Clayton County DUI Lawyer

Clayton County DUI Lawyer

Clayton County DUI Attorney

Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs does not equate to being guilty of the crime, nor does it mean the charges cannot be dropped with the proper defense. It is not unheard of for someone to be improperly or wrongfully arrested for a DUI. If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI, you might be in need of an experienced legal professional to defend you. A Clayton County DUI lawyer can help you seek the ideal outcome for your case.

Why You Should Choose Miller North & Brill

At Miller North & Brill, our attorneys have more than 30 years of combined experience working in criminal defense law. By employing our knowledge of the criminal laws in Georgia, we have helped people of all backgrounds and all walks of life obtain favorable outcomes in their criminal cases. At Miller North & Brill, we approach every case aggressively and with care for our clients, making sure you are aware of your rights and working tirelessly to pursue the desired results.

Navigating DUI Checkpoints and Knowing Your Rights

By state law, it is illegal to drive a non-commercial motor vehicle in Georgia with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. To combat drunk driving, the state implores the use of routine DUI checkpoints. A DUI checkpoint is a traffic stop where police officers stop drivers for a brief moment to check for any signs of impairments. With reasonable suspicion, the police officer can perform a field sobriety test on the individual or even arrest them and take them to have blood or breath tests done.

While DUI checkpoints are legal in Georgia under the state and US Constitution, there are still certain rules and protocols officers must follow. It is important to understand your rights at these traffic stops and to know what you can and can’t do.

As with any encounter with law enforcement, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions or make any statements outside of giving your basic information. You also have the right to refuse a field sobriety test or a breath test at the stop and cannot be coerced into allowing one. However, if you are arrested for a DUI, there is implied consent when it comes to testing for impairment. If you refuse the test, you may face consequences.

Be aware of what police officers can and can’t do when they stop you at a checkpoint:

  • They cannot detain you without reasonable suspicion that you are impaired
  • They cannot arrest you for a DUI without probable cause
  • They cannot search your car unless they have probable cause or you have given consent to have your vehicle searched.

It’s beneficial to remain calm and cooperative when stopped. Any unnecessary escalation can complicate matters and make the situation worse for you. Pay attention to how you are being treated, and record the stop if you can. If your rights are violated at any point, the information you provide to a DUI defense attorney can be very helpful in your defense.

Types of DUI Charges

There are four types of DUI charges in Georgia. The general DUI law is that a person driving with a BAC of 0.08 or above can be charged with a DUI. In some cases, even driving with a lower BAC can be cause for arrest:

  • DUI per se – A person over the age of 21 driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher or under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs in more than the dosage that was prescribed can be arrested for a DUI.
  • Commercial drivers – Commercial drivers can be arrested for a DUI if they have a BAC of at least 0.04.
  • Underage drivers – If an underaged driver has a BAC of at least 0.02, they may be charged with a DUI.
  • DUI less safe – A driver can be charged with a DUI even if their BAC is below 0.08 if they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or if it is found that their ability to operate a vehicle was affected by drugs or alcohol.

If charged with any of these DUI types, a Clayton County attorney can assess your charges and case details to determine ways to build a strong DUI defense on your behalf.

Criminal and Non-Criminal Penalties for a DUI Charge

First Offense – If it is your first time facing a DUI charge, you can face the following penalties:

  • The possibility of up to a year of jail time
  • A minimum fine of $300, a maximum of $1,000
  • License suspension of up to one year
  • Mandatory community service hours for a minimum of 20 or 40 hours
  • Up to one year of probation

Second Offense – A second offense that is within 10 years of the first offense carries the following penalties:

  • Possible jail time of up to one year
  • Fine of $600 at minimum and up to $1,000
  • License suspension of up to three years
  • 240 hours of community service
  • $210 set license reinstatement fee
  • A mandatory evaluation for substance abuse and the completion of any substance abuse treatment that is recommended
  • Completion of DUI school
  • One year of probation

Third Offense – A third DUI offense within 10 years is considered a high and aggravated misdemeanor. An offender can face penalties that include:

  • 15 days to one year of jail time
  • Fines of at least $1,000 and a maximum of $5,000
  • License suspension for five years
  • 240 hours of community service
  • DUI school
  • Violator’s name, photo, and address published in local newspaper at violator’s expense
  • Violator will be declared a habitual violator
  • Published notice of violator’s conviction in their county
  • The license plate for the offender’s car must be surrendered to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety
  • A mandatory evaluation for substance abuse and the completion of any substance abuse treatment that is recommended

Any further DUI convictions can potentially result in a felony conviction, additional costs, and harsher penalties that include a 10-year license suspension. It is highly advised to seek legal assistance when charged with a DUI. Without a lawyer, you risk the chance of being given the maximum penalties.


Q. How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost in Georgia?

A. There is no standard cost for a DUI lawyer in Georgia. Each attorney will have different costs based on how much experience they have, their skill level, the charges you are facing, and the complexity of your case.

Often, attorney costs also vary based on what services they will be providing. For instance, if you go to trial for your case, your costs may be higher. Before thinking about the costs of a DUI lawyer, consider what you will need from your lawyer in regard to your case and your personal preference.

Q. Do I Need a Lawyer for a DUI in Georgia?

A. It is advisable to hire a lawyer for any DUI charges. A lawyer is likely more familiar with the state laws surrounding DUIs and the legal implications of a conviction. Having someone who has knowledge of and experience with DUI charges in Clayton County can greatly increase your chances of seeing a favorable outcome in your case.

Q. How Long Can a DUI Case Stay Open in Georgia?

A. The statute of limitation for a DUI case is generally two years in Georgia. This means the state has up to two years to file official DUI charges against you and begin the legal proceedings. If charges are not filed within that two-year period, the prosecution is not allowed to move forward with the case.

However, if the DUI is a felony DUI, the statute of limitation extends to four years. Another exception is if your DUI attorney demands a speedy trial. If you are not tried in the current or following court term, your case can be dismissed.

Q. What to Do if You Get a DUI in Georgia?

A. One of the first things you should do if you are arrested for a DUI is to contact an experienced DUI lawyer. They can help guide you through any legal proceedings and take the necessary steps to ensure you have a strong defense. Another step to take is filing a driver’s license appeal for your suspended license; you have 10 days to do this.

Your lawyer will want to look at all evidence of the case, including the police report, to get an idea of what defense you could possibly use, so you should attempt to obtain all of this information as soon as possible.

Reach Out to Miller North & Brill Today

Being arrested for a DUI can be intense and intimidating, and you may not be aware of your rights during the chaos. However, a dedicated attorney is available to defend and advocate for you. Contact our attorneys at Miller North & Brill to have your case thoroughly reviewed by one of our DUI lawyers.

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