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Arrested for driving under the influence? You probably feel hopeless – especially if you have a prior criminal record. At Weintraub & Alper Legal we have fought for the rights of the accused since 1985. With decades of legal experience behind us, we understand the burden of a criminal arrest, and our Atlanta DUI attorneys are prepared to protect your freedom and future.
It's important to remember that a DUI arrest is not a conviction and there is still time to build the defense you need to combat the allegations you face. When you come to our firm you can trust that our legal team will go above and beyond to protect your rights in and out of the courtroom.
We Understand Both Sides of the Courtroom
As a former prosecutor, Attorney Howard J. Weintraub knows how the other side thinks. As a federal prosecutor, he gained invaluable experience learning about criminal prosecution techniques and the strategies DUI prosecutors use to pursue convictions. Today, our Atlanta DUI attorneys use this understanding to the advantage of our clients.
We craft cases that are designed to aggressively combat popular prosecution methods and common evidence, including:
Building a DUI Defense Strategy in Georgia
Under O.C.G.A. §40-6-391, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI is a serious criminal offense, and it poses serious criminal penalties. This is why our firm is committed to helping people who are facing DUI charges fight a conviction and avoid maximum penalties.
Building a stable DUI defense strategy that is unique to your particular case is essential to fighting for your freedom. Our Atlanta DUI lawyers can help you develop a solid defense strategy to help improve the overall outcome of your case.
Following are some common DUI defense strategies:
- Officer failed to follow protocols for the sobriety test
- Officer unlawfully stopped you
- Officer’s communications were outside of protocol or even inappropriate
- Officer unlawfully interrogated you
- You were experiencing medical conditions that was mistaken as drunken behavior
- Improper testing of blood alcohol samples
- Officer violated the rules of evidence and / or procedure
Finding Weaknesses in the Prosecution's Case
Our firm knows that DUI defense can be extremely effective when you locate and exploit weak points in the prosecution's case. Remember, an arrest does not automatically result in a conviction. DUI arrests occur when police officers suspect that a person was driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is the prosecution's job to prove guilt in court, and it is our legal team's job to expose weak evidence and dismiss the charges. The success of your defense may largely depend on the skill and experience of your Atlanta DUI attorney.
Challenging Why You Were Stopped
Members of law enforcement are required to be able to articulate a reason for performing traffic stops. They may not target and stop a person without substantial reason or suspicion. The same is true for sobriety checkpoints and drunk driving checks—if a police officer does not perform correct procedure when making a traffic stop, then it may be shown that the officer illegally or improperly conducted the DUI arrest. These procedures are strict in order to protect individuals from illegal searches and seizures. If a DUI arrest violated your rights and protections under the law, it may be used in your defense against the charges!
Contesting the Tests You Were Given
Field sobriety tests and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tests are not foolproof. They can often be improperly administered, and the interpretation of tests like the walk and turn and one-leg stand can be highly subjective. Breath tests on the Intoxilyzer 5000 can be unreliable when circumstantial factors are not taken into account or when the machine is not properly maintained. Even blood test results can be compromised by improper procedure. The evidence of these tests may be largely subject to the interpretation of the officer. Do not leave your future open to interpretation—challenge the test evidence in your defense!
Georgia DUI Penalties
DUI may be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony charge. Depending on the circumstances of a DUI arrest, the penalties of a conviction may range. However, the consequences to your criminal record and your future opportunities are always severe. If you have been charged with DUI, you may not expect a judge or the arresting officer to look after your best interests.
Your first DUI conviction in Georgia may be punishable by:
- $1,000 fine
- Up to 12 months of imprisonment
- 40 hours of community service
- Completion of a Risk Reduction Program
- Mandatory drug / alcohol treatment
- 1 year of probation
- Driver's license suspension
Subsequent convictions and felony convictions will result in even more severe penalties, including:
- Heavy fines
- License revocation
- Lengthy terms of imprisonment
Each case is different, and penalties may vary depending on the circumstances involved. In any case, DUI convictions pose serious, long-term penalties that should not be taken lightly.
Georgia's Implied Consent DUI Law
The state of Georgia and most other states throughout the country enforce what is known as an implied consent law. Generally, implied consent means that every motorist on the road has given their consent to submit to a chemical test when a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that they may be driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol.
Under section 40-5-55 of the Georgia Code, any person who drives or who is in actual physical control of a moving vehicle in Georgia is deemed to have given consent to a chemical test. Chemical tests can include tests of blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substances in order to determine the presence of alcohol or any drug. Implied consent laws apply specifically to situations in which a law enforcement officer suspects a motorist of driving under the influence.
As part of the implied consent law, drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical test can face serious penalties. Refusing a breath or blood test, for example, can result in an automatic driver's license suspension and can be used as evidence during criminal court proceedings. This is because chemical tests are considered mandatory under Georgia's implied consent law, unlike field sobriety tests, which are optional. While breath and blood tests are the most commonly used tools to measure a person's impairment, they are not always accurate and can be effectively challenged with the assistance of an experience Atlanta DUI lawyer. When a driver refuses to submit to a test, they leave themselves fewer options for defense.
If you or someone you care about has refused to take a chemical test, it is in your best interests to discuss your case and your options with an Atlanta DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Howard J. Weintraub.
Driver's License Restoration - Regular & Commercial
If your license was suspended, you only have 10 days to schedule an appeal hearing—otherwise you may lose the ability to drive for more than one year!
License suspension is a penalty that many individuals face after a DUI arrest. People who rely on their driving privileges to earn a living may suffer serious consequences to their career if their license is suspended. At Weintraub & Alper Legal our Atlanta DUI attorneys help regular Class C drivers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers protect their privileges in court and against automatic suspension in ALS hearings at the Georgia DDS.
Arrested for DUI in Atlanta? Contact Weintraub & Alper Legal to start discussing your defense!
What Costs Will I Face for a DUI in Georgia?
How serious are these penalties to your wallet? DUI convictions can be incredibly costly. Aside from the costs of dealing with the aftermath of a DUI arrest – such as missing time from work to make court appearances and traveling to and from court and the Georgia Department of Driver Services – being convicted of a DUI offense can create a whole host of financial setbacks.
The most common costs associated with a DUI conviction include:
- Criminal fines
- Court fees
- Costs of DUI education classes
In addition to the general costs of a conviction that most people are familiar with, there are also several hidden expenses. These expenses can persist long after an arrest and conviction and can significantly impact an individual's personal and financial life.
Hidden DUI expenses include:
- Costs of Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) – Convicted drivers will need to pay for installation and removal fees and will often be required to pay for periodic calibration of the machine, which could be an added monthly expense.
- Increased Insurance Premiums – Insurance companies are in business to make money, and will view DUI convictions negatively. Additionally, points added to a license will nearly always result in increased insurance premiums, which can quickly add up over time.
- Transportation Costs – License suspensions are often one of the most difficult consequences of a DUI conviction. Paying for public transportation or rides from friends can be expensive.
- Community Service / Imprisonment– Community service is a common penalty for drivers convicted for DUI. In many cases, individuals are required to pay some fees associated with fulfilling their community service requirements. Time away from work to participate in community service or serve a jail or prison sentence will also be costly.
- Employment – DUI convictions have the potential to impact one's employment and education opportunities, especially if one has a professional license or a job that requires them to drive. Losing a job or being turned away from a position or school can be one of the most devastating financial consequences of a DUI conviction.
How to Find a Qualified DUI Lawyer in Atlanta, GA
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important to find a qualified attorney with experience in defending drunk driving cases. Here are some tips for finding the best DUI lawyer for your case:
- Research attorneys online – Look into potential attorneys’ backgrounds and reviews from clients to get an idea of their qualifications and track record. Consider factors such as the attorney's credentials, reputation, areas of expertise and years of experience.
- Ask for referrals – Reach out to friends, family or colleagues who may have worked with a DUI lawyer before. Talk to them about their experiences and ask them if they would recommend the lawyer they hired.
- Interview several attorneys – Schedule consultations with various attorneys to get a better sense of their experience and skills. Ask questions like, “How long have you been defending DUI cases?” or “What strategies do you use to defend these types of cases?”
- Consider cost – An experienced attorney may cost more than one who is just starting out, but it pays off in the end. Be sure to review what services are included in the fee before making any decisions so that there aren't any surprises down the road.
Finding an experienced DUI attorney can help ensure that your rights are defended and your best interests are taken into consideration throughout the legal process. Taking some time to research and interview different attorneys will also make sure you find one that is knowledgeable and qualified in DUI law. With the right attorney, you can get the best possible outcome for your case.
How Can an Experienced Atlanta DUI Lawyer Help?
Facing DUI charges in Atlanta can be a daunting experience, but with the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer, individuals can navigate the legal complexities and work towards a favorable outcome.
Legal Expertise: An experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer possesses in-depth knowledge of Georgia's DUI laws, including recent updates and case precedents. This expertise allows them to assess the specifics of your case, identify potential defenses, and provide sound legal advice.
Investigation and Evidence: DUI cases often involve complex evidence, such as field sobriety tests, breathalyzer results, and police reports. A skilled attorney knows how to scrutinize this evidence for inaccuracies or procedural errors that could weaken the prosecution's case.
Negotiation Skills: In many instances, DUI cases can be negotiated outside of a trial setting. A seasoned DUI lawyer can engage in plea bargaining or negotiate for reduced charges, minimizing the potential consequences for the accused.
Courtroom Representation: If a case goes to trial, having an attorney with courtroom experience is invaluable. A DUI lawyer can present a strong defense, cross-examine witnesses, and argue legal points effectively before a judge and jury.
Minimizing Consequences: DUI convictions can result in severe consequences, including license suspension, fines, and even imprisonment. An experienced DUI lawyer works to minimize these consequences, exploring alternatives such as diversion programs or counseling.
Emotional Support: Facing DUI charges can be emotionally taxing. A compassionate DUI lawyer not only provides legal guidance but also offers emotional support, guiding clients through the process with understanding and empathy.
For those charged with DUI, consulting with an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer from Weintraub & Alper Legal is a proactive step towards a more favorable resolution. Our expertise and dedication can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Questions to Ask Your Atlanta DUI Attorney
First, find out how much of their practice is devoted to drunk driving defense. DUI cases can be complicated, so finding an Atlanta DUI attorney with the skill and understanding of drunk driving laws and defense strategies is imperative.
Ask your attorney how many cases he/she handles at one time. Some lawyers take on too many cases at one time. If you attorney doesn't have enough time to devote to your case, you may not be able to obtain he case outcome you need. Our team is committed to providing each client with the personalized care and attention to detail that he/she needs and deserves.
Finally, find out what sets your lawyer apart from other DUI defenders. In a large city like Atlanta, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of legal representatives who are ready to fight for you. Make sure that you find the best lawyer for your unique case. Attorney Howard J. Weintraub has successfully served hundreds of clients and received commendations from the FBI, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Secret Service.
Protecting Your Freedom, Finances, and Future
Call Weintraub & Alper Legal to see what our skilled Atlanta DUI lawyers can do for your case. You may also contact us online at your earliest convenience or schedule an initial consultation. Take the first step toward securing the legal guidance you need. The sooner we hear from you, the faster our team can help your case.
We Have the Desire to Fight
Howard J. Weintraub and Benjamin B. Alper have a 10.0 Superb Rating by Avvo
Howard J. Weintraub Has Received Commendations From the FBI, IRS, & U.S. Attorney General
Our Firm Has Over 55 Years of Combined Legal Experience
Howard J. Weintraub is an Experienced Former Federal Prosecutor