DUI Attorneys in Cumming

Proven Defense for DUI Cases in Forsyth County

Auto accidents involving alcohol are responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths annually. In an effort to reduce the number of DUI offenses that take place in our state each year, as well as the accidents that often follow, law enforcement officials and prosecutors are aggressively pursuing and punishing those that do commit DUI crimes.

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If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, it is important that you contact a DUI lawyer at Zeliff | Watson who can provide you with legal representation in your case. Our attorneys have over 25 years of experience in practicing criminal defense, and have secured favorable results on behalf of many clients.

By employing aggressive defense strategies in your case, we may be able to help you avoid penalties that include license suspension, probation, community service and possible jail time.

Learn More About Georgia's Drunk Driving Laws

  • GA DUI Laws
    Drivers in Georgia are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more. The laws addressing DUI call for serious penalties to be levied in the event of a conviction, even for first-time offenders. These penalties increase exponentially for multiple DUI convictions, or offenses that involve an "aggravating" factor, such as an injury accident.
  • 10 Day Warning Rule
    If you have been arrested for DUI in our state, and have either tested over the .08% legal limit, or refused to submit to chemical testing, you have only 10 business days to notify the Georgia Department of Driver Services that you will be appealing the planned suspension of your Georgia drivers' license or the planned suspension of your ability to drive in the state.
  • Multiple DUI
    Multiple DUI convictions can result in a person facing increased penalties. Any person who is arrested for a fourth (or higher) offense will face felony charges that can carry penalties including $5,000 in fines, 60 days of community service, mandatory enrollment in an alcohol treatment program, and up to 5 years in jail.
  • DUI with Injury
    If you are driving while under the influence causes an accident that results in injury, your DUI offense becomes a felony, and you can face penalties that include large fines, restitution to the victim(s), and even time in state prison. You may also be hit with personal injury lawsuits from the injured party or the injured party's loved ones.
  • Leaving the Scene
    If you have been in an auto accident, you are required by law to stop and provide aid (if possible), as well as give your information to law enforcement and the other individuals involved in the accident. If you fail to do this, you can be charged with hit-and-run, which becomes a felony offense when the accident has resulted in death or injury.
  • Breath & Blood Tests
    Breath and blood tests are designed to measure the amount of alcohol in a person's bloodstream. They are administered during or after DUI stops to establish whether or not an individual was driving over the legal limit, which is .08%. Refusal to take a breath or blood test can result in the suspension of one's drivers' license or one's ability to drive within state lines.
  • BAC
    BAC stands for "blood alcohol content," which is the amount of alcohol that a person has in their bloodstream. In our state, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC that is higher than .08%. Currently, BAC can be measured by law enforcement in three different ways: a breath test, a blood test, or urine test.
  • Suspended Licenses
    If you are arrested for DUI, it is possible that you will have your license suspended. License suspension can be included in your punishment if you are convicted, or it can occur if you refuse to take a breath test at your DUI stop. It is possible for you to schedule a hearing with the Georgia Department of Driver Services in order to appeal your suspension.
  • Less Safe
    There are two types of DUI violations that you can face in our state: "Per se" and "less safe." If you are charged with a "less safe" violation, prosecutors must be able to prove that you were a less safe driver as a result of your intoxication in order to obtain a conviction.
  • Sobriety Checkpoints
    Sobriety checkpoints are essentially "roadblocks" created by law enforcement in order to catch drivers who are driving while under the influence. These checkpoints are usually set up late at night or very early in the morning. If you have been arrested after being accused of DUI at such a checkpoint, it is recommended that you contact an attorney, as there is a chance that your rights have been violated.
  • BUI
    BUI stands for "boating under the influence," and refers to the crime of operating a boat while possessing a BAC that is over the legal limit. As BUI is considered very similar to DUI, many of the same penalties can be applied in the event of a conviction, including fines, mandatory rehabilitation classes, and jail time.
  • Traffic Offenses
    In addition to DUI, there are many traffic offenses that can result in the imposition of serious penalties, including reckless driving, speeding, hit and run, aggressive driving, driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license, following too closely, failure to yield, and passing a stopped school bus.

Why You Need a DUI Attorney

Unlike many other criminal offenses, the laws regarding DUI sometimes seem to be written in a way that facilitates convictions. It takes vigorous defense in a DUI case to clear a defendant of wrongdoing. If you have been arrested for DUI, you do not want to face your charges alone, as you may not have a strong chance of success. You will want to retain an experienced attorney who can utilize effective defense tactics in court in an effort to obtain the reduction or elimination of your charges.

The range of consequences for each successive DUI charge is laid out below.

Penalties for 1st DUI:

If you are convicted of the DUI charge, and it is your first offense, then you will be subject to all of the following as part of your sentence:

  • A fine of $300 - $1,000.
  • Imprisonment for 10 days to 12 months. If your blood alcohol concentration was 0.08 grams or more at the time of the offense, then you'll have to serve at least 24 hours of that sentence in prison. Otherwise, judges may suspend or probate the sentence.
  • Community service of 20 hours (where the BAC was less than 0.08 at the time of the offense) or 40 hours or more (for all others).
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • A clinical evaluation, and, if recommended, completion of a substance abuse treatment program (although the judge has some leeway to suspend this requirement).

Penalties for 2nd DUI:

The State of Georgia now looks back at your criminal record over the preceding ten years to determine how many DUI convictions you have incurred. If you have had a previous DUI in the 10-year period before your 2nd DUI arrest, your minimum punishments are greatly enhanced. Second-offense DUI convictions now carry:

  • A fine between $600 and $1,000.
  • Jail time - at least 90 days, not to exceed 12 months. Although the judge can order probation
  • In lieu of the full sentence for up to a total of twelve months, you'll have to serve at least 72 hours of your sentence in prison.
  • At least 30 days of community service.
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • Clinical evaluation and, if recommended, a substance abuse treatment program.

If that weren't enough, a public notice of your conviction will be printed in the newspaper, along with your booking photograph, and you have to pay $25 to cover the cost of that notice.

Penalties for 3rd DUI:

In Georgia, a 3rd DUI offense in a 10-year period is treated as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. If you are convicted of a 3rd DUI, Georgia courts are required to sentence you to a minimum of:

  • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Imprisonment of at least 120 days, not to exceed 12 months. As with a second offense, the judge can order probation in lieu of a portion of this sentence, but a convicted defendant will have to serve at least fifteen days in prison.
  • At least 30 days of community service.
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • A clinical evaluation and, if recommended by the person conducting that evaluation, completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

Additionally, the notice and booking photograph requirement of a second offense apply to third-offense convictions.

Penalties for 4th Offense: FELONY DUI

If you are charged with and convicted of a 4th DUI, in a 10-year period of time, you are now facing felony punishments under Georgia law. Those punishments are:

  • A fine of $1,000 - $5,000.
  • Imprisonment of one to five years; the judge may probate a portion of that sentence, but you'll have to serve at least 90 days in jail.
  • At least sixty days of community service (although the judge may suspend this requirement if you are sentenced to three or more years in jail).
  • Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program.
  • Clinical evaluation and, if recommended, completion of a substance abuse treatment program.

As with all DUI convictions, felony DUI means that a notice of your conviction will be published, along with your booking photograph, and that you will bear the $25 cost of that notice. This is in addition to whatever fine is assessed against you as part of the punishment.

Contact a DUI attorney if you need professional legal defense against your DUI charges.

Hear From Our
Previous Clients

  • Zeliff | Watson I was fortunate to find an exceptionally honest, professional, and caring lawyer in Peter Zeliff.
  • Zeliff | Watson I trusted Peter through the entire DUI legal process, even when the end was nowhere in sight, and today we claimed victory!
  • Zeliff | Watson If anyone has any problem big or small, I would strongly urge you to put your trust in Mr. Watson.
  • Zeliff | Watson Evan made it as easy and less stressful as possible for me. I would highly recommend him for a DUI case.
  • Zeliff | Watson Anyone who is in need of a lawyer, I promise you will be as amazed as me if you choose Evan Watson.
  • Zeliff | Watson Mr. Watson’s dedication to his clients, experience, and personality truly set him apart from every other lawyer.

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