Question: I got arrested for DUI and speeding in Atlanta but I think I have a pretty good excuse. Right now I'm going through a nasty divorce with my wife. She says that I drink too much and that I'm having an affair and that I'm cheap. So now I'm worried about child custody issues and alimony and child support. It's a mess and I realize that I need help. I'm looking at a program at Emory University.
We live in Buckhead and I work at CNN in Atlanta. With all the long hours I started getting into some drugs, but nothing really serious. It was just stuff to stay awake. And with all the travelling away from Atlanta I was seeing a co-worker but it really didn't mean anything because she is also married.
So now I'm under all this stress and I have started to drink a little bit too much. So I was arrested by an Atlanta Police Department officer the other night on my way home from a Braves game. I got stopped on Peachtree Street after going to a bar. My friend said that if I tell the Atlanta prosecutor that I was going through a hard divorce that they may drop the charges against me even though my breath test was .271. Do you think it will work?
Answer: While prosecutors, like anyone else, can be sympathetic to a difficult personal situation, it is quite unlikely that it will sway them enough that charges will be dropped for a DUI, especially one with a breath test over three times the legal limit of .08.
Things like marital status, children, employment history, charitable work, and military service all can be helpful to a DUI defendant when utilized properly. These details can sometimes help to get a reduction from DUI to reckless driving, and they can help lessen punishments for DUI and other charges. But it is difficult to overcome a strong prosecution case with just a sympathetic story.
Your DUI attorney needs to assess your case by doing discovery (that is obtaining such things as the police report and the video of the incident). Then your lawyer needs to apprise you of what strategies and tactics may work best in your specific situation.
If you have a question, just email it to us with some supporting facts and we'll do our best to answer it on our blog.