How DUI Cases Proceed in Alpharetta Georgia

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

Alpharetta Georgia maintains its own police department and municipal court.  The City of Alpharetta Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction.  This means that only certain kinds of cases can be handled in their court, such as local ordinances and traffic offenses.  DUI is probably the most serious offense that the City Court of Alpharetta handles.  Their police force has some highly-trained and experienced officers who patrol the city limits nightly for any type of traffic infraction, therefore you need a highly trained and top-rated Alpharetta DUI Lawyer on your side.

A driver cannot technically be pulled over for DUI.  Instead, people are pulled over for other minor traffic offenses such as speeding or failing to maintain lane.  If a police officer smells alcohol or observes some other indication of impairment, you will likely be asked to participate in field sobriety tests.  That is how a DUI investigation in Alpharetta begins.

If you are arrested for DUI, you will be given tickets after you bond out of jail.  The tickets will have the court date and time on them.  Typically, your court date will be a couple of months from the date of your arrest in the City of Alpharetta Municipal Court.  The initial court appearance is an arraignment and contrary to popular belief, the arresting officer does not need to be present at this court date.  There will not be a hearing or trial on this first court date.

For DUI offenses, the Alpharetta Municipal Court does not have DUI trials or motions.  The options are for you or your attorney to negotiate the case with the City Prosecutor, Fran Shoenthal, or to “bind the case over” or transfer to the State Court of Fulton County.  The city prosecutor, also known as a solicitor, will consider the facts of the case and your history when considering her plea offer.

She is not obligated to give you a plea offer and has the power to bind the case over to Fulton County herself. If you want to accept a plea bargain, the case will end in the City of Alpharetta Court and you will go on probation with the City's probation office.  If you want to try to work the case out with a different prosecutor, or have a trial or hearing, the case will be transferred to Fulton County State Court.  If you send your case to the State Court of Fulton County, it will take between 1-2 years before you receive your new court date.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Alpharetta, GA, call the Alpharetta DUI Lawyers at our office.  We are here 24/7 because your problems shouldn't have to wait until Monday morning.

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Richard Lawson

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