Actual Innocence In Georgia DUI Cases

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jun 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

Most people who call my office want to be treated fairly.  “Fairness” can mean different things to different people.  For some, it means a dismissal.  For others, it can mean no jail time. For some, it means to substitute a treatment plan instead of going to jail. 

Interestingly, very few people say from day one that they are 100% innocent. When it happens, the duty of a Georgia DUI Lawyer is to provide true advocacy.  

True advocacy means preparation to fight the case.  Most prosecutors will not dismiss a DUI case completely.  In cases where we have valid defenses, some prosecutors will reduce a case to reckless driving.  Very few prosecutors will completely dismiss a DUI case.  

The result is that when a person tells me they are innocent, then I prepare them for a potential jury trial.  When the parties to any litigation cannot agree (State vs. Accused), that is why we have trials.  

Sometimes being an advocate can be hard.  Some clients may appear guilty.  However, as a Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer, it is not my place to substitute my judgment for what my client tells me.  

It does not mean that I cannot discuss my position about the case.  It means that my client's position on his or her case always controls.  

When a person is charged with a DUI and wants to litigate the case, here is the order or events:

  • Arrest
  • Bond
  • Arraignment
  • Motions hearing
  • Trial
  • Verdict
  • Sentencing
  • Appeal

Of course, our job is to hopefully win and avoid sentencing and an appeal.  

When we fight a case, we generally do not have bench trials (trial by judge).  Our office has made the strategic decision that jury trials are more effective than bench trials. 

Practice Note to Fellow Attorneys:

I hear attorneys bad-mouth their clients in the hallway at the courthouse or to fellow attorneys.  The main issue is that they feel their client is guilty and cannot convince him or her.  CUT IT OUT, ATTORNEYS!

Never forget that your client has a constitutional right to their trial and their day in court.  Stop bullying people into taking a plea bargain.  When someone says they are innocent, then follow your duty to fight the case.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

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