Chamblee DUI Lawyer - Chamblee DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI within the city limits of Chamblee, you need effective, experienced representation. Contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson immediately to schedule a free consultation.
YOU ONLY HAVE 30 DAYS TO ACT OR YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE WILL BE SUSPENDED AUTOMATICALLY!
In the State of Georgia, the Department of Driver Services will automatically suspend your driver's license once they receive notice of your DUI arrest. You only have 30 days to file a request for a hearing or an ignition interlock device to avoid the suspension. Our office will manage your court case as well as your driver's license hearing. We will request an Administrative License Suspension hearing or an ignition interlock device immediately so you can potentially avoid the license suspension. If you do not request the hearing, you are facing up to a 12 month license suspension.
Richard Lawson was trained in DUI law as a prosecutor over 25 years ago; now he exclusively handles DUI cases. He has the training, knowledge, experience, and dedication it takes to win a DUI trial in Chamblee, Georgia. His rankings on AVVO are unequaled in the State of Georgia and his background as a trial attorney with DUI trials in Metro Atlanta will provide you with an edge that other DUI defense attorneys cannot offer.
From the beginning of his career Richard Lawson prosecuted DUI cases; learning the ins and outs of the DUI trial and weaknesses in the Prosecution's cases. He learned which trial tactics are most effective against prosecutors, which expert witnesses were most effective in court, and which courts had built in bias against DUI defendants.
No two DUI cases are alike. Your case is different from every other case and the facts of your particular case need to be exploited to achieve the best possible outcome. The reason you were stopped, the police officer who did most of the investigation, the field sobriety tests, and blood, breath or urine test, the way in which you were arrested, the prosecutor you've been assigned to, the judge you've been assigned to...each of these factors influences the way in which your case must be handled.
You need a Chamblee DUI attorney who has the experience to take each of these variables and combine them to maximize the potential of getting your charges dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense.
As mentioned previously, your first concern after being arrested for a DUI in Chamblee, Georgia should be your driver's license. Once you are arrested, the Department of Driver Services will automatically suspend your license thirty days later UNLESS your attorney requests an Administrative License Suspension hearing or the interlock device. We will file paperwork on your behalf, along with your check for $150 (their filing/processing fees).
You will not have to be present at the ALS hearing if we represent you. This is a relief to many of our clients who otherwise would have to take valuable time off from work, school, or find day care. The officer must appear in order to prosecute the suspension of your license and of course, there is always the possibility he will not appear, resulting in a default judgment for our client.
If the officer does show up however, we will get him to testify to every piece of evidence he gathered on the record (meaning it is recorded) up until the time he placed you under arrest. Those recorded statements will then be available to us during later court hearings on your case to use to impeach the officer, should he take the stand and testify to anything differently than he did at the hearing.
Once the request for your driver's license hearing has been requested we will also alert the court to the fact that we are now representing you and that all communications from the court or any prosecuting agencies should go through us. It is our goal to minimize the effect of the DUI court process on your life.
THE COURT PROCESS IN CHAMBLEE
The Court process in Georgia is complicated and confusing. Which court you need to appear in depends on where you were arrested, the type of case you have, and what stage you are in the process.
In Chamblee, if you were arrested within the city limits or by the Chamblee Police Department with a misdemeanor DUI, you will be cited into the Chamblee Municipal Court (see info below). If your case in Chamblee Municipal Court proceeds to the point where you would like to request a trial in front of a jury, your case will be transferred to Dekalb County State Court, as the Municipal Courts in Georgia do not conduct jury trials.
If you were cited outside of the city limits, or by the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department for a misdemeanor DUI, you will be cited into Dekalb County State Court.
If you were charged with a felony DUI case in Dekalb County, you will be appearing directly in Dekalb County Superior Court, as that is the only court in Dekalb that has jurisdiction over felony cases.
CHAMBLEE MUNICIPAL COURT
The Chamblee Municipal Court is located at 3518 Broad St.in Chamblee, Georgia. The office phone number is (770) 986-5004. Court sessions are held Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
The Chamblee Municipal Court is responsible for handling all misdemeanor traffic cases, city ordinance violations, and certain state misdemeanor crimes in which prosecution is initiated by the Chamblee Police Department or other police agencies (such as MARTA or the Georgia State Patrol) for violations occurring within the City of Chamblee.
The Municipal Court office is located on the second floor of the Chamblee Police Department located at 3518 Broad Street. Actual court sessions are held in the Chamblee Civic Center located at 3540 Broad Street. The Solicitor is Gary Vey.
The Court warns that if a defendant fails to appear on a scheduled court date (unless your attorney appears on your behalf), a warrant for arrest will be issued and the Department of Driver Services will be notified, resulting in a possible driver's license suspension.
DEKALB COUNTY STATE COURT
Dekalb County State Court is located at 556 N. McDonough Street in the DeKalb County Courthouse in Decatur, Georgia. The phone number is (404) 371-2261.
The Court operates a DUI Court Program for repeat offenders. The DeKalb County D.U.I. Court Supervised Treatment Program (“Program”) is a voluntary post-conviction treatment program for those who have multiple violations of driving while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. It is a part of the probation portion of a DUI sentence.
The Program is a team concept involving judges, program coordinator, treatment coordinator, substance abuse treatment professionals, prosecutor, defense attorney, probation officer and Sheriff's Department. The Program began helping multiple offenders in November, 2004 and has enrolled 836 participants and has had 558 graduates through July 1, 2012, with a current population of 79 active participants. The Program's goal is to achieve sobriety of all Program participants in order to improve the quality of their lives and eliminate future violations of the law.
All defendants accepted into the Program are assigned and supervised by Judge Alvin T. Wong and Judge Dax E. López of the State Court of DeKalb County.
In order to be considered for the DUI Court Supervised Program a defendant must be referred by either the judge, the solicitor, or your defense attorney. As a general policy, our office never recommends DUI Court. We do have clients in the program, but generally we do not feel the program is in our client's best interest.
DEKALB COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Dekalb County Superior Court is located at 556 N Mcdonough St, in Decatur, Georgia . The phone number is (404) 371-4901.
The Dekalb County Superior Court has jurisdiction over all felony DUI cases that arise out of arrests in Dekalb County.
Once you have hired Richard as your Chamblee DUI lawyer, he will take over your case by filing a Notice of Appearance. A Notice of Appearance is a written document advising the court that our offices now represent you, and that you should not be contacted unless we say it is okay. We will arrange things so that you will not need to appear at your arraignment. The prosecuting agencies will also be notified that we represent you and they will not be allowed to contact you either.
There is no getting around the fact that DUI charges can cause severe disruption to your family, your personal life and your work. Richard Lawson and his associates and staff believe that it is the responsibility of your defense attorney to minimize the disruption a DUI can cause to other parts of your life.
The arraignment is only the first step in your court process. After it is over, your case will be set for one or more pretrial hearings. At the pretrial conferences, we will appear on your behalf and gather all of the evidence in the State's possession. We will collect police reports and lab results, witness statements and photographs, along with any other documents or things the State may try to use to prove the case against you.
The pretrial conference stage is vital in the defense of your case. We will also use the pretrial conferences to meet with the solicitor or prosecutor to negotiate a plea deal. As a former prosecutor himself, Richard Lawson has the experience and has also built up the relationships with the various prosecutors, solicitors and judges that it will take in order to secure you the best possible deal.
Ideally, you should have an attorney that was a former prosecutor for the sole reason that it gives him a familiarity with the Prosecution's case, their weaknesses and strengths, which most other attorneys will never have. Putting that experience to work for you is your best possible defense against DUI charges in Chamblee.
As mentioned, a big part of the pretrial conference is working towards getting the best plea agreement the State will offer. If we are able to secure an acceptable plea agreement in your case, we will then go over the police reports and other evidence with you, along with the plea, in order to determine the best plan of action for your case. We would never suggest a client take a plea agreement if we felt there was a need to fight the charges. Many attorneys will simply advise their clients to plead guilty, thereby moving them through the system and making space for new clients. At our office, if you want to fight your case you will get your trial without any questions asked.
If you decide to proceed with your case and set it for a jury trial or bench trial (a trial in front of a judge), we will file the necessary paperwork and/or appear on your behalf in court in order to make that happen.
If you do decide to fight your case beyond the plea stage, in many instances your case will be set for a motion hearing. A motion is a legal challenge to the arresting officer's procedures and findings. A judge decides if the arresting officer followed all of the right procedures during your arrest. If he finds that he did not, he may dismiss your case.
Once your case has proceeded past the evidentiary hearing, you will need to decide whether to continue fighting your case by setting it for trial. There are two types of trials that are available to you: Jury trials and Bench trials.
A Bench trial is a trial in front of only the judge on your case. He will decide the facts of your case and whether you are guilty or innocent. There are sometimes tactical advantages to having your case heard in front of certain judges. There are also judges that you definitely DO NOT want to have hear your case.
A Jury trial is set in front of the judge on your case and a jury of your peers. In Georgia a misdemeanor DUI jury trial is heard in front of an 6 person jury panel. A large number of prospective jurors will be brought into the courtroom and asked various questions by the judge. We will need you to take notes on your impressions of each juror and their answers.
Once the question and answer portion of jury selection is over, we will go over our notes and we will decide which jurors you DO NOT want sitting on your case. Richard and the prosecutor will then go back and forth striking jurors until you are down to the requisite 6.
If you have been charged with a felony DUI and are having your case heard in Superior Court, your case will be decided by a jury panel of 12 people.
After a jury has been selected the attorneys for both sides will present their opening statements and then the State will begin its portion of the trial. Witnesses will be called to the stand, including the officers who did your investigation, and any experts the State needs to present the test results of your blood, breath or urine.
We will cross examine each witness brought by the State, and in many cases have cross examined these very same witnesses in other trials and so we are well aware of their weaknesses, what makes them appear nervous, and what makes them lose their cool. We will pick apart each of their statements in an effort to discredit them in front of the jury.
Once the State has finished its portion of the trial, Richard will offer evidence to suggest that you are not guilty. This is the stage where many of the Evidentiary Defenses we discussed above will come into play. Your expert, if you've hired one, will testify along with any other witnesses you may have. Generally in a DUI case, clients do not testify, but you will know well in advance whether your case is the type of case where you may want to take the stand and we will have prepared you very well so that you can present whatever evidence you need to testify to.
After the Defense case is done, the State may rebut the evidence and then most trials proceed to closing arguments by the attorneys, after which the case is turned over to the jury.
Once in the hands of the jury, it becomes simply a waiting game...they will go over all of the evidence and decide whether you are guilty or innocent. In any case, we will be there by your side in order to make sure that your rights are protected and that you have expert guidance throughout this stressful time.
Richard Lawson is the Premier DUI Defense Lawyer in Metro Atlanta and he has won trials in every county in Atlanta and North Georgia.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND INFORMATION ABOUT GEORGIA DUI LAWS?
This website has been written to provide 24 hour Georgia DUI Information and it is updated on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day. We also provide daily Georgia DUI News in our Georgia DUI Information Blog. We are a state-wide DUI defense firm. We cover all of Metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Our Chamblee DUI Lawyers are here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days week. In Chamblee it is important for your DUI lawyer to explore and investigate all potential defenses in order to get the best possible outcome.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN ARRESTED IN CHAMBLEE FOR A DUI, CONTACT ONE OF THE PREEMINENT DUI ATTORNEYS IN GEORGIA! THE LAW OFFICES OF RICHARD LAWSON OFFER FREE CONSULTATIONS AND A 24/7 HOTLINE. OUR CHAMBLEE DUI ATTORNEYS ARE ALWAYS HERE TO HELP.
Chamblee DUI Resources
Dekalb County Sheriff's Office
Dekalb County Clerk of the Superior Court
Dekalb County Clerk of the State Court
Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings
Governor's Office of Highway Safety