40 Years of Winning DUI Cases Across Metro Atlanta
A DUI arrest in Georgia is a very serious matter. Regardless of whether it’s your first DUI charge, or you’ve had multiple DUI’s, the consequences are significant and you will need a good Georgia DUI attorney to help. We have won many of our DUI cases and dramatically reduced the fines and penalties in others. With 35 years of experience in the Atlanta area, we know the system and will work with the courts to get you the best outcome. When you need the best DUI defense, you need someone that knows how to win – you need Don Turner.
A DUI arrest can happen to anyone and could cost you thousands of dollars, possible jail time, and strict conditions on your driver’s license!
DUI arrests are on the rise in Georgia. Why? Because the pressure to arrest and convict DUI offenders is enormous. Due to the number of tragic, often fatal, traffic accidents involving alcohol or drugs, advocacy groups like MADD and SADD, the media and public opinion have prompted legislators to enact stringent DUI laws. In response, Georgia’s DUI laws become tougher following each legislative session. The result? The urgency to increase convictions has clouded a fundamental issue in our democratic society: The presumption of innocence and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not illegal to drink and drive—the issue is whether you are a less safe driver because of the alcohol or drugs you have consumed, thereby causing a safety hazard on the roads.
How We Help You – The Process of your DUI Case
Step 1: Save Your License!
If you tested .08% or higher or you refused to take the state’s test, you were issued the yellow copy of form 1205, which serves as the state’s intent to suspend your license.
You have 10 business days, starting the day after your arrest, to contest the automatic suspension of your license.
As our first step in your defense, we will request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing and represent you at that hearing before the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings.
We find many clients are confused by the fact that the typical DUI in this State ends up in two separate and very different courts. Most people are familiar with the regular criminal court and have a good idea about the issues involved there. Few people are acquainted with the other court, the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) where the court holds ALS hearings.
- Criminal Court – DUI proceedings in the criminal court are typically initiated by the State with one or more uniform traffic citation(s) (UTC). In the criminal court, the central issue in cases is whether the person charged is guilty of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt. The accused in a criminal court has the right to have a jury listen to the evidence and decide if they are convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, of the accused’s guilt. If they are so convinced, sentencing is up to the jury.
- OSAH – Proceedings in the OSAH are typically initiated when a police officer files a Department of Driver Services Form Inthe ALS hearing before the OSAH, the central issue in cases is whether the person charged should have his or her license suspended and for how long. Since there is no possibility of jail time and there’s not even the possibility of a fine, the standards and procedures are much different than in criminal court and much less favorable to the accused. A judge makes all the decisions about the outcome of a case. The lawyer at an Al.S hearing will, in consultation with his or her client, generally do one of four things:
- Try to have the 1205 petition thrown out because the police officer doesn’t show up for the hearing,
- Have the police officer unilaterally withdraw the 1205 petition, that is, without any conditions for the withdrawal,
- Have the police officer withdraw the 1205 petition in exchange for a promise to plead guilty to either reckless driving or DUI in the criminal court, or
- On rare occasions, try the case before an OSAH judge
Step 2: Hiring the Right Team
After your initial interview and after you have retained our services, we thoroughly investigate your case and gather all pertinent information that will aid in your defense:
- Police reports
- Intoxylizer maintenance records and user logs
- Video of your arrest
- Video of your test at the police station
- Dispatch reports
- Witness statements
- Arresting officer statements
- Various other reports and files
Step 3: The Evidence is In – Client Case Review
After the evidence has been gathered and analyzed by your expert team, you will meet with your attorney. Several things will take place at this meeting.
- Your expert team will review and discuss the findings of the investigation with you so that you completely understand the facts surrounding your
- Your lawyer will discuss the defense strategies that can be used and will recommend the best defense for your case.
- You and your lawyer will discuss how you want to proceed and what outcome you want to see.
- Together you and your lawyer will map out and decide the best defense that will give you the best possible outcome.
Step 4: Motions to File
Your expert team will prepare the necessary Motions. Motions are legal vehicles used to protect your rights and exclude evidence which could lead to dismissal in your case.
Step 5: Arraignment
You will be required to attend an Arraignment where you will enter a plea of Not Guilty. Your lawyer will also file the Motions which were previously prepared. If the Motions are not filed at the Arraignment, they will be filed shortly after.
Step 6: Motions Hearing
A hearing will be scheduled to argue the Motions filed on your behalf. You will be required to attend along with your lawyer, the solicitor, the arresting officer, and any other witnesses relevant to the Motions.
If the Motions Hearing results in a ruling favorable to you, the state may agree to dismiss the charge altogether or agree to a reduction of charges such as a non-DUI offense.
Step 7: Calendar Call
However, if the solicitor does not dismiss the charge or allow you to plea to a non-DUI offense, your case will be placed on a Trial Calendar. Some courts have a Calendar Call set to determine the readiness of both sides to proceed to trial. Be aware that many conflicts can occur which may cause your court date to be reset one or more times.
Step 8: Trial – Bench or Jury
The Trial portion of your case occurs when a satisfactory plea or dismissal of your charges cannot be worked out.
There are two types of trials; each with their own pros and cons. You and your lawyer will decide which will benefit your case and allow you the best possible outcome. The primary difference between the two trials is who hears your case and decides the verdict.
- In a Bench Trial, the judge hears the arguments from the defense and the solicitor and is solely responsible for deciding the outcome.
- In a Jury Trial, your case will be argued in front of 6 of your peers selected from a panel of 12. The defense and the solicitor may each dismiss 3 candidates leaving only 6 jury members.
Note: You may be placed on call when your court date arrives. This keeps you from having to wait all day at the courthouse. You will need to be ready and available for us to contact you. Your judge will accept no excuse for your tardiness or absence on the day of Trial.
The solicitor presents their case first since they have the burden to prove your guilt. Your lawyer will present your case last.
In both cases, witnesses will be called and evidence will be exhibited. Each side will have an opportunity to question (cross-examine) each witness. Your expert team will meet with all defense witnesses including yourself, prior to the trial, and will help prepare them for the type of questions they may be asked.
Closing arguments will be made by both sides. The judge then “charges” (explains the law and the responsibilities) the jury, and they deliberate the case until a verdict is reached.
Why should you hire The Don Turner Legal Team as your DUI defense team?
Without an experienced and committed attorney by your side, your legal rights can easily be overlooked as law enforcement and the courts demonstrate to elected officials an increase in DUI convictions. Without a solid defense strategy, you will likely become a statistic.
You don’t want to be just a number. And you can’t afford to make a mistake when choosing legal representation. The Don Turner Legal Team will stand up for you. When you choose our firm, we go the extra mile to provide you with the support and attention you’ll need throughout the legal process. And we do whatever it takes to minimize the negative impact of your DUI.
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Where does The Don Turner Legal Team defend cases?
Our Attorneys are licensed to practice law in the entire State of Georgia and have traveled across the State defending individuals charged with DUI and other crimes. Our team of experienced Attorneys have defended cases in Atlanta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Marietta, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, and many other cities across Georgia. If you have been charged with a DUI or other crime in any of the Metro Atlanta cities, our team is prepared to defend you today.