Our client was found by City of Monroe Police asleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle parked in front of an entrance to a night club with the engine running. The Monroe officer conducted a DUI investigation, where our client did everything that was asked of him, including field sobriety evaluations. Our client even agreed after arrest for his DUI in the City of Monroe to submit to a breath test. The breath test result was .175. The legal limit in Georgia is .08. The encounter between the Monroe police and our client was respectful on both sides. Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecution that they would have a difficult time trying to prove an essential element of a DUI charge that our client moved the vehicle at some point while in an impaired condition or that the breath test was conducted within three hours of when driving ended. There was still a possibility that the prosecution could have made there case, however Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate an outright dismissal if our completed some terms, which our client happily did. Monroe DUI charge dismissed.
Our client was observed by Smyrna Police failing to maintain his lane and touching the double yellow line several times while driving. the Smyrna DUI officer initiated a traffic stop and began a DUI investigation after he smelled alcohol. Client agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations and performed less than stellar on the walk and turn evaluation, but looked good on the one leg stand evaluation. He refused a portable alcosensor. Client also made some incriminating statements after he was arrested for his Smyrna DUI. Mr. Sullivan was able to avoid an administrative license suspension for our client and was able to successfully negotiate a dismissal of the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving.
A plea to a second DUI within five years it tough enough in Georgia, but when Georgia law requires you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle when you now live out of state, that is near impossible to comply with. Our client came to us after she entered a guilty plea for a second in five year DUI in Forsyth County State Court that she had entered into while being represented by a different law firm. She now lived far away in a different state and needed to be able to get a license in her new state to work. Here are some of the hurdles we need to go through to accomplish our client’s goals: Georgia Department of Driver Services requires that the ignition interlock be installed and monitored by an approved ignition interlock provider here in Georgia. That requirement must be satisfied in order to reinstate Georgia driving privileges once the suspension period ends. Of course if you live out of state, that is next to an impossible task. Luckily, the Georgia code has a provision to have a court issue an order waiving the ignition interlock requirement that is presented to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If it is granted, the driver simply waits out the rest of the suspension period and submits proof of any remaining requirements for reinstatement and pay the reinstatement fee. The court really is only to determine if there is a financial hardship to obtaining the Ignition Interlock Device. In practice unfortunately, the court looks at a person’s criminal history (past and present), and whether that person was successful on probation. Part of what we do is run a new criminal and license history to make sure we file a motion for the Ignition Interlock Waiver Order in the right court. We then gather information from our client on what terms of the sentence has been completed and what remains and whether there have been any probation violations. Then we prepare our client for a hearing with the court by putting us in the best position to persuade the court to grant the request. We accomplished just that in a recent case in Forsyth County with our out of state client and our client was able to obtain a license in the state where the client currently lives.
Our client hired Mr. Sullivan before the police reached out to interview him in regard to a hit and run in a parking lot at a hotel in Cobb County. There was also evidence of a possible DUI charge. When the Cobb County Police Department’s specialized unit that deals with Hit and Run cases contacted our client, our client did not provide a statement and directed them to Mr. Sullivan. Due to the facts of this case, Mr. Sullivan advised his client that he was not going to make any statements, let alone meet with the investigator. Nor would our client make any statements to the insurance company until the potential criminal case was resolved. Mr. Sullivan acted as the intermediary between his client and the insurance company and provided just enough information to allow the claim to the other party be paid without exposing our client to make a statement that might incriminate himself. We provided the investigator insurance information and only disclosed that our client was the owner of the vehicle involved in the collision. The police would have that information from the tag number provided to the police by a caller the night of the collision. Mr. Sullivan agreed also to provide insurance information for the other party whose vehicle was struck. Because of this strategy, the investigator was unable to put our client behind the wheel as the driver, thus could not bring charges of Hit and Run or DUI. We provided the investigator information that our client’s insurance paid the claim and the investigator closed the case with no criminal charges ever being filed.
Our Roswell client was behind the wheel in the parking lot of a hotel he was staying at. He was asleep behind the wheel with some evidence of spittle on his pants that the Roswell DUI officers mistook for some other bodily fluid…. The Roswell police were altered to our client’s car when he fell asleep and his head laid on the horn. When they arrived they also noticed that his car was not aligned in the parking space. Client admitted to being at a sports bar earlier and wanted to sober up before he went inside to his family. After performing field sobriety evaluations, he was arrested and charge with a DUI in Roswell. He agreed to take the official breath test and the result was .096 (the legal limit in Georgia is .08). After negotiations did not achieve a non-DUI resolution in Roswell Municipal Court, Mr. Sullivan sent the case to Fulton County State Court and strategically filed a Constitutional Speedy Trial Demand. When the case was finally filed in state court and brought to a hearing, Mr. Sullivan argued effectively that a delay of more than two years to bring the case to trial harmed his client and argued for a dismissal based on our client’s right to a speedy trial. The Fulton County State Court trial judge agreed and dismissed the case.
Client was detained in a parking lot with several other individuals where the officer suspected illegal drugs in their car. An investigation followed where the officer was granted the ability to search their vehicle which turned up marijuana in an amount less than one ounce and our client was subsequently charged. The case was in Sandy Springs Municipal Court where Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a pretrial diversion disposition – meaning that if the client passed a few drug tests, paid an administrative fee, and performed 24 hours of community service, the charge would be dismissed (resulting in no conviction).
Our client was stopped by Lilburn Police for travelling 61 mph in a 40 mph zone. She also had her brights on. Our client agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations and based upon the results of the evaluations, she was arrested for DUI in Lilburn. She refused to submit to the state administered breath test and faced a one year license suspension of her driving privileges due to the refusal. Mr. Sullivan was able to navigate the administrative license suspension action while the DUI case was pending in Lilburn Municipal Court. Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a dismissal of the DUI charge in exchange to a plea of Reckless Driving and
From time to time Chestney & Sullivan is called upon to do “clean up” after another law firm’s mistakes. Mr. Sullivan was hired by a client who now lives out of state to obtain a waiver from Georgia’s interlock requirement. The client had entered guilty pleas to Georgia DUI cases in the early 2000’s (we did not represent her on those cases). The client was declared a Habitual Violator due to entering a plea to DUI and DUI Child Endangerment out of one arrest when she already had a previous DUI conviction within five years before this DUI/DUI Child Endangerment charge. This caused our client to be declared a Habitual Violator. To make matters worse, her convictions were misreported to her criminal history as well as her driver’s history. Mr. Sullivan was able to track down what courts the DUI’s actually were disposed in, and upon determining that, was able to file for a motion to waive an ignition interlock requirement that was based upon the number of DUI’s the client had within a five year period. Client would otherwise never be able to satisfy the ignition interlock requirement because the interlock device needs to be installed and monitored in Georgia – client lives out of state. Mr. Sullivan was able to get the criminal history and the Georgia MVR (license history) corrected, and was able to persuade a judge to sign an order waiving the ignition interlock requirement. This cleared the suspension off her history and client was able to finally obtain an out of state driver’s license.
In a must win case, Skip Sullivan and Bob Chestney were able to avoid an administrative license suspension for our CDL holder while his DUI case was pending and got a Not Guilty verdict from a judge in Fulton County State Court. Our client was asleep in his vehicle alongside a roadway in Sandy Springs. While on patrol, a Sandy Springs police officer came upon our client’s vehicle parked on the side of the road with the two driver’s side tires over the solid while fog line. Our client was asleep in the back seat of his car with throw up in the back of the car as well as outside on a door handle and on the ground. Once awoken and out of his car, client was very disoriented and showed visible signs of impairment. During the course of the investigation, the Sandy Springs officer had client sit back in his car. Client then proceeded to start up his car and revved the engine multiple times. The officer then turned off the car, grabbed the keys and got the client out of the car. As Sandy Springs DUI officer was called to the scene to assist in the DUI investigation. After performing field sobriety, client was arrested for DUI in Sandy Springs, Improper Parking, and Failure to Change Address within 60 days. At trail, Mr. Sullivan crossed examined the officers on their observations and argued the the judge that the prosecution had not met its burden of proving that defendant moved his vehicle at any point and if the prosecution was able to prove that the vehicle moved at some point, the prosecution had no evidence whether client was impaired at the time the vehicle was parked at that location. The Fulton County State Court judge agreed and found our client Not Guilty of DUI, Not Guilty of Failing to Change Address within 60 Days, but Guilty of the Improper Parking charge (Georgia DDS assesses no points for this offense). Client was able to save his Georgia CDL and his career.
Our client ran a red light in Atlanta and struck another vehicle. Atlanta Police responded to investigate. Our client admitted to drinking and after an investigation, was arrested for DUI in Atlanta. He agree to take the state’s breath test at the jail, but after an unexplained two hour delay, his alcohol level dropped to a .077. The Fulton County State Court prosecution had the ability to present evidence that our client was over .o8 at the time of driving as well as being DUI less safe. Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecution that they would still have a difficult time proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The Atlanta DUI and Red Light charges were dismissed in exchange for a negotiated plea to Reckless Driving.