DUI Court in Georgia - Court Supervised DUI Treatment Program
“DUI Court” refers to a treatment program offered in many jurisdictions throughout the state of Georgia. It is typically for repeat DUI offenders who the prosecutors and judges deem have issues with substance abuse. This program is difficult and should never be entered into without first looking at every option in your case. Your case needs to be investigated first before ever considering this program.
Richard Lawson is a former DUI Prosecutor with more than 25 years experience investigating DUI Cases in Georgia. Our office will look at all possible defenses in your case in an attempt to limit punishment. Our goal is your best defense and the best alternative punishments in your case.
DUI Court is an intensive, zero tolerance program that is overseen by a State or Superior Court judge. There are many rules and intricacies involved with DUI court, so you will want to discuss with your DUI lawyer at length whether or not it is a good option for you. The program has monthly fees, weekly treatment and a bi-weekly court appearance before the judge. YOU CANNOT MISS ANYTHING OR MAKE ANY MISTAKES. That is the reality of DUI Court in Georgia. This must be explained in detail in the event there is any question.
YOU CANNOT MAKE AN MISTAKES, MISS ANY APPOINTMENTS, OR VIOLATE ANY RULE:
DUI Court is designed to get the ultimate amount of accountability from you. It can be like forcing every square peg into a every round hole. Life is a series of misunderstandings and accommodations. People are late. People make mistakes. People need to have expectations reset and changed. Unfortunately, in DUI Court, such mistakes are "understood" with sanctions ranging from more classes, more community service, and of course more time in jail. NEVER GO INTO A DUI COURT PROGRAM UNLESS 100% COMMITTED TO FOLLOWING EVERY RULE AND TAKING EVERYTHING COMPLETELY SERIOUSLY. Otherwise, you will likely spend more time in jail than had you simply been punished up front.
In the plea bargaining process, DUI court may be discussed as a possibility for you if you have multiple offenses regarding drugs and/or alcohol and you are a resident in the country where the charges stem from. The Court system cannot force you into a DUI Court program. Rather it is something that you agree to and it is a treatment plan that you are in following your conviction, as a term of your probation.
Most DUI Courts are arranged into a series of phases, with the first phase being the most intensive and then participants being moved up over time until a graduation date approximately one year after being in the program. Be aware, the DUI Court Program in Georgia is very intensive and is not for everyone. If you fail to do everything you are told to do, you will face sanctions. Those sanctions can range from additional community service to time in jail.
DUI Court programs typically involved in the first phase include: weekly court appearances, drug/alcohol testing and intensive counseling on both a group and individual level. Usually participants are made to sign a 4th amendment waiver allowing DUI Court personnel total access to their homes and vehicles. If any drugs or alcohol are found, that is a violation and immediate lock up typically follows.
The good news about these programs is that they offer a treatment option for repeat offenders that can be used in lieu of straight jail time. The bad news is that these programs are not easy and have little flexibility. If you travel for work or live with roommates, it is nearly impossible to successfully comply with the rigid terms of the program. When you are in the program, your home and place of work can be searched 24 hours a day, 7 days week.
Should You Submit to a Georgia DUI Court Program?
You should never join a DUI Court Program in Georgia unless your Georgia DUI Lawyer has looked at all possible defenses and all possible alternatives. To evaluate whether this option is a good choice for you in your case, contact our Georgia DUI lawyers today to discuss DUI Court and everything involved therein. We will look to see if the program can work for you and will also look at alternatives to the DUI Court Program as well.