Appealing a DUI Conviction in Georgia

Appealing a DUI Conviction in Georgia

Motions for New Trial in Georgia and Appeals in Georgia

Motions for a new trial may be granted when a jury verdict is against the weight of the evidence or contrary to principles of law.  A motion for new trial may be based on the admissibility of material evidence, improper jury selection, the failure to suppress evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, the infringement of constitutional rights, failing to give requested jury charges, ineffective assistance of counsel, or other errors made during the trial process.

If you have been convicted of DUI in a Georgia court and wish to appeal the conviction, the first thing you need to know are the time limits.  Georgia law requires that you begin the appellate process within 30 days of your conviction.  This is done by filing either a motion for new trial or a notice of appeal.

Most convictions are appealed through a two stage process.  The first stage is the motion for new trial.  This is where you ask the judge that presided over your trial to either vacate your conviction or grant you a new trial.  An experienced DUI appellate lawyer will present evidence and argument that your conviction should be reversed.  Any issues that you wish to present on your appeal must be raised at the motion for new trial.

What is the Basis of a Successful of a DUI Conviction Georgia?

Motions for new trial and appeals are usually granted if:

  • the verdict is contrary to evidence and without evidence to support it;
  • the verdict is decidedly and strongly against the weight of the evidence
  • the verdict is contrary to law and the principles of justice and equity.
  • the defendant did not receive a fair trial under the Constitution of the United States of America, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, and the laws of the State of Georgia

Motions for new trial may also be granted based on newly discovered evidence if the following criteria are met:

  • that the evidence has come to your knowledge since the trial;
  • that it was not owing to the want of due diligence that you did not acquire it sooner;
  • that it is so material that it would probably produce a different verdict;
  • that it is not cumulative only;
  • that the affidavit of the witness himself should be procured or its absence accounted for; and
  • that a new trial will not be granted if the only effect of the evidence will be to impeach the credibility of a witness.
What is the Georgia Appellate Process - How do DUI Appeals work in Georgia

A motion for new trial must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the judgment. If a motion for new trial is not granted, the order denying the motion may be appealed to an appellate court to review the decision. You can also skip the motion for new trial and file your appeal directly if you feel that is the correct strategy. Some appeals go directly to the Supreme Court of Georgia.  Most appeals begin at the Georgia Court of Appeals.

You may also appeal any sentence, judgment, decision or decree of the court to the appellate courts.  A direct appeal must be made from a final judgment or ruling meaning that the case has been resolved and is no longer pending in the lower court.  Appeals from convictions in a Probate Court or Municipal Court are made to the Superior Court. Appeals from convictions in a Recorder's Court are made by writ of certiorari to the State Court of the county. No new evidence may be presented at the hearing.

An interlocutory appeal is an appeal made before the case is resolved in the lower court.  The trial court must issue a certificate of immediate review within 10 days of the order being appealed and then you will have 10 days to file a petition in the appellate court seeking appellate review. An interlocutory appeal is appropriate if the issue to be decided is dispositive of the case, if the judge's ruling appears erroneous and would cause a substantial error at trial, or if establishing precedent is desirable. If the petition is granted, you have 10 days to file a notice of appeal in the trial court.

Appeals from the State and Superior Courts go to the Georgia Court of Appeals and to the Georgia Supreme Court.  On appeal, the defendant no longer enjoys the presumption of innocence, and the appellate court views any evidence in favor of the verdict. The courts do not sit as fact finders and do not determine the credibility of witnesses and instead gives much deference to the trial court's findings on those issues.

The Georgia Supreme Court will not hear all cases.  A writ of certiorari will only be issued in cases of great concern, gravity, and importance to the public.  All other cases are reserved to the Georgia Court of Appeals.  Adverse decisions of the Georgia Court of Appeals may be appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.

What should you do if convicted of DUI in Georgia?

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence, you know that the consequences are great.  However, a conviction does not have to signify the end of your case.  There are many ways to challenge your conviction, and attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson are ready to help you get your conviction reversed.  Appeals can be based on numerous events that may have occurred before and/or during your trial, including a violation of your constitutional rights, the admission of illegal evidence at your trial or mistakes that your trial lawyer made at your trial.

What if you Plea Guilty to the DUI?

If you pleaded guilty to DUI, your ability to appeal the conviction will be limited.  However, if your attorney did not advise you of all the consequences of your guilty plea, or if you did not have an attorney when you entered your plea, you may have grounds to challenge your conviction.

Get Started on Your Georgia DUI Appeal Today

Call now to speak to an experienced appellate lawyer and receive the help you need to get your DUI conviction reversed. We will review your case for errors and determine if you can successfully appeal you Georgia DUI case.

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    Richard was not the first lawyer I spoke with after my DUI charge, but he was the last when searching for representation. This was my very first time encountering any sort of legal dispute so I had no idea what I was doing and I was very scared. Richard was very friendly, down to earth and consol... Read On

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    Not only did Richard Lawson and his very capable associate get my DUI reduced to reckless driving with parole, but he did something that I didn't think was possible. I was stopped for a moving violation recently. The police arrested me because they showed my driver's license had been suspended. H... Read On

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Recent Case Results

  • This case was in Helen Municipal Court.  The client was charged with a DUI and four counts of DUI Child Endangerment.  In Georgia, for every child under the age of 14 in a vehicle it is considered a separate DUI offense.  The client would have been declared an habitual violator from one arrest an... Read On

  • Client was charged with a suspended license because he did not reinstate his privilege to drive after the expiration of his restricted license.  Per my advice, the client properly reinstated his license the day after he was charged.  Case Dismissed in Cobb County State Court.  Read On

  • Client was a resident of New York who was arrested while he was visiting Georgia for pleasure. He was charged with DUI, Reckless Driving, and Speeding 37 MPH over the speed limit. We were able to get the client an unbelievable outcome in Hampton, Georgia. His DUI dismissed, his speeding ticket wa... Read On


Choosing the Best DUI Lawyer

When you are arrested for DUI in Georgia, finding the right Lawyer is Job #1. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson we will investigate your case and find the best possible legal defense to your DUI in Georgia. You are in good hands with Richard Lawson and his associates. We will work tirelessly to help you while compassionately holding your hand throughout the entire DUI Defense Process.

Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

At the Law Office of Richard S. Lawson, we have offices conveniently located throughout metro Atlanta and throughout Georgia. If we do not have a convenient office, we will come to you. We practice throughout Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. If your case is in an area we do not serve, we will find you an attorney in your area free of charge. Our office is part of a State-wide network of Georgia DUI Lawyers. Contact us 24/7 for immediate legal help. Our attorneys are standing by. Your DUI Case will not defend itself. Your Best Georgia DUI Defense Begins Here!