DUI Reductions in Marietta and Cobb County
One common way that DUI cases are resolved is by a negotiated compromise with the prosecutor where the DUI is reduced to a lesser offense called reckless driving. Getting a DUI reduced to reckless driving should be considered a victory, as it typically does not include jail time and it avoids the license suspension and other collateral consequences of a DUI conviction. If you have been charged with DUI, a Cobb County DUI Lawyer may be able to get your case reduced as well. Contact Ben Goldberg at 404-985-9772 for a free consultation.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is, technically speaking, not actually a lesser-included offense of DUI. It is defined as driving "in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property." For various reasons, over time it became the default charge that DUIs get reduced to.
Reductions can occur for any number of reasons. It might be that the defendant has a strong legal challenge to the legality of the vehicle stop, the admissibility of the field sobriety evaluations, the legality of the arrest or the admissibility of the blood or breath test results. Or it could be simply that the evidence against the defendant is flimsy or ambiguous.
Getting a DUI reduced will also depend on numerous other factors, including the county, the judge, the prosecutor and, most importantly, the defendant's prior record. A person with no prior DUI history is much more likely to garner some leniency than someone with prior DUI arrests and/or convictions. In fact, many prosecutors will never reduce a DUI when the defendant has a prior DUI case.
Each and every DUI case is different, and it takes a Georgia DUI Attorney's complete investigation and analysis to determine whether a reduction to reckless driving is a possibility, or likelihood.
Reckless driving, like most misdemeanors under Georgia law, is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, what you will find is that most sentences for reckless driving look identical to DUI sentences.
A common punishment for reckless driving is 12 months probation, a fine ranging from $300-$1000, 40 hours (or more) community service, a drug and alcohol abuse evaluation (and any recommended treatment), and DUI school aka Risk Reduction school. One thing that differs about reckless driving is that a Cobb County DUI Lawyer may be able to get the probation terminated earlier than the 12 months. This saves people the time, expense and hassle of reporting to a probation officer. DUI sentences are a mandatory 12 months, with no option for early termination.
Another significant difference is that reckless driving does not suspend the driver's license of someone older than 21. However, a conviction does add four points to your license, which is a significant number that can make your insurance rates skyrocket. Your Georgia DUI Attorney may be able to help you avoid these points and the consequences. The way this is accomplished is by entry of a nolo contendere (or no contest) plea, which can only be utilized once every five years in Georgia.
For any chance at beating your DUI charges, including a reduction to reckless driving or another offense, you will need the guidance and expertise of an experienced Cobb County DUI Attorney. Contact Ben today at 404-985-9772.