The City of Dunwoody, GA maintains its own court system that has limited jurisdiction. As with all city courts in Georgia, Dunwoody Municipal Court handles the criminal prosecution of crimes such as shoplifting, possession of marijuana, minor in possession of alcohol or underage consumption of alcohol, and speeding.
The most serious offenses heard in Dunwoody are DUI cases, and they can carry up to 12 months in jail. As a result, you have absolute right to a jury trial on a DUI case. If you want a trial by jury, you must transfer your case to the State Court of DeKalb County. However, it is the position of my office to always try to resolve a case in municipal court prior to the transfer to a higher court. You never lose your right to a jury trial by negotiating at the lower court. We believe our clients deserve two bites at the apple versus one.
Dunwoody is a part-time court, but is a busy court for a small city. Typically, court is held weekly in Dunwoody – a Tuesday morning docket, a Wednesday evening docket, and a Thursday afternoon docket. If you received a misdemeanor offense citation or were arrested by a Dunwoody police officer, there is a good chance that your case will be handled in the Dunwoody Court. If your offense is more serious, the case may go directly to DeKalb County State Court or if a felony to DeKalb County Superior Court. The Superior Court has exclusive jurisdiction in felony cases. The state and superior court system has the look and feel of what people expect. Those courts are held at full time courthouses at the county seat in the county in which a person is charged. For DeKalb County, those courts are held in downtown Decatur.
The City of Dunwoody Court is held in suite in an office park near Perimeter Mall. Bill Riley is the head prosecutor and he usually has 2 assistant solicitors (prosecutors) representing the City on any given docket. In general, the prosecutors from his office can be tough and have limited authority to reduce or dismiss charges. That being said, it is possible to get your DUI reduced to a lesser offense such as reckless driving if the facts and circumstances warrant a reduction.
Otherwise, if you want to win your case, the means to challenge the charges are through a trial. You can elect to have a trial in front of the judge in Dunwoody, or have your case transferred to DeKalb County State Court for a judge or jury trial with a different prosecutor. If you elect to have a trial in Dunwoody, the trial will not happen at your first court appearance. You will simply receive a new court notice of your trial date. For both minor traffic offenses like speeding as well as more serious cases like DUI or hit-and-run, the rules of evidence and court procedure apply in any trial or hearing.
What that means is that for people who wish to represent themselves there is no leeway in the rules and procedures that apply in the trial. People who represent themselves are held to the same standard as any Dunwoody DUI Lawyer. As a result, most “pro se” defendants are at a severe disadvantage when up against experienced prosecutors such as those in Dunwoody Municipal Court. We always recommend, whether from our office or some other competent office, that anyone charged with DUI should hire the best Dunwoody DUI Attorney they can find.
Our Dunwoody DUI Lawyers are here 24/7 to help you resolve your DUI case favorably. Your case will not defend itself. Call now.