Being arrested and charged with felony DUI may be intimidating. Not only is the defendant facing a potentially lengthy prison sentence if convicted, but also a felony conviction brings many other unwanted, lasting consequences. Every time a background check is run, the conviction will appear, jeopardizing future employment opportunities and adversely affecting civil liberties, such as the right to possess a firearm. If you or a loved one is facing a felony DUI charge, you need an attorney who can thoroughly review and investigate your situation to identify all of the possible defenses. Athens felony DUI attorney Jason Slider at Baker & Slider has worked on both sides of DUI cases, first as a prosecutor for the State and now as a defense attorney standing up for the rights of the criminally accused. He is here to zealously represent you to the fullest extent of the law.Prosecution of Felony DUI Under Georgia Law
The burden of proof is always on the State in a criminal case. This means that the prosecutor has a duty to produce evidence of the defendant’s guilt. Unless and until a jury is convinced of the defendant’s criminal culpability beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is presumed to be innocent of the crime with which they are charged.
Georgia law criminalizes the act of driving or being in “actual physical control” of a moving vehicle while under the influence of a substance (such as alcohol, drugs, or toxic vapors) that makes it less safe for a person to drive. Although there are several ways of proving guilt in a DUI case, the State often relies on blood alcohol content (BAC) tests when there is a result of 0.08 or greater. Although this threshold BAC is the same regardless of whether a person is facing a misdemeanor DUI-first or a felony DUI-fourth, the consequences of a conviction are very different.
Any felony conviction may result in imprisonment for more than a year, while a misdemeanor, by definition, is a crime for which no more than one year of incarceration may be imposed on a defendant. With regard to DUI, a driver may be charged with felony DUI if they are facing a fourth DUI conviction within a 10-year period, or if there is a serious injury or death resulting from the defendant’s alleged driving under the influence. The penalties for a felony DUI-fourth include a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000, imprisonment of between one and five years (at least 90 days of which must be actually served), up to 60 days of community service, the completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program, a clinical evaluation, and probation of up to five years. The penalties if a person is seriously injured or killed resulting from a defendant’s alleged driving under the influence are even more severe.Contact a Knowledgeable Athens Attorney to Defend a Felony DUI Charge
With so much at stake, it is imperative that a person facing a felony DUI charge talk to an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, an experienced drunk driving lawyer may uncover legal defenses or constitutional violations that may be used to defeat the State’s case or to negotiate a more favorable outcome, such as a reduction in the charge or a lighter sentence. To talk with Athens felony DUI lawyer Jason Slider about the details of your situation, call Baker & Slider at (706) 208-1514 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. Attorney Jason Slider has over 13 years of experience, and his consistent results have earned him recognition from organizations such as the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys and the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. We assist defendants in Athens, Jefferson, Watkinsville, and Danielsville, as well as other communities in Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, and surrounding counties.