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DUI and Driving Offenses



Our DUI  law firm has successfully resolved hundreds of cases involving driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is a particularly complex area of the law. It is especially important to be represented by experienced counsel because of the severe punishments involved. Upon conviction of a driving under the influence charge, punishments may include mandatory minimum jail sentences and license suspensions, even for a first offense in Georgia. A successful defense resulting in a jury verdict of not guilty, dismissal, or substantial reduction of charges, can frequently turn on whether the arresting officer followed technical procedures. This includes the way the driver's car was stopped, the manner in which the officer conducted field sobriety evaluations, the way the officer instructed the driver concerning breath, blood, or urine collection and testing, and the procedure followed in administering the test. Additionally, it is imperative to seek counsel as soon as possible. This is because in most cases today in Georgia, you have only 30 days to file a written request to stop the automatic suspension (for up to one year) of your drivers license or right to drive in Georgia.Additionally, if you refused to submit to a chemical test designated by a police officer after a DUI arrest, you may be facing a one year (hard-no limited permit!)  driver's license suspension. However, for Georgia DUI cases made beginning July 1, 2017, a Georgia driver may be able to avoid an implied consent one year refusal, hard suspension if the driver obtains an ignition interlock permit and installls an ignition interlock device in his or her car. This can be a lifesaver because it allows the driver to continue to legally drive to work and therefore keep a job. Contact us for further information.
You have the absolute right to a jury trial and Mr. Cohen has the knowledge and experience to aggressively try your case. However you should also understand that most people, in most cases, no matter who the judge is, no matter who the lawyer is, resolve their cases prior to trial, often by pleading to lesser charges, frequently reckless driving. There are many reasons for this. For example, cases are commonly resolved following a court hearing concerning the issues mentioned above. Additionally, in Georgia, depending on the police department or specialized squad involved, a video recording will usually have been made of the incident. Lawyers, judges, and juries carefully consider what they see on video. Video is usually more credible and informative than the testimony of witnesses, including police officers. Jurors will believe more what they see for themselves on video than the usually exaggerated testimony of a police officer (or the driver for that matter). With this in mind, it is not at all unusual for a DUI case to be resolved without a trial, in the driver's favor, either by reduced charges or by dismissal, based on the video. Thus, we will always make sure that you have the opportunity to view, and analyze with Mr. Cohen, the video of your arrest before deciding how best to resolve your case. Additionally, should you prefer the option of viewing the video at home, or with family, we will make sure you will be able to do so. Also, in appropriate cases we send out the video for review by an expert witness, such as a former police academy instructor. Sometimes an expert witness's favorable report can persuade the prosecutor to dismiss charges or agree to reduce charges.
The Law Offices of Bert W. Cohen
321 Lawrence Street
Marietta, GA 30060
In Metro Atlanta: 770-533-5101

Additionally, should you decide to go to trial, the State will usually rely on police testimony concerning so called "standardized field sobriety testing (also called "evaluations")," and try to convince the jury that because the driver "failed" such testing, the defendant had to be a less safe driver and should be found guilty. However, a skilled defense lawyer will demonstrate to the jury that these tests are usually incorrectly administered by the police. Among other methods, the police training manual on the subject, the NHTSA DUI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing Manual, can be used at trial to demonstrate to the jury or judge that the police officer wrongly evaluated or "scored" the driver  and should therefore not be believed. 
Further, research has shown that even if these "evaluations" were correctly administered in a particular case, they have never been peer reviewed, they have never been accepted by the scientific community. Field Sobriety Tests should not even be considered by a jury in deciding a case. Mr. Cohen has been trained by Georgia POST certified police instructors on the administration of these so called tests as well as the lack of scientific basis for these tests. Additionally, Mr. Cohen is a member of the National College of DUI Defense and actively pursues continuing legal education in this field. As a result of this training, Mr. Cohen is able to point out to the jury the weaknesses of field sobriety testing and other elements of the State's case that can be successfully attacked.  Call the Law Offices of Bert W. Cohen for a no cost, no obligation consultation on your case.