The City of Milton has its City Hall and Municipal Court in an office space off of Deerfield Parkway. The traffic tickets court and misdemeanor DUI docket is held on Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Fran Shoenthal serves as the city prosecutor, which is called a Solicitor. The Solicitor has the absolute authority to decide who is ultimately charged with a crime in Milton. She can also dismiss or even add charges that were not contemplated by the arresting officer.
She is an experienced and tough prosecutor on serious offenses such as DUI, Hit and Run and Minor in Possession of Alcohol. She also prosecutes all of the traffic tickets issued in the City of Milton. As in most traffic courts, you always have the opportunity to speak to the prosecutor about your case. This is called a “pre-trial conference.” However, always remember that the prosecutor represents the city or county in which she is the prosecutor. She is not your lawyer. That does not mean she is unfair. It means her interests are often divergent of your interests. In DUI cases, it's important to always have your own attorney representing your interests.
DUI is a serious misdemeanor traffic offense that can have short term consequences to your right to drive and freedom, and it can have long term consequences insofar as to future opportunities. Remember, the outcome of your Milton DUI is on your record for life and cannot be changed, expunged or sealed later on. That is why it's important to hire skilled and experienced Milton DUI Lawyers before making any decisions on your case.
If you are arrested or cited by a Milton police officer for a misdemeanor offense, the case will likely be first heard in the city court. In city court it is best to think of it as a place where you have an opportunity to work out a favorable plea agreement, which is a settlement of your case. If the goal is to fight your case, it will have to be transferred to the State Court of Fulton County for trial. There are no jury trials in Milton Municipal Court.
Before deciding on a trial, your Milton DUI Attorney will use the discovery process to review the police reports and the video. In addition, it is best to resolve any license issues by filing the 30 day letter and attending the ALS Hearing before deciding to bind-over the case to the State Court of Fulton County for a jury trial. Because it can take 1-2 years to get a court date in Fulton County, it is always best to make sure there is no impediment to driving in the interim.
It is our position to make every attempt to get a favorable outcome in municipal court before sending a case to State Court. The reason we feel so strongly about this advice is that once you are in State Court, it is far less likely that we will have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement that would be acceptable to our clients. It is far more likely the client will be in an all or nothing jury trial. Some cases need a trial, however most people would prefer the certainty of being able to driving and avoiding time in jail.
As a result, the decision to fight your Milton DUI case should never be made alone. Only an experienced Milton DUI Lawyer can help you decide the best course of action and the course of action most likely needed to retain your driver's license. Contact the Milton DUI Attorneys in our office today. We are here when you need us the most.