Client was charged with an improper turn and DUI in Milton back in June 2013. Due to the sensitive nature of this charge as it might affect his executive position at a national company, Bob Chestney attempted to resolve the case as quickly as possible – he asked for a bench trial in Milton Municipal Court. But prior to the trial date, the prosecutor had the case sent down to the State Court of Fulton County over our objection. This added an entirely unnecessary delay of almost 24 months to the process, during which time our client endured the extreme anxiety of these charges possibly causing him professional embarrassment or worse. Having earnestly sought a speedy trial and been denied, our client’s constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated, and his Milton DUI case was properly dismissed.
Client was stopped at 4:00 am by Roswell Police Off. Ott – who is a highly trained and experienced DUI cop – for failing to maintain her lane. Video showed over three minutes of driving before being stopped, and she hit or crossed over the lines 4-5 times, but always on the inside line of a curve. Mr. Chestney argued that this was normal driving, and was “as nearly as practicable within a single lane” as the statute requires. Judge Porter agreed, and granted a motion to exclude all evidence gathered from the traffic stop. The state chose to dismiss rather than appeal her decision.
Client was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in Buckhead that was set up by Atlanta Police Zone 2 officers. After having difficulty putting the vehicle in park, client exited the vehicle and agreed to perform field sobriety exercises and failed. Client was arrested, read the Georgia Implied Consent Notice and agreed to take the official State breath test blowing a .206 -2 1/2 times the legal limit. Mr. Sullivan challenged the constitutionality of the checkpoint as well as the admissibility of the breath test result. The trial court denied our motions. Unsatisfied with the trial court’s ruling, Mr. Sullivan conducted a stipulated trial to present the case to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals agreed with Mr. Sullivan that the checkpoint did not meet constitutional requirements and reversed the trial court’s ruling. The Atlanta DUI case was dismissed when it was returned to the trial court.
Client was pulled over in Buckhead for weaving within her lane, crossing the center line, and stopping past the stop bar. A Georgia State Patrol Trooper noted in his report that client smelled of alcohol, admitted that she had been drinking, and performed poorly on the two field sobriety evaluations she agreed to perform. Client declined to submit to provide a sample of her breath at the traffic stop and she was then placed under arrest for DUI. The Trooper noted in his report that when he attempted to place her under arrest, she resisted and a physical altercation resulted. The report that the Trooper had written (describing the client’s impairment) was one of the worst we’ve ever seen. Client had injuries to her face, legs, and arms and we took photographs of all of her injuries. The Trooper’s video recording equipment was suspiciously not working during that incident, so that definitely raised alarm bells. Laura was relentless and continued to meet with the Prosecutors working on the case, and eventually the client’s DUI was dismissed. It was critical that this client avoid a DUI conviction because she drives for her job. Client entered a plea to Reckless Driving, and other minor traffic offenses. Her license was saved, she was able to avoid a DUI conviction, and she never returned to jail!
Client had just recently moved to Atlanta, and was trying to drive and follow Google Maps on her phone at the same time. when she drifted out of her lane, she was stopped in Sandy Springs and subsequently arrested by the senior officer on the DUI Task Force. She had suffered a DUI in NC less than two years prior, and her attorney had told her not to blow if she had anything at all to drink; so she refused the state-administered breath test. Bob Chestney tried the case without a jury in Fulton County, and the result was a conviction of Reckless Driving and Failure to Maintain Lane, but an acquittal on DUI and No License.
Client stopped for not wearing a seatbelt. Pulled over into a parking lot. Officer noticed slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and odor of alcohol. Trooper administered the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, where client showed all six clues. Walk & turn and one leg stand not performed due to age and physical problems, refused the State’s breath test. Client rejected unreasonable terms for a reckless plea in Atlanta Municipal Court and the case was sent to Fulton County for a jury trial. After being placed on several jury calendars, client was finally offered a reckless plea with reasonable terms and accepted.
Client was stopped in Buckhead for driving with no tail lights (running lights only after dark). Although the trooper observed 6/6 clues on HGN and scored her poorly on WAT and OLS, she appeared quite sober on the video. Even the trooper was heard to tell his colleague she showed signs of little alcohol. But because she candidly admitted she had taken her prescribed anti-depressant medication that morning as she always does, the trooper arrested her for DUI-Combination Drugs and Alcohol. Client refused to consent to blood and urine testing when she was not allowed to call her father, a lawyer, for advice. She was found Not Guilty by the judge in a bench trial.
An Atlanta Police Officer working part-time with Midtown Blue arrested our client in April 2012 after a disturbance at a convenience store at about 8:00 am. Client declined to do field sobriety tests or breathalyzer, but was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after fainting from an anxiety attack. We retrieved medical records from Grady showing that client was not intoxicated, and the solicitor dismissed the DUI charge. No other charges were brought.
Client investigated in Apartment Complex parking lot for Reckless Driving and DUI. Told cops he had just consumed one drink just as he had pulled up and parked. After field sobriety tests, he was arrested, read implied consent and declined a breath test, saying, “No, I’d like to take a blood test.” The officer’s reply on video was “okay.” After being bound over to Fulton County, a bench trial was conducted along with motions simultaneously. A conflict was developed between the two officers’ testimony regarding whether there was a traffic stop with witnessed driving, or whether the property manager had asked the officer to find the white truck and investigate. The Court ruled that there was no refusal, as charged by the State, due to the officer’s response. And more importantly, she held that the State had not carried its burden of showing the initial detention to be lawful. DUI and Reckless Driving dismissed.
Client was pulled over after failing to maintain her lane and not using her turn signal while turning onto Piedmont Road in Atlanta. As the officer approached her, she accidentally backed into his patrol car! She was charged with Failure to Signal, Failure to Maintain Lane, Reckless Driving, Improper Backing, DUI Per Se, and DUI Less Safe. At the jail she blew .222 on the Intoxilyzer 5000. Her case began in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court but we decided to transfer it to the State Court of Fulton County for trial. A year and a half after her arrest, her case was finally accused in Fulton County. We knew that there were extenuating circumstances with one of the police witnesses and that the State may have trouble getting him to come to court to testify. The State offered to dismiss the DUI and the client entered a plea to Reckless Driving. Excellent result for a .222 accident case!