Gov. Sonny Perdue signed HB 23 and SB 360 last week, which bans “engaging in wireless communication” while driving in Georgia. The law also bans 16 and 17 year olds from using cell phones while driving. What does “texting” mean: Read the rest of this entry »
I get several phone calls each month asking me if I get a person’s DUI arrest expunged. Do a google check on expungment and you will find lots of sites appearing to know what they are taking about…. but they don’t!
First, what is an expungement?
The process of legally destroying, obliterating or striking out records or information in files, computers and other depositories relating to criminal charges.
2. Can a DUI be expunged in Georgia?
Currently there is no way of deleting a DUI from the arrest records. Why?
Because in Georgia there are only 2 ways of getting an arrest deleted.
1. You were not the person shown as being arrested.
2. The charges were dismissed before an accusation was brought against you, or you enter into a pretrial agreement where the prosecutor agreed to expunge the arrest record.
Since a citation acts as an “accusation”, you are “charged” immediately at the scene of a DUI arrest, and therefore you do not fit into category number 2.
Under a new law passed by the Georgia Legislature, a filing fee of $150 must now be paid when requesting a hearing on the administrative license issue. In Georgia, if you refuse to take the state chemical test of blood, breath ,or urine, or register above the legal limit(.02 for under 21s, .04 for commercial drivers, and .08 for over 21s), the officer can attempt to suspend your license administratively. If you do not send in a letter requesting a hearing within 10 business days, your license is automatically suspended.
Many folks have a hard time understanding the license suspension process in the first place. Now with the requirment of paying a fee for a hearing, the matter gets even more complicated.
Just getting a DUI conviction can have serious consequences: jail, loss of license, fines and fees, cancellation of insurance, and loss of job. But what happens when you are convicted of DUI and you have also been involved in an accident where someone was “seriously injured?” Read the rest of this entry »
After obtaining the necessary information from the State, a DUI attorney must then have the experience and background to determine whether you have any defenses or not.
The best DUI attorneys are constantly attending seminars to not only hone their trial skills, but also learn the same things about DWI detection as law enforcement does.
Ask your lawyer if he has attended any seminars where he/she actually learned how to administer field sobriety evaluations; have they been to seminars to actually learn the mechanics of how the breath machine works; do they have education on drug detection? There are hundreds of ways to win a DUI, but if your attorney only looks as a DUI case as another “guilty plea and fee”, why bother paying that attorney? Might as well represent your self! And you know what they say about a person who represents themselves in a legal manner!
If you make your living driving a commercial vehicle, you need to know that there are many ways you can lose your CDL(commercial drivers license) in Georgia. Here are 5 ways you can lose your CDL for a year: Read the rest of this entry »
University of Georgia redshirt freshman QB Zach Mettenberger was kicked off the team, according the today’s AJC. Apparently the dismissal stems from an incident earlier this year in the south Georgia town of Remerton. I will not speculate, but there has to be something more to this case than charges of minor in possession of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction of a police officer, and false id. Although many college police scare students into believing carrying a fake ID is a felony, in fact it is only a felony if the fake ID is presented to someone; hence the fake IDer has violated a law enacted after 911 that basically provides that we all must carry some proof (valid) of who we actually are.
Based on past criminal arrest involving Georgia players, either this is a change in philosophy for Mark Richt, or Mettenberger is involved in something very seriuos.
This month’s case of the month is not one of my cases; it comes from the Georgia Supreme Court; it emphasizes how, on even a traffic case, your Constitutional rights are so very important. The case is Sentinel v. Harrelson and was decided in March, 2010. Ms Harrelson had represented herself; when she pled guilty, the judge had her sign a “waiver of rights” form, but did not take the time to make sure she knew what rights she was waiving. She hired a lawyer who filed a habeas corpus action seeking to withdraw the guilty plea. Georgia law requires that habeas actions be filed within 180 days of the plea. One of the areas I specialize in are habeas actions. If you have pled guilty to a traffic ticket and are now having second thoughts call me!