My Cousin Danny

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DUI Defense Lawyer Serving Dekalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and all Counties of the State of Georgia

You’re out to dinner with your wife, boyfriend, friend, mother, children, whoever and you have a few drinks. Perhaps you are coming back from a Falcons, Braves, Bulldogs, Atlanta United, Hawks, Gladiators, Panthers, or Yellow Jacket game and you had been tailgating. Maybe you were downtown living it up a bit too much. No matter what the reason people drive after drinking. But just that fact that you had consumed alcohol before operating a motor vehicle does not mean you are guilt of DUI.  In general, there are two types of DUI in DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and the State of Georgia; DUI less safe and DUI Per se.

DUI Less Safe

In DeKalb County Georgia, Fulton County Georgia, Gwinnett County Georgia, Cobb County Georgia and the State of Georgia DUI Less safe is being under the influence of alcohol, any drug, intentional influence of any glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive. A charge of DUI less safe does not require a breath or blood test. OCGA 40-6-391 (a)1-3. The mere presence of alcohol is not the only issue in a less safe case, the state must prove that the defendant had impaired driving ability as a result of drinking alcohol. State v. Sanders, 274 Ga. App. 393, (617 S.E.2d 633) (2005). See also, Baird v. State, 260 Ga. App. 661, at 663 (580 S.E.2d 650) (2003) (holding, the presence of alcohol in a defendant’s body, by itself, does not support an inference that the defendant was an impaired driver).

DUI Per Se

In a DUI Per Se arrest a person over 21 who does not have a commercial driver’s license will have an alcohol concentration is 0.08 grams or more at any time within three hours after such driving or being in actual physical control from alcohol consumed before such driving or being in actual physical control ended. OCGA 40-6-391(a)5. The legal limit for people under twenty-one years of age is 0.02, and the legal limit for people with a commercial license is 0.04. Most DUI Per Se arrests are a result of breath or blood testing performed incident to the arrest. Even if the test results are against you My Cousin Danny may be able to get the results suppressed to prevent the State from proving every element of the charges against you.

Do you need a Lawyer? You sure do; 470-275-1500.

The full list of offenses related to driving under the influence of alcohol or other controlled substances can be found in OCGA 40-6-391.

You are now in two Fights

What many people do not realize is that an arrest for driving while intoxicated triggers both criminal and civil penalties against the accused. You have two separate fights on your hands: one with in Court, and one with the Department of Driver Services. In the civil context a person will face license suspension from the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). A person can challenge the suspension through administrative proceedings conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH).  The criminal prosecution for a DUI is handled in a State Magistrate, State, or Superior Court. The penalties and Statutes covering DUI can be found in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).

What are the Penalties I am Facing?

The fines, jail time and punishments you will receive for a DUI in Dekalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and every County of Georgia depends on how many other DUIs you have been convicted of and how far apart they were.

Remember, you are in two separate but related fights. Georgia has two look back periods: one for criminal penalties (DUI), and another for driver’s license penalties (DDS). The look back period for a DUI is ten years. For example, if you were arrested for a DUI in DeKalb County Georgia (and convicted in DeKalb County State Court) in 2006 and then arrested for DUI again in 2017 in Fulton County Georgia. The 2017 DUI will count as a first DUI for purposes of the criminal punishment; even though it’s technically your second DUI. This is because the two arrests were more than ten years apart. If you’re arrested for DUI in Cobb County Georgia (and convicted in Cobb County Superior Court) in 2006, 2008, and 2017, your 2017 Cobb County DUI will be treated as your second in ten years, even though it’s your third lifetime DUI. The DUI look back period dictates only the minimum fines and jail time. Judges can still consider how many prior DUIs you’ve had when deciding what punishment to impose on you. If you have a history of repeat DUIs, you’ll very likely face stiffer penalties than a true first offender would face, regardless of how long ago your priors were.

For driver’s license penalties and suspensions, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) uses a five-year look-back period. A DUI Gwinnett County conviction will be considered a second, third, or subsequent conviction for license purposes if you had other DUI arrests in Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb or in the State of Georgia which resulted in convictions within the previous five years.

Common Legal Questions

How do I file for divorce?

A divorce is initiated by filing a Domestic Relations Case Initiation Form, Summons, and Petition for Divorce with the Court Clerk of the relevant County of the Parties; and paying a filing fee. Once a divorce is properly filed the Respondent (person not initiating the divorce) must be served with process.

How long before I get my license back?

It depends on your past driving history, your age, the class of driver’s license you have and the current charges against you.  As an example, for drivers over 21 years old a second, non-drug-related DUI conviction within five years of the prior conviction will result in DDS will suspending your license for three years.  Call to discuss the specifics of your case.

What Can i drive with a DUI?

Once again, it depends. If your DUI conviction was drug-related (the influence of drugs alone, or alcohol and drugs combined) you face different rules regarding license suspension. For a second DUI-Drug conviction in five years, DDS will issue a yearlong “hard suspension” of your license, meaning that you won’t be allowed to drive for 12 months, period. But if you enter an alternative sentencing program like a DUI or Drug Court, you might be eligible for limited permit.

Can I get 50/50 Custody?

In Georgia child custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right and ability to talk to your child’s doctor, teachers and such. Think of it as the ability to have a say in their life. Physical custody is the person who the child primarily lives with.  Most divorcing parents will have joint legal custody (50/50 custody) of any minor children born of the marriage, while designating one parent as the physical custodian of the child or children.  However, it is possible to have 50/50 joint legal and physical custody.

How much does a divorce cost?

There is no magic answer to that question. Other than everybody paying the same filing fee to initiate a divorce each divorce contains different issues, different disputes and different personalities. The Parties to the divorce have the biggest influence on the final cost of the divorce.  Litigants who are fighting over silverware and toiletries out of spite for each other are likely to spend a larger amount that people who have resolved most of their issues.  High value divorces with stocks, multiple parcels of real property, business or large pre-marital assets will also cost more than divorces with less assets.  Lawyers sell their time. A divorce that takes more hours is going to cost more than a divorce that takes less hours. Let’s talk about your divorce so you will have an idea of the total cost.

Can i leave the state with my kids?

A well drafted parenting plan will cover contingencies and events you might not have though of. Interstate, intrastate and international travel are all issues that should be considered before signing any agreement.  Depending on the facts of your case out of state travel with your children should be permissible with reasonable notice to the child’s other parent. What is reasonable notice? Call me, and lets talk.    

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