DUI Defense Attorneys in Gwinnett County, Georgia
Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer
Receiving a ticket for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense and individuals facing these charges frequently require legal counsel who will fight for their rights. A skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer will fight tirelessly to make sure that your driving under the influence case resolves in a positive manner.
Jim Yeargan Is An Experienced Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer
Attorney Jim Yeargan also known as “DUI Jim” is considered by many fellow lawyers to be the finest Gwinnett County driving under the influence attorney. Attorney Yeargan has been able to obtain a long list of “not guilty” verdicts and hundreds of cases that have been bargained down to less severe offenses. During his several decades of experience, Attorney Yeargan has successfully handled numerous DUI cases making Attorney Yeargan into one of the most seasoned and experienced driving under the influence attorneys in the area.
Some of Attorney Yeargan ’s various requirements include being certified to operate multiple breath testing machine, graduating from the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, being assigned to Atlanta’s DUI Prosecutorial Task Force, being certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in field sobriety testing, and being certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a field sobriety testing instructor. Attorney Yeargan also possesses specialized legal and technical knowledge regarding DUI charges. Many individuals faced with driving under the influence charges decide to retain the services of Gwinnett DUI lawyer Jim Yeargan who can provide strong legal representation. A graduate of the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University, Gwinnett County DUI lawyer Jim Yeargan has acknowledged associations with organizations including the American Bar Associations, American Trial Lawyer’s Association, Atlanta Bar Association, Gate City Bar Association, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the National College for DUI Defense.
Driving Under The Influence Roadblocks
Both law enforcement and motorists must follow applicable law in the state of Georgia. Motorists should understand what these procedures are in advance so that it can be anticipated how these operations work. If any of these operations are not performed, individuals are at risk of having their rights violated. Sometimes, these violations mean that an individual can have their rights repealed. Georgia law enforcement frequently utilizes commercials, news, or signs to notify motorists of roadblocks. Safety checks are often performed at a random interval. If you are placed under arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence, it often becomes essential to quickly contact a skilled Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer.
Consequences of a Gwinnett County DUI
Motorists must know that the consequences of a driving under the influence charge can extend much further than having an individual’s license taken away for a temporary period of time. An individual charged with driving under the influence can also face significant fines and a lengthy prison sentence. Individuals often also discover that a driving under the influence charge has a significant effect on an individual’s driving history and record. This record can greatly limit an individual’s ability to find a good job. Driving under the influence charges can also make an individual’s automobile insurance rates increase.
The 30 Day DUI Warning
Anyone charged with driving under the influence in the state of Georgia 30 calendar days to protect their right to drive. Within 30 calendar days of being arrested, an individual must file a legal request for an Administrative License Hearing or your driver’s license is automatically suspended for up to one year in duration. By filing the necessary Administrative License letter, an individual can immediately begin a plan of attack to defend against a DUI charge.
First DUI Offense in Gwinnett County
An individual who is arrested and convicted of a first driving under the influence offense may be forced to pay fines up to one thousand dollars and may even face between a few months to one year in prison. A driver may also have their driver’s license suspended for a period of twelve months. Individuals might also be required to perform community service work for a specified amount of time and might even be forced to attend driver’s education classes.
Second DUI Offense
A driver who is charged with a second DUI charge will receive even more substantial penalties than an individual who is charged for the first time with driving under the influence. These drivers can expect to face increased jail time and mandatory community service to deter drivers from making the mistake again. A second DUI suspension also arrests in individuals facing years of suspended driving privileges. The state of Georgia can suspend an individual’s driver’s license for up to three years for a second conviction. Drivers may also be forced to install interlock devices on their vehicles and purchase special insurance in order to receive their driving privileges after suspension ends. A talented Gwinnett County DUI lawyer like Jim Yeargan can prove essential in these types of cases.
Third DUI Offense
Motor vehicle drivers who are arrested for a third driving under the influence charge face severe consequences for their actions in the state of Georgia including increased jail time, court-ordered probation, and drug testing. Drivers also face the significant risk of having their driving privileges revoked a period of five years. Drivers can also be forced to pay of up to $5,000 for a third conviction. Drivers also face the significant risk of a felony charge for a third driving under the influence offense. A felony charge can have a long-standing and significantly negative impacts on an individual’s livelihood including greatly limiting employment opportunities. Individuals facing a third DUI offense frequently find it essential to contact an experienced Gwinnett County DUI lawyer.
Multiple Gwinnett County DUIs
Law enforcement in Gwinnett County and the rest of Georgia is constantly on the watch for repeat offenders of driving under the influence laws. Those charged with multiple offenses face particularly severe consequences as a result of their actions.
How Field Sobriety Tests Work
In Gwinnett County, a law enforcement office can give an individual a field sobriety test after an individual’s vehicle has been stopped. The law enforcement officer must have a suspicion that the individual has been drinking alcoholic beverages or taking illegal drugs. Field sobriety tests are one method used to make a determination as to whether a motorist is guilty of driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. It is critical for motorists who find themselves in this type of situation to understand how field sobriety tests work. Field sobriety tests are physical tests that determine whether an individual has been able to maintain proper balance when walking. Motorists are also tested for motor control abilities. Field sobriety tests are designed so that an individual will fail the test if they have been abusing alcohol or similar substances. If individuals cannot successfully pass the test, it is assumed that the individual is guilty of driving under the influence. Field sobriety tests, however, are not imperfect in nature and are not always accurate in nature. At Yeargan & Kert, LLC our DUI attorneys are very well versed with details concerning field sobriety tests and how to properly administer these tests.
How Breath Tests Occur
If a driver fails one or more field sobriety tests, there is a possibility that a chemical test will be given. There are two primary types of chemical tests that are used to determine the presence of alcohol in one’s body. One chemical test is called a blood alcohol concentration test. A breathalyzer is the most common device used to measure the blood alcohol content in one’s bloodstream. If a driver submits to the state’s chemical breath test, this test is frequently performed at the jail. A hand-held portable breath test is entirely different from a chemical breath test. The portable test provides a numerical reading, which is not admissible in court. In regards to results from a portable test, a law enforcement officer may only state whether or not the test was positive or negative in determining the presence of alcohol. A law enforcement officer may only speak as to whether or not the test was positive or negative for the presence of alcohol. The results of a chemical test also provide a numerical reading and may be introduced into a court of law. A driver is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if the driver is over the age of twenty-one and considered to be driving under the influence if their blood alcohol content is over .08 percent. If the motor vehicle driver is under the age of 21 and their blood alcohol content is .02 percent or higher, the individual is considered to be driving under the influence. A skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer like the legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC is able to create a strong defense in response to results from a field sobriety test.
How Blood Tests Occur
If law enforcement requests a blood test to determine an individual’s blood alcohol content, a physician or licensed health-care professional must obtain the sample. The law enforcement officer requesting that a blood sample is provided must make a predetermined statement. The legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC is familiar with these types of blood tests and various ways in which blood test results may be dismissed.
Visiting The Scene of The Accident
Individuals who are charged with driving under the influence should retain the services of a skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer who will examine the scene of the accident or send a private investigator to do so. Examining the accident scenes provides legal counsel with an intricate understanding of the details surrounding an accident. Legal counsel who learns about obstructions in the road can determine exactly how an accident occurred. Photographs and videos of the accident scene can also prove helpful to demonstrate to a judge or a jury how an accident occurred.
How the Gwinnett County DUI Court Process Works
If an individual is facing a DUI charge in Gwinnett County, the individual likely has many questions about the DUI court process. The legal team at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can help individuals remain informed about the DUI court process and make sure that individual’s rights are protected throughout the process. Individuals also frequently benefit from learning some of the basic laws about the legal process involving DUI court. In Gwinnett County, all misdemeanor cases, local ordinance violations, and traffic offenses must proceed through municipal court. Individuals who are arrested for driving under the influence by a member of the Gwinnett Police Department or the Georgia State Patrol, and the arrest took place within the City of Gwinnett, will have their cases heard by the Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court or the Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court or the State Court of Gwinnett County. After being arrested, individuals will receive a document known as either a citation or bond. This documents will list various details including the date of arraignment.
Arraignment occurs in front of a judge, who will ask an individual whether they intend to retain the services of a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer. The judge at the arraignment will also explain an individual’s rights and the possible pleas that an individual can make in response to offense. Individuals are frequently able to plead: (1) guilty and legally responsible for the crime with which the individual is charged, (2) not guilty and deny having committed the crime in question, or (3) no contest and neither confirm nor deny guilt concerning the crime in question.
If you plead guilty, a judge will likely assign a sentence at the time. If an individual pleads not guilty, an individual will be given a date to attend court in the future. Missing a court date likely means that an individual will be charged with a Failure to Appear, which can result in an individual having their driver’s license suspended. Missing a court date can other adverse consequences as well. By retaining the services of a skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer at Yeargan & Kert, LLC an individual can make sure that the DUI court process proceeds smoothly.
The Pretrial Diversion Program
In some Gwinnett County DUIs, individuals sometimes qualify for the Gwinnett Municipal Court Pretrial Diversion Program. This program offers individuals the opportunity to accept responsibility for the driving under the influence charge and can resultantly not have the charge appear on their permanent record or on background checks. Only certain charges including the possession of marijuana, shoplifting, or minors who are found in possession of alcohol are likely to qualify for the pretrial diversion program. Other elements that increase the likelihood of being able to attend a pretrial diversion program include if an individual is facing a first offense, the individual has an otherwise clean criminal record, and the individual has no other pending charges. Individuals who are permitted to attend the Pretrial Diversion Program will be assigned several requirements including program fee payment, random screens for drugs and alcohol, possible treatment for alcohol dependency, and probation. By completing the program’s requirements, an individual will avoid the stiffer penalties that they would have faced if the individual had not been able to attend the program.
Plea Deals for DUI Arrests
The legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC might be able to arrange a plea deal for an individual charged with driving under the influence. Once our legal counsel examines all evidence, our counsel will meet with the prosecuting attorney and attempt to obtain either a reduced charge or a complete dismissal of the charges. If you are first time offender, you have a strong chance of obtaining a good plea bargain. A plea bargain might include a form of punishment, but the legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC knows how to respond to these types of charges so that individuals can reach the best potential solutions.
DUI Child Endangerment In Georgia
Motor vehicle drivers who are caught driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs If an individual is found to be driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Georgia with children under the age of fourteen in the vehicle, the individual can face severe consequences for those actions. Child endangerment laws are designed to protect the safety of minors while traveling. The resulting consequences of these types of offenses can be particularly severe with individuals facing potential jail time, stiff fines, and criminal records. Individuals could lose custody of their own children as well. An experienced Gwinnett County DUI lawyer at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can often prove essential in protecting individuals in these types of situations.
Prescription Drug Use Can Result In A Gwinnett County DUI Charge
Driving under the influence charges can be initiated against individuals who attempt to use prescription medication or over the counter medications. Medications for pain and sleep aids are the most common types of drugs that result in driving under the influence charges. If drugs carry warnings concerning dizziness, drowsiness, or other similar symptoms then individual should not take these medications and then drive. Without established definitions on legal limits like the blood alcohol content scores, driving under the influence charges involving prescription drugs are often particularly complex. Individuals who are pulled over and charged with driving under the influence of just one prescription pill can face adverse consequences. There are also several ways that law enforcement can demonstrate that an individual took prescription drugs. Law enforcement has been known to utilize saliva swabs, conduct blood tests, and even examine an individual’s motor vehicle for the presence of a pill bottle. The best way to avoid receiving a prescription drug arrest is to refuse to answer law enforcement’s questions about drug use. Individuals should not lie to a law enforcement officer, which might result in an individual receiving a different type of charge. Instead, individuals should refuse to answer questions about what prescription drugs they are taking unless a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer is present.
Illegal Drugs and DUI
If an individual is charged with driving under the influence and there are illegal drugs in the individual’s vehicle, on the individual’s person, or in the individual’s system, that individual can be charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Individuals may also be charged with drug possession.
DUI Marijuana Possession in Georgia
Individuals should be aware of laws regarding the possession of marijuana. As in cases involving motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol, law enforcement must have a valid reason to stop the driver’s car to bring marijuana charges against an individual. At the time of the stop, a law enforcement officer may find a reason to believe that an individual is in possession of or under the influence of marijuana. This belief may be based on the smell of the drug in the car, on the person, or if the marijuana is clearly visible in the vehicle. Individuals who have under an ounce of marijuana in possession can expect to face consequences including the loss of a license for a full year. Drug-related driving under the influence charges frequently requires the assistance of a skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer like the legal team at Yeargan & Kert, LLC.
Drivers Under 21 Who Are Charged With DUIs
It is against the law for motorists in Gwinnett County to consume alcohol if they are under the age of twenty-one. If individuals are under the age of 21 and their blood alcohol content is over .02 percent, an individual can be arrested for driving under the influence. These individuals will not be granted a special permit to drive between school, work, and home. Yeargan & Kert, LLC has significant experience helping underage clients who are charged with driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
Police Procedure Involving Gwinnett County DUIs
Law enforcement officers in Gwinnett County can only be pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while the individual is either driving or takings actions at a checkpoint. Checkpoint are also referred to as roadblocks and mobile checkpoints. It is also against the law for an individual to be stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence if the individual is not in the process of driving a vehicle or at a checkpoint. The local judicial system must also support the checkpoint. The method for determining if a driver is under the influence must also be dictated in writing. Motor vehicles are also stopped randomly at an interval that is established before the checkpoint is conducted.
Question The Validity of Checkpoints
At some point during the checkpoint, a law enforcement officer almost always deviates from protocol at some point during the investigation. Our legal team at Yeargan & Kert, LLC is able to review an individual’s case and determine exactly how the arresting law enforcement officer violated legal conduct.
Advice If Stopped For A Georgia DUI
Motorists can be stopped by law enforcement for suspicion at any time if law enforcement has reason to believe that the individual is driving a vehicle while impaired. Individuals can also be charged while driving and proceeding through a safety check or DUI safety check. Individuals need not admit guilt at these stops.
A blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher at the time of an individual’s arrest as suggested by the state’s chemical breath test or an individual’s refusal to take this test can result in the individual’s driver’s license being suspended for a period of twelve months. If an individual hired a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer to represent them, that individual should have already filed an appeal in administrative court within the first 30 calendar days to preserve their license. An administrative hearing is helpful by ensuring that the arresting officer conducted the arrest in accordance with all applicable laws and performed procedures in accordance to the letter. Hiring an experienced Gwinnett County DUI lawyer like legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can help an individual make sure that they have someone to represent them through this process.
Motorists Have Options
Many individuals believe that they do not have many options when faced with a DUI and must plead guilty in response to charges. Motorists actually have several available options. One option for first-time offenders without a previous criminal history is the Pretrial Diversion Program. These programs require individuals to take responsibility for the charge in question, but individuals will not be faced with a permanent record. Individuals also have the option to challenge the procedures that were used during the arrest or how evidence was used against the individual. A skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer can help individuals review the many available solutions and decide the best angle through which an individual should pursue their rights.
What To Do If Arrested for a Gwinnett County DUI
When an individual is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, that individual will be promptly booked into jail. A judge will set bail. If an individual can pay the bail amount, the individual will be bonded out of jail. If an individual contacts the law firm of Yeargan & Kert, LLC when arrested, the firm will be able to help the individual with bail proceedings and determine which court is best suited to make sure that the individual’s case reaches the best potential outcome.
How Our Firm Can Help Your Gwinnett County DUI Case
Fully understanding how court proceedings for driving under the influence charges proceed can help individuals determine how to make proper choices. A seasoned and skilled Gwinnett County DUI lawyer at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can help individuals in a court of law. Individuals should avoid making the mistake of trying to defend their case in a court of law alone. Our firm will fight tirelessly and diligently to make sure that your case resolves in a fair manner and that you receive the best compensation possible. Our legal team will also make sure to request all information from law enforcement concerning charges related to driving under the influence. Our attorneys will also examine any available evidence concerning your arrest and the procedures that took place during the time that you were arrested. Our legal counsel will inspect every possible element in investigating for any violations or improper procedures that law enforcement might have used against you during your arrest and booking. Our legal team will utilize the discovery process to ensure that you are properly defended when your case goes to court. With years of experience, our attorneys know how to guide individuals through the procedures associated with your case.
DUIs Are More Than A Criminal Case
In addition to being criminal nature, driving under the influence cases also involve an administrative element. The administrative element focuses on the results of blood alcohol content testing or the driver’s refusal to submit to testing. If a motorist determined to have a blood-alcohol content over the legal limit or the motorist refused to perform a blood alcohol content test, the state of Georgia is likely already in the process of suspending a motorist’s driving privileges for a certain duration of time. If a motorist files an appeal letter within 30 days of their arrest, the court must schedule an administrative hearing. If the individual desires to keep their driving privileges, the individual must request an administrative hearing.
The Assistance Of A Skilled Prosecutor
The best choice that individuals can make is to work with a Gwinnett county DUI lawyer like Jim Yeargan , who has previously worked as a prosecuting attorney in driving under the influence cases. Attorney Yeargan has a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to successfully defend a driving under the influence case. Attorney Yeargan is also acquainted with many lawyers and judges who handle these cases in Gwinnett county and what the best strategy is to defend against one of these cases.
What Gwinnett DUI Lawyer Jim Yeargan Can Do For Gwinnett County Motorists
Gwinnett County cases involving driving under the influence charges are complex and filled with life-altering consequences if an individual does not fully appreciate the applicable laws and procedure. Our skilled DUI attorneys will fight tirelessly to protect an individual’s rights. Through the discovery process, our legal team will review an individual’s records in an effort to locate important information that may get your case dismissed. Do not hesitate to contact the law office of Yeargan & Kert, LLC. Our firm has positively reviewed in numerous rating systems including Yelp and AVVO. Our attorneys are often able to help preserve individual’s rights, reduce fines, avoid jail time, and keep an individual’s driver’s license.
Vehicular Homicide And DUIs In Gwinnett County
If a motorist is involved in a car accident that results in a death, the motorist will be given a chemical test to investigate the presence of drugs and alcohol. If a motorist is arrested for driving under the influence, the motorist will be charged with vehicular homicide for the death that arose due to the accident. Vehicular homicide in relationship to a driving under the influence charge is one of the most serious driving under the influence charges for which an individual can get arrested. If you have been arrested for vehicular homicide, it is an extremely wise idea to use your one phone call to contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC.
Top Advice For Gwinnett County Motorists Involving DUIs
There are some basic pieces of advice that individuals should remember to follow regarding driving under the influence situations in Gwinnett County:
- View The Case As Capable of Being Won. A driving under the influence conviction can have numerous collateral consequences, but individuals should approach these cases by strongly believing that the case has the potential to be won.
- Pre-Trial Motion. A pretrial motion should be filed and argued in many cases, especially if a preliminary hearing was not held. Even if the motion is not successful, this additional motion can still be used to further enhance the record.
- Obtain A Designated Driver. If a motorist plans to drink alcohol while outside, it is a wise idea to retain the services of a Designated Driver. Individuals can also choose to arrange for a cab, Uber, Lyft, drink at home rather than outside, or leave an individual’s motor vehicle at home. Planning ahead is often the best way to avoid a DUI charge.
- Cooperate With Law Enforcement. If you get pulled over, it is a wise idea to cooperate with law enforcement. Law enforcement will approach an individual’s vehicle and might ask the individual some questions. Law enforcement will take great effort to determine whether an individual has bloodshot eyes, flushed face, slurred speech, smells of alcohol or demonstrates other signs of alcohol intoxication.
- Remember Your Right To An Attorney. Individuals have a Constitutional right to an attorney. Individuals who are arrested for driving under the influence should not hesitate to retain the services of a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer. Individuals need not wait for a law enforcement officer to tell them that they have the right to counsel. Individuals frequently find that it is particularly important to contact a seasoned Gwinnett County DUI lawyer if arrested for driving under the influence.
- Write Your Own Version Of A Police Report. By writing your own version of how the event occurred, individuals can refresh their recollection of the incident while the event is still fresh in their minds. Often times, a case becomes a motorist’s version of the event in question against the law enforcement officer’s opinion. By having an individual’s own version of how the event occurred, the individual will be able to respond to prosecutors who argue that the individual was drunk and due to the passage of time, the individual’s memories are not reliable.
- Know The Location Of All Important Documents. Individuals should make sure that they know the precise location of their driver’s license, motor vehicle registration, and proof of insurance.
- Take The Blood Test. Motorists may refuse to take a test after an arrest, but they may be forced to take a blood test anyway and will receive a license suspension for a year. An experienced Gwinnett County DUI lawyer like the legal counsel at Yeargan & Kert, LLC can later challenge the results.
- Use Expert Witnesses. Using the services of an expert witness can prove very effective in a driving under the influence trial. While some cases can be won without the assistance of an expert witness, retaining an expert witness can often be quite helpful.
- Do Not Waive A Preliminary Hearing. If you plan on fully contesting the charges against you, it is a wise idea to contact an experienced Gwinnett County DUI lawyer. Individuals who waive a preliminary hearing and declines to contest charges will have a case that goes to trial.
- Pull Off the Road Carefully. When a law enforcement officer signals for an individual to pull over, motor vehicles drivers should do so immediately and with great caution.
- Avoid Common Mistakes. There are some basic pieces of advice that individuals should follow to avoid making driving under the influence charges severe in nature. Individuals must avoid taking prescription drugs and then driving a vehicle. Individuals should not joke or refuse to comply at a DUI checkpoint. Motorists should always avoid telling the law enforcement that they are drunk. Another common mistake is when individuals operate a motor vehicle an open container in the vehicle. Individuals should also make sure that they take the driving under the influence charges seriously. Individuals should also avoid driving after their license has been suspended, which can result in even more severe charges. Another large mistake is that individuals sometimes fail to arrive at a court of law. Lastly, individuals should understand that in order to defeat a DUI charge, individuals frequently must create strong legal strategies.
Work With The Legal Team At Yeargan & Kert, LLC
Our legal team has all the necessary qualifications to represent an individual in a hearing or in court for a driving under the influence case. We know what it takes to make sure that your Gwinnett County DUI resolves in the most positive way and least negative affects your future. Call Yeargan & Kert, LLC today regardless of what time it is. Someone in our office is always available to provide the necessary advice concerning one’s case.
The Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers at Yeargan & Kert, LLC
James Yeargan is one of the most respected and sought after DUI attorneys in the state. He is the Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer.
A highly successful and effective criminal law attorney, Ms. Kert has handled more than 1,000 DUI cases, and served for eight years as a DUI Prosecutor and is intimately familiar with all the maneuvers and strategies prosecutors and police officers use in Georgia DUI cases.
John F. Gilkey is our Paralegal and is the first point of contact for our clients as they enter the office.
Jon Majeske joined the firm after spending 10 years in private practice defending high profile, and serious felony cases. In addition to handling hundreds of traffic tickets and DUI cases, Jon has tried and won numerous rape, kidnapping, armed robbery, aggravated assault,burglary, trafficking, and capital murder cases.