Charlie Magarahan, senior attorney and expert criminal law/DUI defense attorney, is prepared to defend your case with forceful pre-trial motions, cogent cross-examination, credible expert testimony, and tangible and audio-visual evidence. Below are selected summaries of some of his wins. A DUI arrest can be a stressful, harrowing experience, but people get through it. You’ll find reassurance in some of the stories about clients who have faced DUI charges…and won!
As an expert in Georgia DUI law, Charlie will research your case, gather credible expert testimony, acquire videotape evidence and provide you with the pre-trial consultation you need to make the best presentation during your DUI trial. Read More about Charlie here.
Summaries of Charlie’s recent wins:
Gwinnett County State Court (refusal)
This one is strange. In a jury trial in Gwinnett County State Court we had the most unusual note from a jury I have seen since I started practicing law in 1973. Def. hit 2 cars stopped at a red light, no skidmarks, no evasive maneuvers. It was 2:30 am on Hwy 20 in Gwinnett. 3 people were taken to the hospital. 2 of them in pretty bad shape. No negotiations were even attempted by the solicitor’s office. After the state rested, it looked like a slam dunk for conviction. Our sole witness was an ex-bouncer who does not drink, and who testified that he sat with Def. at a local bar/restaurant for 1 hour (10:30 – 11:30) then drove her to his nearby apt. to play Wii bowling. There, she drank 2 bottles of water, and at 2:00 am he drove her back to her car so she could go home(she lives with parents, for the time being). She’s 33 years old. He saw NO MANIFESTATIONS OF INTOXICATION, AND DID NOT SMELL ANY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE ON HER BREATH ALTHOUGH SHE TOLD HIM SHE HAD 2 BEERS AT THE HOCKEY GAME. She told the cop that she drank a couple of beers and was coming from the bar/restaurant. The Cop smelled the STRONG ODOR of an alcoholic b everage, saw GLAZED EYES, UNSTEADY GAIT, and SLURRED SPEECH. She was quoted as saying to the first civilian to get to her…”OMG, Don’t call the cops, I’ve been drinking!” She hit the cars at approximately 45 mph and knocked the rear wheel off a Chevy Tahoe with her BMW 330i convertible. The axle of the Tahoe was bent parallel to its body. We argued that she fell asleep, cop said “passed out”; that all the observations were the result of the collision; and that the smell of alcohol was from a reflux, or regurgitation or vomit (not looked for). The jury was out all day, then told the judge they were “hopelessly deadlocked”. Judge said put it in writing. They did. They sent out a note saying they were split 3 – 2- 1. That’s a new one for me. They came back into court the next morning to get the Allen Charge. Before that happened, we settled it with a plea of Nolo Contendre to a charge of Reckless Driving.
DUI Case Won!— DEKALB COUNTY STATE COURT (0.138)
A 25 year old woman was stopped in Atlanta by a DUI Task Force officer.Although she walked normal, talked normal and her appearances were normal, she was charged with a DUI . The DUI officer testified that he was a field instructor for the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus DUI Test, but cross examination revealed that his training differed greatly from the way he testified to have performed the DUI test. Our defendant blew twice into the Intoxillizer 5000 registering 0.140 and 1.38, but an expert we bought in testified that the Georgia model of the Intoxilizer 5000 can give a reading as much as 100 percent higher than a female’s actual blood alcohol concentration. The jury awarded a “Not Guilty” verdict.
DUI Case Dropped!— COBB COUNTY STATE COURT (0.29 Blood Test)
Our DUI defendant drank some wine at a party in Atlanta over the course of an evening. On the way home, he was forced into the guardrail of an Interstate entry ramp by a passing an 18-Wheeler. His crumpled Corvette was dragged a quarter of a mile and it took 45 minutes and the “Jaws of Life” for the EMS personnel to extricate him from the wreckage. While the EMS team worked, the defendant was losing massive amounts of blood while metabolizing alcohol. When he got to the hospital, he was cited for DUI . In court, our DUI expert demonstrated the effects of draining blood from the body while simultaneously absorbing alcohol into the blood that remained. The State of Georgia could not prove the actual Blood Alcohol Concentration, since that actual number might have been anything from 0.04 to 0.29. The charge was reduced.
DUI Case won!— FULTON COUNTY STATE COURT (0.25 Blood Test)
When a young couple returned from a party their baby-sitter was gone, as was one of the family cars. The Defendant’s husband called the police, who sent an officer to the residence. Before the officer arrived, the Defendant left to search for the baby-sitter. She eventually found her in an adjacent neighborhood. Upon returning, the Defendant passed the police officer exiting her street. Recognizing the Defendant by description, the officer followed her into her driveway. For 40 to 45 minutes the officer tried to coerce the Defendant into identifying the baby-sitter. The Defendant drank one can of beer while talking with the police officer on her front porch. Eventually, the police officer got frustrated with the Defendant and made her undergo field sobriety tests, which she passed. However, her blood test registered 0.25 grams. At the DUI trial, the State’s expert testified as to the manifestations expected to be seen in someone with a 0.25 grams blood alcohol concentration. None of the manifestations described were present in the DUI testimony of the police officer. The judge delivered a “Not Guilty” verdict.
DUI Case Won!— COBB COUNTY STATE COURT (refusal)
On her night off, a bartender passed out after only two glasses of wine. She was awakened by coworkers who found her argumentative, unable to stand, and demanding to go home. She was forcibly placed into the back seat of a cab by her boss, who accompanied her. The Defendant would not identify the neighborhood where she lived and upon returning to the bar, argued with her boss and demanded to drive home. The boss put her in the back seat of her car, hoping she would “sleep it off.” After he returned to the bar, the Defendant left in her vehicle for home. She almost made it, but totaled her car and rolled to a stop in a church parking lot, where she was found asleep by a police officer who eventually charged her with a DUI . Upon being awaken, she was uncooperative and aggressive. Our suspicion was that she had been drugged, but no blood sample had been taken. We called in an expert who identified the drug ketamine based on symptoms experienced by the Defendant. At her DUI trial, coworkers described each stage of the intoxication process and the Defendant testified about symptoms she experienced the next day. The expert related the symptoms to ketamine. The judge delivered a “Not Guilty” verdict.
DUI Case Won!— FULTON COUNTY STATE COURT (0.184)
Our Defendant called a wrecker because her car got stuck in the mud. It was raining, and after midnight, so the defendant called a wrecker and the wrecker driver called the police because he believed that the driver was DUI . The police officer arrived 3:10 a.m and administered field sobriety tests. Properly stated but slurred ABCs, problems with the Walk and Turn and Six Clues of the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus gave the officer probable cause to issue a DUI arrest. A breath test given at 4:42 a.m. registered 0.184 but the State of Georgia could not provide sufficient evidence that the Defendant had been driving. No one knew how much time had passed since the time the defendant got stuck and she gave up on trying to get the car out herself and called the wrecker. The judge delivered a “Not Guilty” verdict.
DUI Case Won!—DEKALB COUNTY STATE COURT (0.144)
While driving on a county road, our Defendant crossed over the center line to avoid a pot hole. The Doraville police stopped him and the field sobriety evaluations revealed a person fully in control of his facilities, as did the videotape of the incident. The arresting officer did not observe the Defendant for a 20-minute period that occurred between the administration of the field sobriety evaluations and the administration of the Intoxilizer 5000 breath test. We argued that there must be something wrong with the breath test, since its findings did not match the results of the field sobriety tests and the way the Defendant behaved on the videotape. According to our argument, a natural act, such as a belch, could bring stomach contents containing alcohol into the mouth, making tests results suspect. The jury returned with a “Not Guilty” verdict.