Columbus GA DUI, Georgia State Patrol Refusal: Reduced to Lesser Charge

In a must win situation to avoid a DUI conviction in Columbus, Georgia, James “Skip” Sullivan – partner with Chestney & Sullivan Law Firm, was able to successfully navigate an administrative license suspension action and avoid a DUI conviction  for his client.  Our client was stopped for speeding by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper in Muscogee County, Georgia.  A DUI investigation followed where our client did not perform well.  He was arrested and refused the state breath test after the implied consent notice was read.  An administrative license suspension action was initiated by the trooper, were our client faced a one year suspension of his Georgia driving privileges for refusing the state breath test.  There is no permit if his license was suspended.  Mr. Sullivan was able to avoid the one year suspension of his client’s driving privileges and the trooper was not going to get in the way of negotiations with the prosecution.  We developed a plan for our client to but him in the best possible light for negotiations with the prosecution and Mr. Sullivan was able to negotiate a plea to Reckless Driving.  The DUI and Speeding charges were dismissed. 

If you are facing a DUI in Columbus or anywhere in Georgia, call Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777

Georgia State Patrol Chamblee DUI, Speeding and Failure to Stop at a Red Light: Not Guilty DUI and Speeding

James “Skip” Sullivan took over a Chamblee DUI case from another law firm that was transferred to DeKalb State Court for a jury trial.   Our driver was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper (Nighthawks), for speeding and failing to fully stop before a stop bar at a red light (vehicle was past the stop bar into the intersection).  When the trooper initiated his emergency equipment, our client pulled into the nearest gas station and stopped.  Apparently our client had to use the rest room pretty bad, but was stopped by the trooper for a DUI investigation.  After realizing that our client really did have to use the rest room, he was allowed to do so.   Then the Trooper had him perform field sobriety evaluations, which our client did poorly (still complaining his stomach hurts).  He was arrested for DUI but refused to be handcuffed, resisting arrest.  Once under arrest, our client refused to submit to a state breath test.  The prosecutor refused to negotiate a lesser charge, so  Mr. Sullivan took the case to jury trial.  The jury found our client not guilty of DUI, not guilty of speeding, guilty of the Obstruction of a Law Enforcement charge, and a mistrial was declared on the Red light charge (jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on that charge).  Although we received a guilty verdict on the Obstruction of a Law Enforcement charge, the DeKalb judge agreed with Mr. Sullivan that the First Offender Statute applied even after a jury verdict if the client decides to use it and the judge accepts it, meaning if the client completes his sentence requirements successfully, the Obstruction charge would be dismissed without a conviction! 

if you are charged with a DUI or a serious traffic or criminal offense, call Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777.  Mr. Sullivan or Mr. Chestney would be happy to discuss your case with you.  

Georgia State Patrol Atlanta DUI, Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer: Case Dismissed

James “Skip” Sullivan represented a driver who was stopped in the Buckhead section of Atlanta for failing to stop at a red light and speeding by a Georgia State Patrol Trooper (Nighthawks)  In addition to the bad driving, our client also had slurred speech and red, bloodshot eyes.  After being asked to exit his vehicle multiple times, he refused to exit his vehicle when finally ordered to do so by the Georgia State Trooper.  He was then forcibly removed from the vehicle and placed under arrest for a DUI in Atlanta and Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer.  The Trooper misread a portion of the Georgia Implied Consent Notice and our client refused to submit to a state breath test.  Mr. Sullivan took the case out of Atlanta Municipal Court and demanded a jury trial in Fulton County State Court.  After multiple hearings, including an administrative license suspension hearing, the Fulton County State Court prosecutors decided to dismiss every charge except for speeding, to which our client paid a nominal fine with no other conditions attached. 

If you are faced with a DUI or serious criminal charges, contact Chestney & Sullivan today at 404.816.8777

Atlanta DUI Breath Test .117 (Dismissed)

Mr. Sullivan represented a commercial truck driver in Atlanta who was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol DUI Task Force Trooper for not having his headlights on.  Our client also failed to maintain his lane.   The Trooper conducted field sobriety evaluations and our client was arrested for a DUI in Atlanta.  The client agreed to submit to the state breath test and blew a .117.  The legal limit is .08.  Mr. Sullivan challenged the admissibility of the breath test in court along with a motion arguing our client’s right to a constitutional speedy trial was violated.  The court found that the Fulton State Court prosecution was not able to meet it’s  burden at a motion hearing and granted Mr. Sullivan’s motion to dismiss all charges.  Our client’s commercial driver’s license and his career were saved. 

Atlanta DUI (Dismissed)

Mr. Sullivan successfully defended a client who was found passed out at an intersection in Atlanta by Atlanta Police.  Georgia State Patrol was brought to the scene to conduct an Atlanta DUI investigation.   Client did terrible on field sobriety evaluations and was arrested for DUI in Atlanta.  Our client refused to submit to the state administered breath test.  The DUI case was moved out of Atlanta Municipal Court to Fulton County State Court.  The prosecution took a very long time in filing the case.  Mr. Sullivan filed motions attacking the prosecution’s DUI case, including filing a motion to dismiss due to the delay in the prosecution and a motion challenging the initial detention of our client.  At the time of trial, the prosecution was unable to bring the initial officer to court (the arresting officer was there).  Arguably the prosecution still could possibly go forward with its case (the Georgia case law is murky in this area), but Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to a lesser traffic offense of Reckless Driving. 

Atlanta DUI (reduced to Reckless Driving)

Our client was stopped in Atlanta by a Georgia State Patrol DUI Trooper for suspended registration.  Client admitted to having two drinks and agreed to perform field sobriety evaluations.  The Trooper marked client off for “clues” during the administration of the tests and arrested client for a DUI in Atlanta.  Our client refused to take the state administered test of her breath.  Mr. Sullivan was was able to persuade the Atlanta DUI prosecutor that the trooper failed to follow his training regarding field sobriety evaluations, and as such, the results were compromised.  The prosecutor agreed to dismiss the DUI charge and the suspended registration charge (a charge that if convicted for, causes a license suspension) in exchange for a plea to Reckless Driving and Expired Tag.

Chestney & Sullivan partner Bob Chestney discusses Georgia DUI law on NPR station 90.1 WABE

Bob Chestney had the pleasure of being interviewed by Rose Scott on Closer Look, NPR station WABE 90.1.  He, along with representatives from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and Georgia State Patrol discussed a wide range of issues relating to DUI arrests in Georgia.  With the holiday season upon us,  expect Georgia State Patrol and local Georgia law enforcement agencies to be conducting concentrated patrols and sobriety checkpoints.  Check out the interview below:

https://www.wabe.org/episode/closer-look-cabbagetown-vandalism-nighthawks-dui-task-force/

Covington DUI Refusal: Reduced to Reckless Driving

A concerned citizen was following our client and called in to Georgia State Patrol that our client was failing to keep the vehicle in a single lane.  A Georgia State Trooper spotted our client’s vehicle and also noticed it failing to maintain the vehicle within the lane.  The trooper initiated a traffic stop in Covington, Georgia and after a brief conversation, allowed our client to drive off.  The Trooper then saw our client drive off onto the shoulder of the road and stopped the vehicle again.  A DUI investigation began, where our client performed field sobriety evaluations and tested high on a portable alcosensor (almost twice the legal limit).  Our client was subsequently arrested for a DUI in Covington.  Mr. Sullivan was able to convince the prosecutor that the client performed well enough on field sobriety evaluations that a jury might not convict on the DUI charge.  The prosecutor agreed and a plea to reckless driving was negotiated. 

Spalding County DUI, .40 Blood Test: Reduced

In her Spalding County DUI case, our client lost control of her vehicle and crashed into a collision repair shop parking lot in Spalding County.  A witness saw the accident and called police.  Georgia State Patrol responded and conducted an investigation.  Due to the accident, no field sobriety evaluations were performed, but the trooper noticed a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage from our client.  Our client was transported to the hospital for treatment. Our client was charged for DUI in Spalding County and blood was draw for testing at the GBI.  The blood test result was .40, five times the legal limit.   Mr. Sullivan was able to persuade the prosecution that due to the delay of the case and admissibility issues of the state’s blood test to dismiss the DUI charge, resulting in a negotiated plea to Too Fast for Conditions and Reckless Driving.  

Atlanta DUI Refusal: Dismissed

Our client clearly did not stop at a red light in Atlanta (on video) and a Georgia State Patrol Trooper made a traffic stop.  Client looked good on the video and had no slurred speech.  Performed reasonably well on field sobriety evaluation.  Client refused a portable breath test and was arrested for an Atlanta DUI.  Mr. Sullivan rejected a reckless driving plea offer in Atlanta Municipal Court  as it may affect travel to Canada and sent the case to Fulton County State Court for a jury trial.  Mr. Sullivan successfully negotiated a plea to running a stop sign (which our client clearly did) and a basic rules violation (does not get reported to the Georgia Department of Driver Services).