Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a record-killer and searching for Atlanta's best DUI lawyers is something you must do if you have been charged. DUI has become one of the most politically charged crimes of our time. Organizations like MADD, SADD and even NHTSA pump millions of dollars annually into anti-DUI advertising and public awareness campaigns. "Buzzed driving is drunk driving", you know the phrase, right? So, it works. Public awareness campaigns have put more pressure than ever on local city and county governments to crack down on all DUI crimes, and they are. Fortunately, as the call for tougher DUI laws persist and it gets tougher and tougher to defend DUI cases, there are a core group of DUI attorneys in and around Atlanta that really focus in on defending DUI cases.
I'm Charged with DUI, Do I Even Need a DUI Lawyer?
Talk to five people and get five different answers about the necessity of a DUI lawyer. Two or three will say they were grateful the their attorney, one will say his wasn't worth the money paid, and there will always be one who either didn't have an attorney at all, or used the court's lawyer. Top reasons why people don't hire their own lawyers are (1) lack of funds to do so, or (2) ignorance of the consequences of guilty pleas to DUI. With that said, it is absolutely necessary that you not only have a lawyer, but have the best DUI lawyer you can find. Your search for a DUI specific lawyer should include interviewing at least 3 different lawyers who devote a majority of their practice to DUIs. You will want to sit down with this lawyer, in person, to go over the facts and details of your case. If a lawyer is unwilling to sit down for 30-60 minutes, then they are probably not a lawyer you will have much confidence in. Additionally, when you do sit down with a lawyer, you will want to know if that particular lawyer will be handling your case, or if it will be 'farmed' to another lawyer, either inside or outside of their firm. Of course, doing the same level of screening then becomes necessary for the new lawyer, rather than simply putting blind trust in someone.
How Does a DUI Impact My Record?
DUI charges in Georgia stay on your records forever. Both criminal and driving records will reflect the fact that you were arrested for DUI if you plead Guilty or even No Contest to the charge. In Georgia , the Georgia Crime Information Center is responsible for keeping your criminal history records on file. Thus, if an employer pulls a record, they are probably gaining their information, either directly or indirectly though GCIC. Of course, in the internet age, DUI arrest information can also be pulled from jail and court records- making the importance of fighting your DUI even greater.
The effect a DUI will have on your record can vary. Almost everyone charged and convicted of DUI would agree that insurance rates will raise after a DUI. A DUI becomes even more problematic if you drive a company car or truck for work. Many times, these policies will not further insure you if you have a DUI, and these policies usually pull an annual driving record to check for DUI and other points on your record.
It is important to remember that in addition to your driving record, a DUI stays on your criminal record as a misdemeanor. If you have had 4 DUIs since 2008, then the charge is a felony, making the punishments even more severe. An employer who pulls your record will see, regardless, that you were arrested for a DUI, but, avoiding a DUI conviction will spare your record from the Guilty conviction. This makes finding the best DUI attorney you can even more important, as the outcome of your case will follow you forever.
Why Zeliff | Watson Are Some of Atlanta's Best DUI Lawyers & Your Next Steps
Both attorneys Evan Watson and Peter Zeliff fight DUI cases day in and day out. Peter and Evan know the ins and outs of DUI law and just as importantly, know the layout of various Atlanta and North Atlanta courts where your DUI will be pending. In 2014 alone, our firm has handled many DUI cases in courts including:
- City of Atlanta Municipal Court
- Fulton County State Court
- Forsyth County State Court
- Alpharetta Municipal Court
- Dunwoody Municipal Court
- Sandy Springs Municipal Court
- Milton Municipal Court
- Doraville & Duluth Municipal Courts
- Brookhaven Municipal Court
- Cumming Municipal Court
This list is not exhaustive, but gives you the idea: Peter and Evan know Atlanta area DUI courts and take on cases throughout the entire area.
Additionally, Peter and Evan both keep on top of the latest in DUI developments. Attending annual DUI specific training and keeping up to date with the latest laws in the DUI field is a MUST for DUI lawyers. The firm has also kept up with the latest information and is fighting some of the first cases against Georgia's new Intoxilyzer 9000, which will be Georgia's only approved breath testing machine by 2016. Whether your case will involve fighting field sobriety testing, challenging the reason you were stopped, or defending against breath or blood test evidence, both of our attorneys challenge DUI cases every week in court and have the skill necessary to defend your case.
Take a look at our client ratings and reviews and make sure to see our profiles for more in-depth information about our recent DUI trainings. Once you have looked around, give us a call directly at (770) 676-1340. We answer our phones on weekends and will even setup an office appointment most weekends, especially if you have Monday Atlanta Court. We have two office locations: Cumming and Dunwoody and will meet you at the more convenient office for you. Call us today and see why many agree that we are some of Atlanta's best DUI lawyers. We will take the time to sit down and go over all of your case's details before setting out the next steps and how you retain us to be your attorneys.