When a person is arrested in the city of Atlanta, many times they are unaware that there are two cases pending against them. The first case is the criminal case at Atlanta Municipal Court or Fulton County State Court. In the criminal case, a court date is assigned to the accused and attendance is required.
The second case is the civil case involving your pretrial privilege to drive. This case is more confusing because it only happens if you appeal the suspension of your driver's license. A court date is not automatically set; it must be requested. The State of Georgia even charges a $150 filing fee in order to file the appeal.
To most lay people, this is completely confusing. I am often asked, "how can they take my license if I have not gone to court?" That is a very good question.
The answer to the question is when you are arrested for DUI, your license is automatically suspended unless you appeal the suspension. When you look at the temporary permit (D.D.S. 1205) you were given at the time of your arrest, there will be "appeal" procedures on the back, or on a separate piece of paper in Georgia State Patrol cases.
They key word here is "appeal." An appeal implies the suspension has already happened and you have the right to challenge it. If you do nothing, the suspension stands. Your Atlanta DUI Attorney must file an appeal of the suspension in order to prevent it.
Since driving is a privilege and not a right, the State of Georgia can suspend your license at the time of your DUI arrest. Your right to an appeal is part of your due process rights however, your appellate rights are far more limited than your rights in the criminal case.
So, it is incumbent upon you to make sure that a 30 day letter is sent in your case, otherwise you are facing up to 12 months without a license to drive. Our office is happy to assist you with the filing of your Administrative License Appeal.