How a DUI Attorney Can Help Your DUI Child Endangerment Case
With so much at stake, you deserve the most skilled representation possible to fight a charge of DUI child endangerment. The key to your defense is challenging the validity of the initial traffic stop and the underlying DUI charge. Here is where a knowledgeable and competent DUI child endangerment defense lawyer might help you maintain your liberty and minimize penalties.
A successful challenge to the underlying DUI charge and validity of the initial traffic stop might be accomplished by:
- Challenging the reason for the initial traffic stop: was this a pretext stop, or was it based on reasonable suspicion of DUI? Police cannot randomly pull over drivers without objective evidence of vehicle or traffic violations. Failing to stop at a light, signaling before a turn, expired registration, or even a busted tail light might prompt a legal stop.
- Claiming that no implied consent warning was given: A condition for obtaining a driver’s license agrees to take a State-administered breath, blood, or urine test upon request. Police must read specific warnings to a driver at the time of refusal. If those warnings are not given, the subsequent testing might not be admissible, and the charges might be dropped.
- Challenging the results and accuracy of the breath or blood test: any DUI can be challenged by examining the circumstances of the testing, whether roadside or at the police station, the state of the equipment, and officer training. The readings on a roadside Alco-Sensor and handheld breath testers are not legally admissible as evidence of impairment. They are not reliable evidence of intoxication. Even the results of a State-administered Intoxilyzer 9000 test or blood or urine samples collected at the police station can be challenged if the tests were not administered properly.
- Finding flaws in the manner in which evidence was collected at the scene: police must gather and store evidence according to strict rules and protocols. Physical evidence must be seized legally; it must be in plain view in the car, taken with consent, or taken pursuant to a warrant.
- Discovering and proving misconduct or incompetence by police during their investigation: whether misconduct or incompetence, police acting under authority of law, must conform to statutory and constitutional standards of conduct. When police violate the statutory and constitutional standards of conduct, the remedy is sometimes to suppress the evidence seized during that investigation.
- The prosecution must prove that each child was younger than 14 at the time of the arrest: separate proof of the ages of any children in the vehicle must be separately substantiated. A critical element of DUI child endangerment is the age of the children in the car.
- The prosecution must prove each element of each crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt at trial: A conviction for DUI child endangerment requires the highest standard of evidentiary proof—beyond a reasonable doubt. The driver’s intoxicated state, the dangerous driving, and the age of the children are all essential elements. A skilled defense attorney will try to reframe the story of what happened to contradict key points in the prosecution’s story. Only experienced trial lawyers with years of courtroom experience know how to introduce doubt based on the specific circumstances of your case. This requires an evaluation of evidence and witnesses, along with an understanding of the police, prosecutors, and judge involved in your case.
A DUI child endangerment defense might include a variety of defense strategies. After all, your liberty and your driving privileges are at stake. In addition to interviewing you about the details of the arrest and testing, Michael Fulcher Law knows how to independently review the prosecutor’s evidence, including, but not limited to: examining surveillance videos, police reports, road conditions as well as researching the professional records of the arresting officers. Expert witnesses, medical professionals and accident reconstructionists can be utilized to refute the State’s case against you at trial.
Michael Fulcher Law will analyze your case from a legal and factual perspective: was the initial stop pretextual, are there grounds to suppress any incriminating evidence, including field sobriety tests and any breath, blood or urine tests? At each stage of a prosecution, skilled and experienced DUI child endangerment defense lawyers raise questions that require a full examination of the prosecutor’s factual and legal case.
While the criminal case is proceeding, in order to preserve your immediate right to drive, you must file, within 30 days of arrest, a request to prevent an administrative license suspension at an ALS hearing, along with a $150 fee. Arrest on DUI charges alone can automatically suspend your driver’s license. To preserve that right to drive during the pendency of this prosecution, you cannot miss this deadline. When properly litigated, you can retain a limited right to drive. That means you would still be able to drive to work, school, and to attend to medical and essential needs. Hiring a skilled and experienced DUI child endangerment lawyer as soon as possible means having a guide and advocate who knows what to do and when to do it.
Only a skilled DUI child endangerment lawyer can challenge any claim by the prosecution that you refused to take a roadside breath or field sobriety test, or submit to a breath, blood, or urine tests at the station. In some instances, this is DUI refusal, which also results in an automatic suspension of your driving privileges. To be valid, the police must read you your rights and warn you of the consequences of any refusal. The tests requested must be reliable and admissible in evidence to qualify as refusal.
It’s complicated! That’s why you need knowledgeable representation.
If you have been charged with a DUI child endangerment in the middle Georgia area, including Morgan County, contact Michael Fulcher Law for a free consultation and case assessment. With 10-years of experience as a prosecutor and public defender before opening a law firm, Michael knows criminal law and all of the players in Morgan County and the surrounding areas. If you wait until your court date, you may have already forfeited some of your important rights and driving privileges in the State of Georgia. Don’t wait, call or email today to schedule a free consultation.
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