpharetta, Georgia. We have provided their website:
The date and time that you receive in the mail is when you must show up. That is called your “arraignment.” It does not matter if you have work during that time or another preexisting appointment. Not showing up will harm you. The times will be either Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 9 AM or 1 PM. While you need to be there on time, you will probably have to wait a while. There are a lot of other people dealing with traffic citations. Bring a book or paperwork while you wait your turn. The judge will call the calendar, which is not necessarily in alphabetical order. Make sure to listen for your name. If you are late, you might not be able to get access to the courtroom. One hour after the scheduled court session begins, the doors will be locked.
Once the judge calls your name, you will respond that you are present. He or she will then ask how you wish to proceed. There are a few different things you can respond. You might say you are guilty. You might say you are not guilty. You might plead nolo contendere (which means that you do not contest the charges, while not admitting guilt), or you can request a pretrial conference. A pretrial conference is where you (the defendant), the prosecution and the judge talk about the evidence to be presented, the witnesses testifying, and all other matters before trial. You will also be asked if you would like to hire an attorney. If you say that you do want to hire an attorney, you will receive a new court date, allowing you to go out and hire competent counsel.
How Are Charges Contested?
When you were pulled over by the police, you were asked a variety of questions and may have been asked to do things so that police could determine whether you were driving under the influence. What the police asked you to do was not done at random. All police agencies across the United States receive training manuals on DUI from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. In these manuals, officers are given information about how to determine DUI and how to perform field sobriety evaluations (e.g., walk in a straight line, say the alphabet backwards). Making sure police comply with this will be central to your case.
Another thing that we look at is any evidence from the police about your arrest. Most patrol cars have video equipment that tapes all stops. This tape will ensure that police followed proper protocol. You have the right to request any evidence available in your case. You (or your attorney) send a request to the Alpharetta Police Department. The request must include your name and the case number, the incident, the officer, and a small fee. You will get the records in 3-5 days. It is important to keep a file of all information relevant to your case. You can acquire this by calling the court.
What Are My Options?
Your options for punishment widely vary, but your odds of getting a smaller punishment are significantly increased when you hire competent DUI counsel. Here are some options:
- Alpharetta Municipal Court’s Pretrial Diversion Program
- No conviction is entered
- Charges completely dismissed if you comply with program requirements
- Reckless Driving offense
- Jail time likely (72 hours)
- Reduced charge
What if I Can’t Get a Reduced Charge?
If you cannot get a plea deal, you have a big decision to make. You must determine whether you want to have a bench trial or a trial by jury. A trial by jury is a trial like you see on TV shows, where you will be judged by a group of your peers. A bench trial is judged by just one person: the judge. Bench trials are held at Alpharetta Municipal Court on Thursdays at 9 AM or 1 PM. Jury trials, however, are held at the Fulton County State Court. Your case might take up to a year to get resolved.
Potential Penalties for Your Charges
Specific circumstances of your case will determine the exact charges and penalties you could be facing, but it is not uncommon for individuals to see a variation of these minimum penalties:
First-Time DUI Offenders
If you are a first-time offender, you could see up to 1 year license suspension, spend anywhere between 24 hours and 1 year in jail, and be required to spend at least 40 hours performing community service.
Second-Time DUI Offenders
If you are convicted of a second DUI, you may face up to a $1,000 fine, a license suspension of 3 years, up to 1 year in jail, and be required to install an interlock ignition device in your vehicle.
Third-Time DUI Offenders
Third-time offenders will be required to spend at least 1 year to 5 years in jail, perform up to 60 days of community service, and complete a treatment program.
Other factors that will need to be taken into consideration regarding your charges include aggravating factors, death or bodily injury, and the specifics of your arrest. Minors and commercial drivers have a lower allowed blood alcohol count and their penalties could vary greatly. In order to ensure the best possible outcome for your case, it is important you work with an Alpharetta DUI lawyer from our team. Contact the firm today for a case evaluation via telephone!