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Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Understanding The Elements Of Your DUI Case

Understanding The Elements Of Your DUI Case


If you are facing charges for driving under the influence in Georgia, you may not be feeling too optimistic about the outcome of your case. However, understanding the nature of the charge against you can help you to develop the best possible defense and to play an active role in your own representation. The prosecution must prove each individual element of a DUI to the high evidentiary standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. By getting a sense of what they must prove, you can come up with the best possible approach on how to fight it. The information in this article is intended to be general, as no two cases are alike. If you would like personalized feedback about your DUI case and what outcomes may be available for you, contact the experienced Georgia criminal attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers to schedule your free consultation today. Mike Hawkins is board certified in DUI Defense as recognized by the American Bar Association.  He is one of only four lawyers in Georgia to achieve board certification.

What are the Elements of DUI in Georgia?

By breaking a crime down into elements, you can learn exactly what the prosecution must establish in order to prove your guilt. This then can become the roadmap for your defense. In Georgia, a DUI has only two elements. First, you must have been operating a vehicle. Second, you must have been under the influence of drugs, inhalants, or alcohol. Under Georgia law there are two kinds of DUI: DUI less safe and DUI per se. You can be charged with DUI if an officer observes you driving and believes you to be under the influence. This can be due to observations, such as committing a traffic violation, having the odor of alcohol, slurred speech, being unsteady on your feet, as well performance on field sobriety test results. If you are administered a breathalyzer test and you blow a .08 or higher, or if you submit to a blood test and the results are above the legal limit, you will be charged with DUI per se. In DUI per se cases, a challenge to the accuracy or admissibility of the results must be made prior to trial to determine if that evidence can be used against you.

Developing Your DUI Case Strategy

The best strategy for your case will depend on the specific facts and circumstances that were present at the time of your arrest. For instance, if you were not operating a vehicle at the time of your arrest, your legal strategy will focus on defending against this element.  On the other hand, you may be able to challenge the validity of the field sobriety tests or the blood or breath test results. The best way to determine the most effective legal strategy in your case is to speak with a board certified Atlanta DUI Defense Attorney. We can also work to negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your attorney may even be able to secure a dismissal if your constitutional rights were violated.

Schedule a Consultation with Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers

Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers, serving Atlanta, Dunwoody, Alpharetta, Cobb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, and the greater Georgia area, are ready to fight to get you the best possible outcome in your DUI case. Call Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers today to schedule a consultation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start fighting for you.

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