To Blow or Not to Blow
Almost a year later, a landmark Supreme Court case in Georgia continues to reshape DUI defense cases, Olevik vs. State. In this case, the highest court in Georgia reaffirmed a state resident’s against self-incrimination. In light of the shifting tides, we want to take a look at your rights in Georgia, and how they are broader than your rights as a citizen or resident of the United States.
As you may know, the United States Bill of Rights includes a list of rights afforded to its citizens, including the right to a public trial and freedom of speech, among many other things. Here is a link to the United States Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment states a citizen’s right to remain silent. This is where the Miranda warning comes from, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” In the United States this right, protected by the constitution, is limited to the words you say – your verbal testimony.
Is Refusing a Breathalyzer in GA Legal?
In Georgia, your rights are actually expanded; here is a link the Georgia Constitution. In Georgia, citizens have the right avoid testimony that could incriminate them. The courts consider this protection to extend to not only your verbal testimony, but you are also protected from being compelled to act in a way that could incriminate you. In Olevik vs. State, the court interpreted the action of breathing into a breathalyzer as an act.
However, it is yet to be determined how the defense of refusing a breathalyzer in GA unfolds in a court case. There are several cases pending that may eventually determine this. In the meantime, remember that you do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, but Georgia law still states that a refusal will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for one year.
Arrested for DUI? – Get Advice Immediately
Contact a dui lawyer as soon as possible to begin the process of defending your case and ensuring the best possible outcome in court. Don’t let a drunk driving conviction ruin your driving record.
Call Ashley Schiavone Now – 770-578-2344
Ashley Schiavone received the prestigious honor of Rising Star for SuperLawyers.com in 2018 and has an excellent score on the lawyer review site AVVO.