Litigating The Cases That Matter The Most

Defending the Accused and Fighting Mass Incarceration

Savannah DUI Attorney

A DUI charge does not mean a DUI conviction. You don’t have to simply go along with what law enforcement and the prosecution say. You can fight your charges, and you don’t have to do it alone.

Fighting your charges might be scary. You’re probably worried about what a conviction might mean – jail time, fines, and a permanent record. We start each client engagement by giving our clients hope.

It’s possible to get your charges reduced or dismissed. At The Claiborne Firm, we take the time to listen to the client’s side of the story, and we stand up for their rights in court. We give our clients the time they deserve because we keep our caseloads low, unlike many of the other DUI attorneys you might see on TV.

What Does DUI Mean in Georgia?

Georgia law defines two types of driving under the influence (DUI) violations – “under the influence” and DUI “per se.” In the first category, a police officer makes a judgement that you are “under the influence” and were operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or an illegal substance. Even if you take a breathalyzer or blood test and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is under the legal limit of 0.08, you can still be charged and convicted of DUI as a result of the officer’s field sobriety tests and his or her subsequent determination.

The second category, DUI “per se,” is charged when the results of a breathalyzer or blood test are above the legal limit of 0.08. This type is more challenging to defend, but not impossible by any means.

Is Being Charged with DUI a Felony in Georgia?

DUIs can be either a misdemeanor or a felony in Georgia. The type of charge depends on if you’ve had previous DUI offenses, your age, your breath or blood test results, and the presence of minors in the vehicle.

 

What Are the Potential Penalties for a DUI charge?

The penalties for DUI in Georgia depend on the number of previous DUI charges you’ve been convicted of and your blood or breath test results. They include:

  • • First offense – Fines up to $1,000, jail time up to one year, license suspension up to one year, 40 hours community service, participation in a DUI course, and probation.
  • • Second offense – Fines up to $1,000; jail time up to one year, license suspension up to three years, 40 hours community service, participation in a DUI course or alternative treatment program, probation, and possibly mandated use of an ignition interlock device.
  • • Third offense – Fines from $1,000 to $5,000; jail time up to one year; license suspension up to five years, 40 hours community service, participation in a DUI course or alternative treatment program, probation, and possibly mandated use of an ignition interlock device.
  • • Fourth offense – All fourth offenses are considered felonies punishable by fines up to $5,000 and prison time in a state facility from one to five years.

How Can I Fight My DUI Charges?

Fighting DUI charges is possible. You don’t have to settle or take a plea bargain. Some common DUI defenses include:

  • • Lack of probable cause to pull you over
  • • Inaccurate breath or blood test equipment
  • • Improper breath, blood, or field test procedure
  • • Improper handling of test samples
  • • Police misconduct
  • • You were not actually driving
  • • Something called “rising blood alcohol concentration,” meaning that in the time between when you were pulled over and when you were tested, your BAC rose above the legal limit, and you were plausibly under the legal limit at the time of the stop.

 

What Factors Can Affect a Failed Field Sobriety Test or Faulty BAC Test?

Certain medical conditions can cause the illusion of inebriation or cause a false-positive BAC test. Slurred speech can be caused by lack of sleep. Poor balance can be caused by nervous system disorders. Simple allergies can cause watery, red eyes. Conditions like ketosis can cause your breath to smell like alcohol. Ketosis can also cause a breathalyzer test to spike. Any of these factors can be used as a defense in your case.

What Sets the Claiborne Firm Apart?

The Claiborne Firm built its reputation on standing up against injustice. We keep our caseloads low, which is rare in this industry. We do that so we can give each case the time and attention it deserves. We are aggressive in the courtroom, and we love the challenge of devising creative defense strategies for cases where the odds are stacked against us. If the occasion calls for it, we’ll engage with the media on groundbreaking cases. Finally, we stand by our clients through the toughest fights.

If you have been charged with DUI in Georgia, reach out today at (912) 236-9559 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.

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