Doraville DUI Lawyer

Doraville DUI Lawyer - Doraville DUI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI in Doraville, the race has begun!  Your Driver's license will be suspended AUTOMATICALLY in thirty (30) days if your attorney does not request an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing immediately! The Department of Driver Services has been authorized to suspend your license automatically once they receive notice you have been arrested for DUI.  A license suspension will limit your ability to drive to work and school, will disqualify you from obtaining certain jobs, and appear on your driving record for years to come.

Attorney Richard Lawson was trained as a prosecutor in North Georgia and has been practicing as a Doraville DUI lawyer for over 25 years. He is the only top-ranked AVVO attorney who has experience as a former prosecutor; giving him an advantage in your license suspension case, as well as your court case.

Richard Lawson is the premier DUI lawyer in Doraville Georgia.


A DUI in Georgia is a complicated legal case.  There are two aspects of each DUI case, and they both need to be managed effectively by an experienced attorney.  The first part of your DUI case is the Administrative case, which affects your driver's license.

In Georgia, you have only thirty (30) days from the date you receive your citation for a DUI to request an Administrative License Suspension hearing or ALS hearing.  Richard will file an appeal with the Georgia Department of Driver Services along with your $150 check (their filing fee) to request the automatic suspension be stopped until you have had a chance to have a hearing.

A DUI license suspension can last for up to one year.  In a typical case, if your license is suspended, you may be eligible for a restricted permit to drive for part of that suspension to work or school.  If, during the DUI arrest, you refused to submit to the test of your blood, breath or urine and did not properly revoke that refusal, your license will be suspended for a year with no possibility of a restricted license for any portion of that year.

An experienced attorney can increase the chances of avoiding a license suspension altogether.  Richard Lawson is one of the top Doraville DUI attorneys and has considerable experience fighting DUI suspensions in Georgia.

There are many ways to win an ALS hearing.  During the hearing, we will make the officer that stopped you testify under oath. Of course, the best way to win is if the officer doesn't show up, which happens often.  If the officer cannot be at the hearing for some reason, your license cannot be suspended.  If the officer appears, hope is not lost. We can contest the hearing or negotiate with the arresting officer.  Many officers will agree to a lesser charge. That is the best opportunity to discuss the case with the arresting officer and work out the case. 

Doraville Court Process

Once the license suspension has been addressed, the court case continues.  We will appear on your behalf at your initial court appearance, also known as the arraignment. Your presence will be waived, and we will file paperwork with the court advising them that you are now represented, and all legal paperwork should go through our office, and you should not be bothered directly by either the court or the Prosecution.

After the arraignment, your case will go to pretrial, where negotiations over a plea agreement take place.  After we have had a chance to sit down and discuss any potential plea deal with you, you will need to decide, with our advice, whether to take the agreement or continue to fight the charges.

The typical DUI penalties in Georgia can be found on this website, but are laid out below for your convenience:

  • First Offense DUI Penalties include:
  • 12 months of probation
  • Ten days in jail (9 may be suspended)
  • loss of driving privilege in Georgia
  • at least 40 hours of community service
  • alcohol and drug counseling
  • DUI school
  • fines of $1000 per ticket, plus court costs and surcharges
  • a criminal record showing a DUI

Second Offense Penalties include:

  • 90-365 days in jail (with a minimum 72 hours)
  • 240 hours of community service
  • license suspension
  • an ignition interlock device
  • 17 weeks of mandatory counseling
  • publication of your photo in the local newspaper
  • fines up to $1000, plus court costs and surcharges

Third Offense Penalties include:

  • 120-365 days in jail (you will not get two for one credit because this is a high and aggravated misdemeanor
  • 240 hours of community service
  • license suspension for up to 5 years
  • an ignition interlock device
  • 17 weeks of mandatory counseling
  • publication of your photo in the local newspaper
  • fines, plus court costs and surcharges
  • you will be registered as a Habitual Violator and if caught driving during your five-year suspension you will be charged with a felony and may be sentenced up to 5 years in the State Penitentiary

If you choose to fight the DUI charges your case will be set for an evidentiary hearing in front of the judge on your case.

Evidentiary hearings take place in cases where there is some issue of fact or law that might lead a judge to decide your rights had been violated and that as a consequence, your case should be dismissed.

If we win at the evidentiary hearing, your case will be dismissed or perhaps some of the evidence will be suppressed.  In the former instance, your DUI case will be over.  In the latter, your case may proceed to trial.

You may choose to have a jury trial or a bench trial.  A jury trial on a misdemeanor DUI case in Georgia is conducted in front of a six-person jury.  A felony has a jury panel of 12 people.  A bench trial is a trial without a jury, in front of a judge.

There are tactical reasons a good Doraville DUI Attorney will understand for choosing a bench trial over a jury trial or vice versa.  Richard Lawson is familiar with the judges in Doraville and will be able to advise you as to whether it may be in your best interests to avoid certain judges or not.

Doraville Court System

As mentioned earlier, a DUI in Georgia is complicated.  It is made more so by the frustrating court system in the State.  Which court you are required to appear in depends on several factors: where you were cited, which agency cited you, and what type of case you have.

In Doraville, if you were cited within the city limits with a misdemeanor DUI case, you will appear in Doraville Municipal Court

If you were cited outside of the city limits by the highway patrol or the sheriff's department, you would be cited into Dekalb County State Court.  Your case may also be transferred to Dekalb Couty State Court from Doraville Municipal Court if you request a jury trial, as Municipal Courts in Georgia do not conduct jury trials.

If you were charged with a felony DUI, you would be expected to appear in Dekalb County Superior Court.


The Municipal Court of Doraville is located at 3765 Park Avenue in Doraville, Georgia (30340).

The Court has jurisdiction over traffic offenses and city ordinances that occur within the city limits of Doraville. This court also hears MARTA and Georgia State Patrol traffic offenses that occur within the city limits of Doraville. The fine for some offenses may be paid without appearing in court on the date listed on your citation while other violations require a mandatory court appearance.

You can call the court at (770) 455-1001 to determine if you must appear or if your fine can be paid instead of appearing in court.

The Court advises that you allow a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days from the date you received your citation to allow the court to receive your citation information and input it into their system. If you do not have to appear in court, you may pay your fine in person or by mail, and the payment must be received by the court date indicated on your citation. If you choose to pay your fine prior to the court date in lieu of appearing in court, a judgment of guilty will be entered for your case. In any event, you should know your rights.


Dekalb County State Court is located at 556 North McDonough Street, in the Dekalb County Courthouse, in Decatur, Georgia.  There are 7 Divisions of Dekalb County State Court.  The Judges are Division 1 - Alvin T. Wong, Division 2 - Stacey K. Hydrick, Division 3 - Wayne M. Purdom, Division 4 - Johnny Panos, Division 5 - Eleanor L. Ross, Division 6 - Dax E. Lopez, and Division 7 - Janis G. Gordon.


The Dekalb County Superior Court is located at 556 North McDonough Street, Decatur, Georgia.  The phone number is (404) 687-3990. The mission statement of the Dekalb County Superior Court is listed as follows:

To provide an independent, accessible and responsive forum for the just resolution of legal disputes and criminal matters in a manner that preserves the rule of law and protects the rights of all parties. To act expeditiously in a manner that instills public trust and confidence that the Superior Court operates fairly, efficiently and effectively.

There are many DUI related offenses in Georgia with which a good Doraville DUI Lawyer can represent you.

Reckless driving, aggressive driving, boating under the influence, hit and run, vehicular homicide and possession of marijuana are just a few of the offenses that our office can represent you.  For a complete list of our practice areas, follow the link to the Practice Area section on our website.

The Law Office of Richard Lawson provides 24 hours a day/7 days a week access to one of the premiere DUI defense attorneys in Doraville Georgia.  We feel you should not have to wait until Monday morning to speak to an attorney about your case, especially when the clock begins ticking as soon as you are arrested.  Contact the Law Office of Richard Lawson today to schedule your free consultation.  You can use the form on our website or call (404) 816-4440. Our Doraville DUI Lawyers are always here to serve you.

We look forward to defending you.

Our Attorneys



    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

  • Ideal attorney for anyone

    Mr. Lawson is outstanding. He was professional, attentive to any requests, and got the outcome I wanted but thought was unachievable. I had been arrested for a DUI. The case was very difficult, intricate, and was seemingly without hope, but Mr. Lawson was able to get the charges drastically reduc... Read On

  • I Highly Recommend This Excellent Attorney!

    I was recently charged with a hit and run accident. I then contacted Mr. Lawson who spoke to me and treated me with respect. He precedded to get the hit and run charge dismissed to a reduced charge of duty to report an accident, no probation and only a fine that I had to pay. Mr. Lawson is very k... Read On

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

Doraville DUI Resources

Dekalb State Court Clerk's Office

Dekalb County Clerk of the Superior Court

Doraville Police Department

Dekalb County Sheriff's Department

Doraville Municipal Court

Official Code of Georgia

Have You Been Arrested For DUI in Doraville Georgia? 

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!