How Your DUI Case Will Proceed in the City of Atlanta
Each DUI case in the City of Atlanta has a specific sequence of events that take place, and having an Atlanta DUI lawyer at your side from the very beginning is important to ensure that your case proceeds smoothly. Atlanta DUI Lawyers can help understand what to expect throughout the process. Our office is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by top-rated Atlanta DUI Attorneys. Your Atlanta DUI Case may have arraignment as soon as the next business day. So, it's important to act now to protect your rights.
If a Georgia Department of Public Safety Officer, Georgia State Patrol Officer, Atlanta Police Officer, or Georgia Tech Police Officer arrests you for DUI, your case may be heard in the City of Atlanta. The City of Atlanta is a municipal court that can hear certain traffic and misdemeanor cases. It is also the exclusive jurisdiction for Atlanta City Ordinance Violations. Your DUI Attorney in Atlanta practices Atlanta DUI Defense, and will be able to help you navigate the Atlanta DUI Process.
The City of Atlanta has arraignments every Monday through Thursday at 8:00am and 3:00pm. At arraignment, you will go before the judge and you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charges against you. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced right then and there. Your DUI Lawyer in Atlanta can many times negotiate a favorable plea bargain or reduction of the Atlanta DUI to Reckless Driving. Your Atlanta Lawyer can also help you device if a trial is in your best interest.
If you plead not guilty, a trial date will be set. Arraignment is the first chance you will have to speak with the prosecutor about your case and negotiate a plea offer. The City of Atlanta allows a case to remain in the arraignment stage for 60 days, so you only have a short period to negotiate your case. Your entire case must be investigated by your Atlanta DUI Attorney during this short window.
If you are unable to work out an acceptable plea with the prosecutor in that time frame, you will have to decide whether you want to have a trial in your case. Because the City of Atlanta is a municipal court, it can only have bench trials, which is a trial by judge. This means that the City Court Judge will be the person that will decide guilt or innocence and any sentence if convicted.
Jury Trials in Fulton County State Court
In order to have a jury trial, you will have to transfer your case to the State Court of Fulton County. You have a Constitutional right to a jury trial and so the municipal court cannot deny your request to transfer your case to Fulton County State Court. It will take several months for your case to be accused in the State Court. This applies to any Georgia State Law violation. You don't have a right to a jury trial if the offense is a city ordinance violation.
Once it is accused, the case essentially starts over with a new judge and a new prosecutor. You will have a new arraignment date and a second chance to negotiate a resolution to your case. If you cannot work out a favorable plea bargain, you can then exercise your right to a jury trial in Fulton County State Court.
If you have been arrested for an Atlanta DUI, contact an Atlanta DUI Lawyer today. We are here to help.
Map to Atlanta Municipal Court: