Athens DUI Lawyer
Attorney Donald Wells
Law Office of Scott, Wells & McElwee, P.C.
347 West Hancock Avenue
Athens, GA 30601
Experienced Northeast Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers
As skilled trial attorneys, we advise people about the best ways to resolve criminal charges such as drunk driving, drug possession, or underage alcohol offenses. If you need help with a felony or misdemeanor charge, contact a criminal defense lawyer at Scott, Wells & McElwee, P.C., in Athens.
Our criminal defense solutions start with a hard look at the facts
The first problem in any criminal defense situation is to get a sense of the strength of the case against you. Can the government prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt? Can we find evidence that would contradict a key allegation? Can we keep incriminating evidence out of the courtroom through a challenge to a search and seizure or confession? We use our experience to make an informed judgment as to the prosecution's ability to get a conviction based on the evidence that remains once we're done with it.
If we think the government's case is vulnerable, we'll pressure the prosecution to drop the charges, offer an attractive plea deal, or take your case to trial. If the evidence against you is strong, we will do everything possible to protect you from punishment.
We represent UGA students facing a wide range of criminal charges
Because we're located in Athens, we represent many University of Georgia students arrested for the kinds of offenses you expect to encounter at a large campus ? underage drinking, DUI, drug possession, theft, assault or shoplifting. For many first offenders, punishment on the criminal charge is the least of their problems. Academic discipline or a threat to future career prospects is a much more serious consequence. We work with students and the university authorities to help minimize the long-range consequences of a serious mistake.
Our attorneys also represent people in communities throughout northeast Georgia who face charges ranging from bad checks or embezzlement to assault. Whether your problem involves drugs, fraud, alcohol, or weapons, we do everything we can to minimize your exposure to punishment, even if it means taking your case to trial.
Never underestimate the power of the presumption of innocence that protects all criminal defendants. No matter how much trouble you're in, a skilled trial lawyer can prepare a defense designed to protect you from the worst potential consequences.For more information about the scope of our firm's criminal defense practice, contact a trial lawyer at Scott, Wells & McElwee, P.C., in Athens.
We offer sophisticated advocacy without compromising on client service
Each of our partners, Donald T. Wells, Jr., and Stephen H. McElwee, has decades of trial experience, advanced litigation and negotiation skills, and a deep commitment to the welfare of our clients. Our younger associate, Jennifer N. Wasdin, is rapidly developing her own reputation as an effective courtroom lawyer. Our firm dates back to 1977, and, as an indication of our stability and commitment to the community, we've practiced from the same location since 1982. Our offices are in an old antebellum house that expresses the dignity of our profession while making our clients feel warmly welcomed.
Call us for a free consultation regarding personal injury or criminal defense
We offer free consultations in all matters, and accept most personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis: we don't collect an attorney's fee unless we win a settlement or verdict for you. Our criminal defense practice caters both to the University of Georgia community and to ordinary people in the counties surrounding Athens. Our practice has a definite local focus, and we don't apologize at all for the advantage we enjoy through our long familiarity with the local courts and procedures.
Do You Need a Lawyer?
Every state has some sort of "drunk driving" statute. The term "drunk driving" is in quotes because none of these laws require that you be "drunk" or "intoxicated" to be guilty. All that is required is that your ability to operate a vehicle has been impaired to any extent at all or that your Blood alcohol level exceeds the state limit (which is now .08% in all states). Some states call it DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), but it refers to the same offense. The consequences of differ drastically from state to state and are influenced by your age, blood alcohol limit (BAC), whether you have been arrested for in the past, and whether you caused injury or death during the .
A Lawyer can help...
Assess your legal situation
An experienced Defense lawyer can help you understand what you are up against and the fines you may be required to pay. A lawyer mostly deals with matters and knows the process inside and out – including options that a public defender may not tell you.
Explain the consequences
The consequences of a vary greatly from state to state and a lawyer will be able to explain how those consequences in your state apply to you such as (1) harsher punishments for those arrested with BAC limits over .08, (2) special laws for underage drivers arrested for , (3) possible community service or plea bargaining, (4) overlapping jurisdiction of Courts and your state's motor vehicle licensing department to suspend or revoke your license, and (5) contingent license programs that allow you to use your vehicle to get to and from work.
Manage the process
Dealing with the motor vehicle department can be frustrating and time consuming. A Lawyer can manage the process for you by completing the required forms; making phone calls; scheduling and/or representing you at a Motor Vehicle Department suspension hearing, and making other necessary arrangements.
Represent you in court
An experienced Lawyer knows the ins and outs of the courtroom and may be able to obtain a lesser sentence for you if your situation and state law allows for it.
Don't know if a Lawyer is right for you? Here are some general guidelines:
Definitely hire a Lawyer if you already have several 's and receive another; or if your arrest was the result of an accident or if anyone was injured; or if you are a professional driver whose livelihood depends on keeping your license.
Seriously consider hiring a Lawyer if you've been arrested for a second (in the same or another state) or were arrested with a BAC limit over double the legal limit as harsher penalties may apply.
You might want to hire a Lawyer if you don't understand your rights or laws, what you need to do, or the consequences you face. You also might want legal representation if you are in a profession (or plan to be) that requires bonding or in which any criminal conviction might prevent you from getting or keeping a professional license. If you don't know the requirements, then you need expert advice before handling the case yourself.