James “Skip” Sullivan represented a client in a Gwinnett County roadblock case where the client was speeding up to the roadblock and cut off another driver before stopping at the Gwinnett DUI roadblock. The roadblock was set up by Gwinnett DUI task force officers (the only officers that have video in their patrol cars). For reasons not credible, the Gwinnett DUI task force officers elected not to use their videos during this roadblock, nor during the transport of our client to the Gwinnett County Jail. The Gwinnett DUI task force officer that conducted a DUI investigation claimed that our client had very sleepy, droopy, bloodshot eyes, and that his speech was heavily slurred. The Gwinnett DUI officer also claimed that our client was unsteady on his feet. His breath test results were .082, .077. Even though the Gwinnett police decided not to use video, our client had a dash camera that we played during trial. Although the video showed our client cutting off another driver and coming up to the roadblock fast, he looked fine, no droopy/sleepy eyes, and was steady on his feet for the brief time he was on camera. His speech was also not slurred. The prosecution offered a reckless driving offer before trial, but our client rejected. The jury found our client not guilty of DUI and not guilty for cutting off the other driver. The prosecution elected not to charge our client with speeding.
Our 25 year old software engineer executive drove his car at night without headlights on. After a Georgia State Trooper did a typical Atlanta DUI investigation, our client was arrested. Later at the jail he blew a .19 on the state administered breath test. The case finally made its way to Fulton County State Court. The state requested a continuance of the motions hearing due to the Trooper being unavailable. Four months later the State requested a second continuance. Because of our investigation we knew that the Trooper had been transferred to a new post hours away. The judge agreed with our argument that the State had had many months to subpoena the Trooper, and failed to bring him to court. Accordingly, the judge granted all of our motions to suppress evidence, and the case was dismissed.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper stopped our client for making an improper turn out of a bar in Buckhead. Our client agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations and was subsequently arrested for DUI. Our client agreed to take a breath test and blew a .129. After negotiations were not successful in Atlanta Municipal Court, Mr. Sullivan moved his client’s case over to Fulton County State Court for a jury trial. The prosecution failed to file charges against our client in Fulton County State Court within two years of the arrest date and the charges were dismissed.
Client was involved in a single car accident where Atlanta Police responded to investigate. Client was shaken up by the accident, but agreed to field sobriety where client performed poorly. The officer read the implied consent notice for a state breath test before our client was placed under arrest. Because the officer only charged our client with DUI per se (being over .08), the prosecution was not able to have an admissible breath test at trial as the statute requires an arrest before the officer can request a breath test under these specific circumstances under Georgia law. Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecution to drop the DUI charge and client entered a plea to minor traffic offenses.
A “must win” case Mr. Sullivan was faced with when representing his under 21 client, who was applying to highly competitive medical schools. The facts of the case were bad for the defense: .159 breath test when the legal limit in Georgia for drivers under 21 is .02. Compounded by very bad driving on the video, a flat tire, vomit present, and poor scores on field sobriety, this case definitely needed a “special teams” approach. Skip Sullivan mounted a multi-pronged defense, but ultimately won the case on the sole ground that the prosecution violated our client’s right to a speedy trial. Case dismissed and our client’s future career as a doctor is saved!
Our decorated military officer, with a thirteen year career on the line, was pulled over after running a stop-sign in the Virginia Highlands in Atlanta. Our client agreed to field sobriety exercises and scored a 6/6 on the HGN, 4/8 on the walk and turn, and a 2/4 on the one leg stand. Our client agreed to breath testing and blew a .109 at the Georgia Tech Police Station. Our military officer had to take his case to trial to save his career. Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm took the case to trial with no expert to challenge the state’s .109 breath test. After a hard-fought battle with a veteran Atlanta DUI Task Force officer, the Fulton County jury returned a not guilty verdict on both DUI, and Reckless driving in 15-minutes in Fulton County State Court.
Client was stopped for speeding. Trooper smelled odor of alcohol coming from client. Client performed field sobriety evaluations and looked good. Trooper arrested client anyway and client agreed to take the state breath test (0.099). The legal limit is 0.08. Client elected to have an independent test and the results were higher: .107. Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutor that some of the conversion formulas used to equate a hospital test to a GBI test brought the independent test below .08. The prosecutor decided to reduce the Brookhaven DUI charge to Reckless Driving and a negotiated plea was entered in Brookhaven Municipal Court.
Client was stopped by Doraville police for no headlights and failing to maintain lane. Although client did not “pass” field sobriety evaluations, client looked and sounded sober on the video. After being arrested for DUI in Doraville as well as open container, no headlights, and failure to maintain lane, client was asked to submit to a state administered test of client’s breath. Client consented and the result was a .113. Client also wanted an independent test – the Doraville DUI officer dictated where client could go for test. The independent test was also above .08, but because client was not able to get an independent test of her own choosing, the DeKalb County State Court prosecutor agreed that the chemical tests would not be admissible at trial. The DUI charges were dismissed and client entered a negotiated plea to failure to maintain lane and open container.