Cohen & Hirsch Criminal Defense
Cohen & Hirsch Criminal Defense

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“If you want someone who is going to get stuff done, I highly recommend Cohen and Hirsch. Not only did I beat my case, I even got my record cleaned.”
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“Hired Matt Hirsch at a distance to take on a traffic case with a missed mandatory court appearance (or two). Even as the case dragged on longer than anticipated (not the fault in any way of the lawyer), and indeed went a couple rounds, Mr. Hirsch remained engaged, positive, and proactive. I firmly believe he and his firm resolved my case with the best outcome for me. Would recommend Cohen & Hirsch for cases of my type without reservation, and his working for me at a fairly great distance, without my ever appearing back in state, deserves particular note”
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“Matt was great. The day I called him he jumped right in and a week later charges were dropped! He’s my guy here on out. Not to mention he saved me 3k from the first firm I called.”
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“Matt was a great treasure! Always kept calm and let me be the same. Looking at his fb feed, I was convinced he’s the right person for me. Helped get through a difficult situation. His fees were also comparable to the others given the amount of personal attention he paid to the case. Never had the trouble of dealing with the paralegals(as we all know what happens). He was always available on text. Great experience!!”
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“I write to recommend Matt A. Hirsch, Esq. for those in need of legal representation and guidance. He is highly competent and experienced, conscientious, organized and responsive. Attorney Hirsch is someone you want in your corner if you need help.”
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Can you refuse a breath test in a DUI stop?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2019 | Uncategorized |

You are driving home after a casual night out. Just minutes from arriving home, you spot red and blue lights behind your car. Nervous, you pull over. Now with thoughts racing through your head, you wonder whether you should consent to taking a breath test.

Georgia’s implied consent law stated that drivers consent to cooperating with law enforcement officials and taking roadside tests. However, a recent decision by the Georgia Supreme Court has dramatically affected the state’s DUI law. This decision affects both the approach of police officers and the decisions of drivers in DUI stops.

Changes to the implied consent law

Previously, a driver’s refusal to consent to a breath test during a DUI stop could work against them as evidence in criminal court proceedings. The refusal could lead to steeper penalties. However, the court ruled that such a law violates the constitutional rights of drivers against self-incrimination.

What this means for drivers

Drivers now have the option to consider several items when deciding whether to consent to a breath test:

  • The test could be unreliable due to many factors, including whether the test was properly administered and whether you have certain health issues
  • Refusing to take the test can still have consequences for your driver’s license
  • Taking the test could produce results that indicate a higher blood alcohol content (BAC) level than in reality
  • The police officer could still obtain a warrant to collect blood or urine samples from you

Refusing to take a breath test no longer works against drivers in criminal court, where prosecutors seek potential penalties of jail time, fines, probation time and more. However, this could still affect your ability to retain your driver’s license.

Georgia drivers have ten days after an arrest to request an administrative hearing to avoid the suspension of their driver’s license. However, refusing to take a breath test can lead to an automatic suspension while your criminal case is pending.

More changes could be on the way

These changes dramatically adjust DUI law. Yet, more changes could follow. After the ruling in February, prosecutors immediately instructed police officers to seek warrants to obtain blood or urine tests in lieu of depending on breath tests. These tests can be more difficult to facilitate, especially in rural Georgia communities. The court is expected to convene to address these issues and potentially make further changes.

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