St. Patrick’s Day DUI arrests require immediate attention

Many of us may have chosen to enjoy a stiff pint on St. Patrick's Day, and with the celebration of Irish heritage through punishing volumes of green beer comes the increased possibility of receiving drunk driving charges. Right here in Georgia, law enforcement significantly increase the presence of DUI checkpoints for the holiday, looking to curb the number of accidents brought on by the statistically greater number of drunk drivers on the roads.

If you received a DUI due to St. Patrick's Day celebration, don't make the mistake of assuming it is somehow a lesser charge simply because of the circumstances. A DUI charge is serious no matter how or when it occurs, and can have significant implications, even for first time offenses.

Components of a felony DUI

Many different factors may contribute to pushing DUI charges from a misdemeanor to a felony, each of which presents its own legal challenges and opportunities. If you or someone you love faces felony DUI charges, it is absolutely crucial that you begin building a strong legal defense immediately. Felony DUI charges may not only result in financially unbearable penalties, they may also lead to lengthy incarceration and loss of unrelated privileges, such as the right to vote or own firearms.

It is very common to escalate charges if they arise in conjunction with an injury accident where some party suffers bodily harm, or if the driver receives DUI charges while a child is riding in the vehicle.

Many potential defendants in a truck accident

When a commercial truck accident occurs, the victims may face more difficulty that they expect determining which parties hold liability. In consumer car accidents, the matter is typically fairly simple, usually falling to one driver or the other to pay for the damages. However, in truck accidents, the matter may prove significantly more complex.

While this is not as simple to address as a consumer car accident, it is often better for the victims in the long run, because accident claims may possibly name a number defendants, rather than simply the driver.

Whiplash may cause many symptoms

Whiplash is a broad term that may refer to many different injuries, generally describing injuries to the musculature around the neck and back. These injuries may not cause pain immediately, but may instead cause pain over a matter of hours or days after the injury. Whiplash is a type of delayed-onset injury that does not cause pain immediately, often allowing the injury to worsen before the victim receives treatment.

Depending on the nature of the accident that caused the whiplash, such as a car accident or impact sports injury, the victim may experience a range of symptoms, including

  • Sharp or radiating pain in the neck or back
  • Stiffness or other inability to move certain muscles
  • Prolonged headaches
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Difficulty with memory

Intoxication and manslaughter

Drinking and driving is always dangerous, and is rarely legally advisable. Still, many individuals who make the poor choice to drink and drive make it home safely without incident and without harming themselves or others. Unfortunately, some drunk driving results in tragedy, most harshly when someone other than the driver loses his or her life. In these instances, it is important for the driver to understand the legal options he or she may have available.

When a drunk driver kills another person, intoxication may play an important role in building the driver's defense. While the other person's loss of life is tragic, it is not fair to charge a drunk driver the same way that law enforcement would charge a killer who takes someone else's life maliciously. This rests on the differences between murder and manslaughter.

Protecting your rights with silence

Whenever a person faces criminal charges, he or she has the right to remain silent instead of answer any questions, no matter what the nature of the charges may be. This is an important right that guarantees all suspects the opportunity to assess their rights and confer with an attorney who can help advise them before they incriminate themselves.

Of course, understanding this right and exercising it are two completely different things. Many individuals conceptually understand that they have the right to remain silent, but in the moment they may not recognize when they should remain silent and how to invoke their rights.

Does your car accident justify a manufacturer liability suit?

In some instances, car accidents are not the result of any one driver's negligence or poor judgment. Instead, some car accidents occur because some component of the vehicle itself malfunctions, causing the car to crash. When this occurs, it is time to consider a manufacturer liability suit.

Manufacturer liability suits seek to compensate victims of faulty components. In order to qualify for a manufacturer liability suit, a person must meet a number of standards. The plaintiff must generally show that

  • The defect existed when he or she purchased the vehicle
  • The car was used properly, as intended by the manufacturer
  • The defect caused compensable damages

When to consider pretrial diversion

Many people facing criminal charges are surprised to learn that many prosecutors and judges are willing to consider alternatives to traditional sentencing, depending on the nature of the alleged offense and the other options available. These alternatives are known as pretrial diversions, and may remove a suspect from criminal prosecution before a trial takes place, allowing the suspect to participate in some other form of restitution for the alleged offense without receiving a conviction.

Under a pretrial diversion, a prosecutor or judge may agree to drop charges against a defendant in return for the defendant's willing participation in some alternative punishment or rehabilitation. A very common version of this process occurs anytime a driver attends traffic school to void a traffic ticket.

Felony possession with intent to distribute

When you receive charges of possession with intent to distribute in Georgia, it is important to understand the severity of your situation. You may face serious jail time and fines, even for a first-time offense, and in many cases may even face these charges as a felony rather than a misdemeanor. These are certain not charges you want to take lightly if you value your future freedoms and privileges.

In order to qualify as possession with intent to distribute, both parts of the charge are necessary. A police officer should not charge you with possession with intent to distribute if the officer cannot sufficiently prove that you both possessed a certain substance in sufficient quantity to distribute it and also prove you intended to do so. For marijuana charges, for instance, a person may generally have less than an ounce in his or her possession and reasonably claim it is for personal use.

Were you really “driving” when you received DUI charges?

It is not always clear whether or not you are legally safe to be in your vehicle after drinking, even if you do not believe that you are actually "driving" the vehicle. There are a number of factors to consider before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking, even if you simply need to rest for a while and wait for sobriety to return. In some cases, you may face DUI charges without actually operating the vehicle on a road.

Practically speaking, it is strange to think that a person could receive DUI charges if he or she is simply sitting in a vehicle, ostensibly seeking shelter and rest. However, there are numerous examples of individuals who allegedly violate some small portion of DUI law and find themselves unexpectedly facing charges they thought they were intentionally avoiding.

Help starts here »

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy