Q: Ex-girlfriend arrested for DUI and a few other offences. What kind of jail time is she looking at?
I bailed my ex girlfriend out of jail yesterday. She was arrested for DUI, driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to maintain lane, open container, and going 71 mph in a 55 in Georgia. This was her first DUI. Im worried what kind of jail time she is looking at (minimum) and the best course of action to take in court or prior.
A: A first DUI arrest in 10 years carries a minimum of 24 hours in jail. The best course of action is to consult with an experience DUI lawyer. There are two pieces to a DUI arrest in Georgia that must be analyzed. First, the criminal component. The criminal case can be broken into four parts. The traffic stop, the DUI investigation, the DUI arrest, and the DUI test. First, all law enforcement traffic stops must be based on an articulable suspicion of a traffic violation. Random stops by police are illegal and can result in the dismissal of the entire case. Second, the DUI investigation involves standardized DUI field sobriety evaluations. We are certified in these evaluations and can point out short comings in police investigations that can lead to dismissal of the case for lack of probable cause or exclusion of testing as a result of improper procedures. Finally, the DUI test must be given after following specific state law mandated rights and protocols and must pass constitutional muster under both the 4th Amendment and 5th Amendment. Many tests and refusals are subject to exclusion for violation of the Constitutional rights of the driver. The second piece to a DUI arrest is the administrative license suspension. In Georgia you have 30 calendar days to request a hearing to avoid an administrative drivers license suspension or to by pass the license suspension process altogether by installing an interlock alcohol breath testing device on your car for one year. An experienced DUI lawyer is a must. This area of law is highly technical. A DUI arrest does not have to end in a DUI conviction. We will review your police incident report, police video and interview the Officers and work toward a dismissal of the case, a reduction in charges to something like a reckless driving or a Not Guilty verdict after trial. We can also help minimize punishment when a DUI conviction is unavoidable.
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