The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia are harsh, but defendants should never plead guilty without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney. No matter how seemingly strong the case against you is, a skilled lawyer can challenge evidence such as:
- The stop: Police officers cannot just stop anyone for any reason. They must have reasonable suspicion that a suspect was committing a crime or posing a danger to others. The rise of dash cam footage allows defense counsel to investigate what their clients were doing prior to a stop, and to question whether officers had a legitimate reason to pull them over.
- The breath test: DUI breath tests are not always accurate. You don’t have to look hard to find news stories chronicling how technicians fail to calibrate them or provide legitimate certification. It doesn’t matter what the machine said you blew. You are innocent until proven guilty, and the legal process affords plenty of opportunities to call such evidence into question.
- The field sobriety test: Field sobriety tests can be extremely difficult for people who suffer from certain medical problems. A person who suffers from a recent injury, obesity, a heart condition or other impairment may fail the test without a drop of alcohol in their system.
Law enforcement officers like to make it sound like their case against you is airtight, but remember, this is simply a tactic to make their job easier. Giving in and pleading guilty can be a mistake you will regret for the rest of your life. Don’t say anything until you have first consulted with a criminal defense lawyer you can trust.