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Your Right Against Self-Incrimination and DUI: What You Need to Know

The Ammons v. State Case: Protecting the Right Against Self-Incrimination

In Ammons v. State, the Georgia Supreme Court held that a defendant’s right against self-incrimination under the Georgia Constitution prohibits law enforcement from compelling a person suspected of DUI to perform a preliminary breath test (PBT) or field sobriety tests (FSTs).

The defendant in Ammons was pulled over for speeding. The officer who pulled her over smelled alcohol on her breath and asked her to perform a PBT. The defendant refused. The officer then asked her to perform several FSTs, and she refused those as well. The officer arrested the defendant for DUI.

The defendant moved to suppress evidence of her refusal to perform the PBT and FSTs, arguing that her right against self-incrimination was violated. The trial court denied the motion, and the defendant was convicted of DUI.

Georgia Supreme Court Reverses DUI Conviction Based on Defendant’s Right Against Self-Incrimination

The Georgia Supreme Court reversed the conviction, holding that the defendant’s right against self-incrimination was violated. The Court found that the PBT and FSTs require the cooperation of the suspect and that they can be used to generate incriminating evidence. As a result, the Court held that evidence of the defendant’s refusal to perform these tests cannot be admitted at her trial.

Ammons v. State Impact on Georgia DUI Defense

The decision in Ammons v. State is a significant victory for the rights of individuals under the Georgia Constitution. The Court’s decision makes it clear that individuals cannot be forced to cooperate with law enforcement in ways that could incriminate them. This is an important protection for individual liberty and it is a victory for the rule of law.

A significant ruling for Georgia DUI defense

The decision in Ammons v. State will have a significant impact on Georgia DUI defense. In the past, law enforcement has often used evidence of a defendant’s refusal to perform a PBT or FST as evidence of guilt. However, after Ammons v. State, this evidence will no longer be admissible in court. This will make it more difficult for prosecutors to obtain convictions in DUI cases.

If you have been charged with DUI in Georgia, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and your options for defense. An attorney can also help you fight the charges against you and protect your rights.