Jackson County GA DUI Lawyer - Jackson County GA DUI Attorney
A DUI arrest can be very scary and quite an embarrassing experience. Many people that have never been in trouble with the law find out quickly that it's a lot of aggravation and trouble. Involvement with Law enforcement, court appearances, probation officers, and the thought of jail time would make anyone feel hopeless.
DUI CASES CAN OCCUR ANYWHERE, EVEN IN JACKSON COUNTY GEORGIA:
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) happens everywhere. It happens in every city or town, and across all walks of life. The basic component of a DUI is the same: a blood-alcohol content (BAC) over a specified legal limit while operating a motor vehicle. The State of Georgia also considers being under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs while operating a motor vehicle a DUI, even if the suspected drugs did not actually cause impairment, but remained in the suspected DUI driver's system when they were tested. Did you know that marijuana's inactive metabolites can stay in the blood for up to thirty days after the last use?
A DUI IN JACKSON COUNTY, GEORGIA REQUIRES EXPERT LEGAL ADVICE:
Richard Lawson is a former prosecutor and knows the legal system well. He will put that experience to work for you. Choosing an experienced DUI attorney is always a good idea. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer that is a former DUI prosecutor is an even better idea.
For over 25 years, Richard Lawson has fought tirelessly to protect the rights of individuals arrested for DUI in Jackson County and all throughout Georgia. Since he was once a prosecutor, he knows both sides of a DUI case and knows what to expect. Check out his reviews on Avvo. The Jackson County DUI Attorneys at his office are trained and supervised by Mr. Lawson.
DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE TWO CASES AGAINST YOU WHEN YOU ARE CHARGED WITH DUI: A CRIMINAL CASE AND A CIVIL CASE THAT CAN TAKE AWAY YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE:
GEORGIA DUI LICENSE SUSPENSION - THE 30-DAY LETTER:
The State of Georgia has rules and regulations that citizens and visitors must abide by in order to have a license to drive. Driving is a PRIVILEGE and not a right, and it can be stripped from anyone that does not obey Georgia's DUI laws. Your license can be automatically suspended if a hearing is not requested in time. Your Jackson County DUI Lawyer has 30 days to file the appeal to save your license or privilege to drive in Georgia.
The officer that arrested you for DUI has TWO cases against you: a criminal case and an Administrative License (ALS) case. The criminal case starts with your arraignment, which is usually listed on your citation or on your bond. The ALS case starts when the DDS-1205 form (ALS Suspension notice) is submitted to the Department of Driver Services. You only have THIRTY (30) days to file a hearing request or your driver's license will be suspended automatically. Alternatively, you can request an ignition interlock device. The State charges a fee of $150 to request the ALS hearing. Choose a seasoned Jackson County DUI Lawyer to help protect your Georgia driver's license.
If you don't request a hearing or the device before the 30-day deadline, your license will be suspended automatically. Richard and his legal team will file the hearing request to keep your license from being suspended. If you refused testing of your breath, blood, or urine, your license will be suspended for one year, with no chance for a restricted or limited permit. If you submitted to testing, you may be eligible for a limited permit that would let you drive to work or school. A second ALS suspension is much longer than 30 days. Many times we can avoid these suspensions. The Jackson County DUI Attorneys at our office will work hard to save your privilege to drive in Georgia.
Keep in mind that the process for ALS is separate from the DUI case and is very complicated. Having an attorney with experience handling this type of hearing makes it less confusing and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. You can avoid a lot of hassle by letting your attorney handle it for you. The Jackson County DUI Attorneys in our office have handled many ALS hearings and can appear on your behalf. This will allow you to go to work, school, or to meet any other responsibility while we attend the hearing for you.
Even though you do not have to attend when your lawyer appears for you, the officer that arrested you will be in attendance. He or she will have to testify just as they would in a trial. No two ALS hearings are the same and your competent attorney will look for viable defenses to keep your license from suspension. Our Jackson County DUI Lawyers are professionals and have expertise at handling ALS hearings.
One advantage of an ALS hearing is the officer's testimony is recorded and this recording can be obtained to compare their testimony at later hearings for potential discrepancies. Should the officer's testimony differ between the ALS hearing and a person's trial, the discrepancy can show that the officer is not credible. This is the reason our office always transcribes hearings.
HOW THE COURT PROCESS WORKS IN JACKSON COUNTY, GEORGIA:
In Jackson County Georgia, your DUI case may be adjudicated in one of the many municipal courts, the State Court of Jackson County, or in the Superior Court of Jackson County.
Your arraignment will be your first court appearance. When a Jackson County GA DUI Attorney from our office is representing you, we will file notice with the court letting them know you have legal representation. We will enter a “not guilty” plea on your behalf in order to start the negotiation process or the litigation process. In most cases, you do not have to attend arraignment since you have hired a Jackson County DUI Attorney to appear on your behalf.
After your Jackson County lawyer files a “Notice of Appearance,” we will begin to look at possible defenses for your case. We can get copies of police reports, videos, and recorded statements taken during the police investigation. Prior to your arraignment we will get a copy of the officer‘s testimony at from your ALS hearing.
When we begin to look at your case, we can figure out what kind of evidence the State does or does not have against you and what your chances are for an agreeable outcome. We will go over every detail of your case with you to make sure you know what is going on and what you can expect. We value your trust and try to keep in touch often to answer any questions you may have. We want your input and insight and could not win your case without it!
Your case will go through different stages: arraignment, pretrial, motions, and trial or a negotiated settlement. We will speak with you many times, in-person or by phone, to answer questions about your case or the court process in general.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DUI CAN BE STRESSFUL AND CONFUSING; HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHICH DUI ATTORNEY IN JACKSON COUNTY GEORGIA TO CHOOSE?
The Law Office of Richard Lawson gives you a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your case and make an informed decision. Our website contains helpful information with frequently asked questions (FAQs) to answer many questions that may come up in your case. Our staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your phone calls, because we know how difficult it may be for some to meet with an attorney during regular business hours. We can instead set up phone conference calls to discuss your case without you having to come into our offices for an in-person meeting. Your time is valuable to us and we want to make everything as hassle-free as possible.
MOST-REVIEWED JACKSON COUNTY GA DUI LAWYERS:
The Law Office of Richard Lawson only handles DUI and DUI-related cases. No general practitioners here. Do not even think of hiring an attorney that is not up-to-date with Georgia's ever-changing DUI laws. Richard Lawson is a known DUI expert and has even taught DUI defense seminars to other attorneys throughout Georgia and the US. Choose an attorney that has trained other attorneys on the best practices of defending clients in DUI cases. Richard is the top-rated DUI Attorney in Jackson County GA.
CHALLENGING THE EVIDENCE:
An actual impairment defense is typically done by challenging law enforcement's field sobriety tests and the State's testing of your breath, blood, or urine. The defense would be that you were not driving while under the influence, were not impaired, or that the test(s) were incorrect. The machine that tested your breath could have malfunctioned, or was not calibrated correctly. To explain why you were not impaired calls for expert witness testimony. Richard has maintained relationships over the years with many experts that can be called upon to challenge evidence against you and play an important role in your defense.
Challenging procedures can possibly be the most vital part of your case. Your attorney will question how the DUI investigation was done and what occurred when you were arrested. Law enforcement officers are required to follow policies and procedures during arrests that are in line with the United States Constitution, the Georgia Constitution, and Georgia law.
Typically procedural defenses are presented to the judge PRIOR to a trial being scheduled. Our Jackson County Attorneys will raise suspicion on how your DUI investigation was conducted and if your rights were violated as a result. We will file written motions to state why we feel your rights were not respected during the investigation.
One very important procedural defense is “reasonable suspicion.” Was there a reasonable, articulable suspicion to suspect and then stop you for DUI? Police officers are not supposed to pull you over just because they can. If they pull you over, there must be a legal reason; and the officer should be prepared to come to court and give testimony to that fact under oath. DUI stops are usually the result of the driver violating some traffic law which serves are the articulable suspicion to start a DUI investigation. If the officer did not have a legitimate reason to pull you over, your case could potential be dismissed. That is why we file and argue motions in all of our cases.
A lack of probable cause can also be an important and powerful defense in your DUI case. For you to be arrested, the officer must have probable cause. He or she must be able to communicate that they had sufficient evidence that you had committed a crime. Whether or not the evidence that was collected was enough to arrest you is for the judge to decide. If the judge can be convinced that there wasn't sufficient evidence to arrest you, your case could possibly be dismissed.
EXPLANATION OF THE JACKSON COUNTY GEORGIA COURT SYSTEM:
When you are arrested for DUI in Jackson County GA, there are many different courts that could have jurisdiction over your case. If your arrest occurs in the city limits of an incorporated city, your case will originate in that municipal court.
If you were charged in the unincorporated areas of Jackson County, your case will go straight to Jackson County GA State Court for misdemeanor DUI cases or Jackson County GA Superior Court for felony DUI cases.
In any DUI case, if a person demands a jury trial, the case will be sent to State Court or Superior Court. There are no jury trials in any municipal court in Jackson County Georgia. All felony jury trials are heard in the Superior Court and all misdemeanor jury trials are heard in State Court. You can, however, have a bench trial (trial by judge only) in municipal court.
Remember, you have a right to a jury trial for any criminal offense in Georgia except for local and county ordinance violations. This right cannot be waived by anyone but the accused.
Jefferson Municipal Court:
Jefferson is the county seat of Jackson County. If you were arrested and charged with DUI within the city limits of Jefferson, Georgia, your case will be heard in Jefferson Municipal Court. Court dates are typically on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Arraignments are on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, and bench trials are held the 4th Tuesday of the month. Municipal Court is held at the Jefferson Police Department at 1010 Washington Street in Jefferson, Georgia 30549, at 9 AM. The Municipal Court Clerk is Annette Studivant. She can be reached at (706) 367-5231.
In municipal court, a plea may be negotiated with the Solicitor (prosecutor), Elizabeth Reisner, or have a bench trial in front of Judge Robert Alexander or Judge Gabriel Bradford. A bench trial is a trial in which the judge decides if the defendant is innocent or guilty.
Map to Jefferson Municipal Court:
Arcade Municipal Court:
If you were arrested for DUI in Arcade, Georgia, your case will be heard in Arcade Municipal Court. Judge Gabriel Bradford will be the judge. Kris and Anna Bolden are the prosecutors. The Clerk of Court is Dawn Farris and the Deputy Clerk is Abby Ginn. Court is held on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at Arcade City Hall at 3325 Athens Highway, Jefferson GA 30549. The phone number is 706-367-5500.
Map to Arcade Municipal Court:
Braselton Municipal Court:
If your DUI charge was in the Braselton, Georgia city limits, your case will be heard in Braselton Municipal Court. Judge Graham McKinnon IV will preside. The Clerk of Court is Dawn Farris. The Solicitors are Elizabeth Reisner and Jennifer White. The court address is 5040 Highway 53, Braselton, GA 30517. The phone number is 706-654-3915.
Court in Braselton GA is unique because the city, in addition to being in Jackson County, is also partially in Barrow, Hall, and Gwinnett Counties. As a result, if someone is charged with DUI and demands a jury trial, that trial could occur in either Jackson County State Court (misdemeanor DUI cases), Jackson County Superior Court (Felony DUI cases), Barrow County Superior Court (all cases), Gwinnett County State Court (misdemeanor DUI cases), Gwinnett County Superior Court (Felony DUI cases), Hall County State Court (misdemeanor DUI cases), or Hall County Superior Court (Felony DUI cases).
Since Braselton resides in four counties, there could be strategic reasons to decide (or not) to send a case to a jury trial. That is why our Braselton DUI Lawyers are familiar with the above-listed court systems, judges, and prosecutors. We know when it is best to send a case to a higher court or keep it in Braselton.
Map to Braselton Municipal Court
Commerce Municipal Court
For a DUI charge in Commerce, Georgia, your case will be heard in Commerce Municipal Court. Judge Billy Chandler will be the presiding judge, and court is held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Commerce Civic Center at 110 State Street, Commerce, GA 30529. The Clerk of Court is Cindy Kilgore. The phone number for Commerce Municipal Court is 706-335-3200.
Map to Commerce Municipal Court
Maysville Municipal Court
If you were arrested in the City of Maysville, Georgia, your court appearance will be in the Maysville Library on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 5:30 PM, with G. Hammond Law, Municipal Court Judge presiding. Sam Smith is the Municipal Court Solicitor and Barbara Thomas is the Clerk of Court. The Court/Library address is 9247 Gillsville Road, Maysville, GA 30558. The phone number is 706-652-2274.
Map to Maysville Municipal Court
Pendergrass Municipal Court
For a DUI charge in the City of Pendergrass, Georgia, your case will originate in Pendergrass Municipal Court. The Chief Judge is Robert John Russell, III. The Clerk of Court is Renee Martinez. Scott Tolbert and Walter Harvey are two additional municipal court judges. The main phone number is 706-693-2494.
Hoschton Municipal Court
If your DUI was within the city limits of Hoschton, Georgia, you will go to Hoschton Municipal Court, which is located at 79 City Square, Hoschton, GA 30548. The main phone number is 706-824-1911.
Map to Hoschton Municipal Court
Jackson County State Court
If your misdemeanor DUI occurred in Nicholson GA, Talmo, or the unincorporated areas of Jackson County, your arraignment will be in the State Court of Jackson County. The Chief Judge of the State Court of Jackson County is Robert D. Alexander and the Solicitor General is Donald Moore. The Assistant Solicitor is Donald Hudson, Jr. The court address is 5000 Jackson Parkway, Suite 250, Jefferson, GA 30549. The phone number is 706-387-6246. The Jackson County website has contact information for the judge's office and the Solicitor General's office.
Map to Jackson County State Court
If you have been charged with a felony, your case will be heard in the Superior Court of Jackson County. The Jackson County Superior Court web page has useful information and contact information for the Superior Court Judges and their secretaries.
Brad Smith is the District Attorney, and prosecutes all felonies in Jackson County. His office is located at 5000 Jackson Parkway, Suite 160, Jefferson, GA 30549. The phone number is 706-387-6288.
There are four Superior Court judges in Jackson County: T. David Motes, Joseph H. Booth, Currie M. Mingledorff II, and Wayne D McLocklin. The Clerk of Superior Court is Camie W. Thomas and the main phone number is 706-387-6255.
HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ON GEORGIA DUI LAW?
This website was developed to give you the latest DUI information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We update it daily. Please also see Georgia DUI News in our Georgia DUI Information Blog. The Law Office of Richard Lawson represents people accused of DUI throughout Georgia, and someone from our office will speak with you about your case anytime, day or night, and on holidays.
WE ARE THE TOP-RATED DUI ATTORNEYS IN JACKSON COUNTY, GA:
Call the Law Office of Richard Lawson if you need skilled, professional legal representation after being arrested for DUI or a DUI-related offense. We are waiting to take your call to go over the details of your case 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Why put your freedom in the hands of a general practitioner when your can have our expert help in your case? Contact our Jackson County DUI Lawyers today; we are here to help you when you need it most.
Jackson County Georgia DUI Resources