Atlanta, Georgia, Out of State DUI Attorney
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DUI charges cause extreme anxiety under the best of circumstances. Drivers charged with a DUI face license suspension or revocation, fines, jail time, community service, and other severe consequences. And, that’s if you live here.
If you drive under the influence in the Atlanta area while visiting from out of state, however, you may face even more serious problems, not to mention a more complicated legal process.
Do you face DUI charges in Georgia but live out-of-state? If so, then you need an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney to represent you here. Do not waste money and risk your freedom by hiring an out-of-state attorney who doesn’t have experience with Atlanta DUI law. Contact Schnipper Law, P.C., today at (404) 545-5845 to schedule a free consultation.
Georgia DUI and Your Out-of-State License
Having an out-of-state drivers license and living out of state does not exempt you from Georgia traffic laws, obviously. Most anyone driving on Georgia roads, whether or not they have a Georgia-issued license, is subject to Georgia law. If you are charged with a DUI here, then you will face prosecution here. We discuss that below.
There may, however, also be more immediate and complicated consequences for you as an out-of-state resident who gets charged with a DUI in Georgia. Under Georgia law, merely getting arrested for a DUI or being in a serious accident involving drugs or alcohol leads to an immediate and automatic suspension of driving privileges in Georgia, whether or not you are a Georgia license holder. In other words, if you face DUI charges here, you are subject to restrictions on your driving privileges here, no matter where you live.
Georgia permits drivers to request an administrative hearing to challenge that suspension or to seek permission to have an ignition interlock system limited driving permit. But, of course, to seek those alternatives you must return here. Speak with an attorney about these options before deciding how to proceed.
Regardless of how you decide to proceed, as a result of the suspension of your driving privileges here, Georgia will report your information to the National Driver Register maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which will pass that information along to your home state. Depending upon where you live, that report could lead to suspension of privileges in your home state, too.
What Court Hears Your Georgia DUI Case?
If you commit a DUI offense in Atlanta, you face prosecution in Georgia. You cannot have your case moved back to your home state. If you choose to fight a Georgia DUI charge in court, then you will have to travel back to Georgia for any court appearances. If you choose not to fight the charges, you will still likely have to appear for at least one court appearance here. In either case, you will need an experienced Georgia DUI attorney to protect your rights.
You do not have the option of simply ignoring a DUI charge in Georgia. It will be reported to your home state. Ignoring your Georgia DUI charge will only make things worse, putting you at risk of getting in even greater trouble, and facing even stiffer consequences, both here and in your home state.
How Can I Defend Against out of State DUI Charges?
With the help of an experienced Atlanta DUI attorney, you can fight DUI charges as an out-of-state resident. At Schnipper Law, we have years of experience helping people just like you. We have the resources and know-how to contest Atlanta DUI charges and to help you reduce the impact of any conviction here and in your home state.
How can we help? Here are some strategies that have proven successful in other cases:
Challenging the evidence. Georgia has an implied consent law: If you drive on Georgia roadways, by implication, you consent to a Breathalyzer test or other DUI testing if a police officer suspects you of driving under the influence, or if you have been involved in a serious accident (in which people were hurt) involving drugs or alcohol.
Your lawyer can help you challenge the evidence gathered in a chemical test such as a Breathalyzer. In certain circumstances, for instance, you may be able to argue:
- The Breathalyzer was not properly calibrated or otherwise in good working order.
- The person who administered the test did not have sufficient training.
- The officer had no reason to suspect that you drove under the influence, but instead pulled you over as to test you as a pretext for an illegal reason, such as racial profiling.
Forcing the officer to appear in court. In order to support the accusation of driving under the influence, the arresting officer must usually appear in court. In many cases, however, officers simply fail to appear. They may assume that they had inadequate evidence, or they may have other demands on their time that prevent them from showing up on time. Whatever the case, the lack of an arresting officer in the courtroom can lead to dismissed charges.
Arguing for “mitigation.” Not all DUI charges are the same. Oftentimes, the circumstances of the incident or your life situation call for the state and/or the court to “go easy” on you. There are various times in a case to try and convince the prosecutor or judge to do this. They include plea negotiations, arguments at sentencing hearings, and one-on-one conversations between your lawyer and the state’s attorney. An experienced DUI lawyer knows what information about a DUI arrest or about the person arrested matters to the state and the courts, and can develop a strategy for how to present that information most favorably to them to get you the lightest treatment possible.
Are You Facing DUI Charges in Atlanta, Georgia on an out of State License?
From students residing in Atlanta to individuals traveling through the city for business or pleasure, if you face DUI charges here, you need a lawyer here. Contact Schnipper Law, P.C., today at (404) 545-5845 or use our online contact form to schedule a free evaluation of your case or to learn more about how we can help you avoid the potential consequences of an Atlanta DUI.