Muscogee County DUI Lawyer - Muscogee County DUI Attorney
Columbus GA DUI Lawyer - Columbus GA DUI Attorney
The consolidated governments of Muscogee County and Columbus Georgia make hundreds of DUI arrests every year. For people who live or travel through the area, there is a high probability that they will see or interact with the Georgia State Patrol, the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, or the Columbus Police Department. Unlike most counties, the court system is streamlined and fast moving. Your need to hire a Columbus DUI Lawyer right away. Only a Columbus GA DUI Attorney will know how to protect your rights and your freedom. If you wait until your arraignment, you will have potentially waived many defenses that could have helped in your defense.
If you are charged with DUI, it is important to get top-rated DUI Defense Attorneys on your side. For over 20 years, Richard Lawson has been defending people against their DUI cases in Muscogee County and throughout Georgia. He is a former Georgia DUI Prosecutor that now uses that experience to help people charged with DUI and the related offenses that occur in most Georgia DUI cases. His reviews can be found on Avvo. It is critical to hire the best Muscogee County DUI Attorneys when charged with DUI.
Experienced And Successful Muscogee County DUI Defense:
Our experience is the difference. We concentrate our practice on Georgia DUI Defense. We specialize in helping people charged with DUI in Muscogee County and throughout Georgia. We particularly enjoy helping our brave members of the United States Military. Unfortunately, many of members of the military are charged with DUI in Muscogee County because of the high concentration of military personnel in the area.
We understand our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines may be passing through Columbus Georgia and may not easily be able to attend court. We can attend court on your behalf and make most (or sometimes all) of the court appearance for you. We know you already have enough to worry about. Our Muscogee County DUI Lawyers will help you avoid unnecessary court appearance so you can do the most important job of defending our great country.
A DUI Case In Georgia Is Two Cases, The Civil License (ALS Hearing) And The Criminal Case In The State Court of Muscogee County:
Georgia License Suspension - The 30-Day Letter
When charged with DUI in Georgia you only have thirty days to file for an ALS Hearing (Administrative License Hearing) or to request an ignition interlock device. The consequences of not having the hearing or device request filed include, but are not limited to, losing your drivers license. In the event of a refusal to submit to testing (or accusation thereof), the license suspension is a full 12 months. During a "refusal suspension," you cannot get a limited or restricted drivers license of any kind. The penalty is harsh and severe, yet it is entirely unnecessary. Your Muscogee County DUI Attorney will file the 30-day letter along with the required $150 filing fee. Once filed, the suspension can either be avoided or at least (in the event of multiple offenders) be curtailed. This in your affirmative duty. The criminal case in State Court will happen either way. It is your choice to act and request this hearing to help save your right to drive. Act Now!
The Court Process Is Very Different In Muscogee County And Columbus Georgia Because It Is a Combined, Consolidated Government
In most jurisdictions throughout Georgia, there are various levels of municipal, probate, and state, courts in almost every county. The maze of courts can be confusing and intimidating. In Muscogee County, the county and the largest city, Columbus, have combined into a single government entity. This is a model more communities should follow. The combination prevents the ridiculous duplication of services that happens most other places.
As a result, it is even more important to have a Columbus DUI Lawyer that knows the local court system. Our Columbus DUI Lawyers know the prosecutors, judges and clerks, and use their experience to protect your rights and get the best possible outcome. Not everyone is familiar with how a unified court system works since only a few other communities have adopted this system.
If you are arrested within the city limits of Columbus Georgia, your DUI case will begin in the Recorders Court, but only for the purpose of setting bond and determining probable cause to arrest. Most cities use the municipal court system to handle DUI cases, however, this is not the case in Columbus. When you are arrested for DUI in Columbus you will be given a court date the following business day, (for example a Monday morning after a weekend arrest).
If you are still in custody you would be brought over to the Recorders Court to determine if you needed your bond adjusted or what your overall intentions were insofar as the case is concerned. You can also ask for a committal hearing (preliminary hearing) if you have not yet made bond on your case. Your family may hire a Columbus DUI Attorney to handle the hearing. The state would have to prove that there was probable cause in your case in order to hold you. Probable cause is a low standard of proof that basically translates to there being some evidence that a crime has occurred.
It's rare for a DUI Defense Attorney to win these hearings due to the low burden of proof required to show probable cause. As a result, it is far better to make bond and fight your case in through the regular criminal court process. In criminal court, the state must prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt, a much higher standard of proof. Once you have been released on bond, your Columbus DUI case will be sent to the State Court of Muscogee County for trial.
In addition to DUI cases, in the limited situations such as probable cause hearings and bond hearings, the Reorders Court ajudicates minor traffic offenses and city ordinance cases. The list of the cases handled in Recorders Court include but are not limited to:
- Traffic Accidents
- Speeding Tickets
- Possession of Marijuana Less than an Ounce
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- City Ordinance Violations
- Traffic Tickets other than speeding
The Recorders Court is located at 702 10th Street, Columbus Georgia. Their Phone number is 706-653-4256. For more information on the court, view the Recorders Court Website. The judges in Recorders Court are the Honorable Mary Buckner, the Honorable Michael Cielinski, the Honorable Michael Joyner, and the Honorable Julius Hunter. You need experienced Columbus DUI Lawyers on your side to help you get the best possible outcome when charged with Georgia Traffic Tickets.
As with any court or original municipal jurisdiction, you can have a bench trial (trial by judge) in the court. However, if you wish to have a jury trial, you must transfer the case to the State Court of Muscogee County. Also, all felony cases that occur in any county go directly to the County's Superior Court System.
Map To The Recorders Court in Columbus Georgia
Muscogee County State Court
Under almost all circumstances, your Muscogee County and Columbus GA DUI cases will be resolved in the State Court of Muscogee County. The State Court has original jurisdiction of all misdemeanor DUI offenses through the county. The prosecutor in the State Court is called the Solicitor General. The Solicitor General of Muscogee County is Suzanne Goddard. Her office is at 100 10th Street, Government Center - Tower, 9th Floor Columbus Georgia. Her office telephone number is 706-653-4327. Her office is responsible for prosecuting all misdemeanors, and misdemeanor traffic offenses such as DUI.
The two State Court judges are the Honorable Ben Richardson and the Honorable Andy Prather. It is improper to directly contact the judge's office directly. A judge cannot directly speak to the parties in any litigation. Your Muscogee County DUI Lawyer will deal directly with the prosecutor assigned to the case. Instead of contacting the judge assigned to your case, your Muscogee County DUI Attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor assigned to your case. Most Georgia DUI cases are resolved through negotiation with the prosecutor. However, if negotiations are unsuccessful, your attorney will file motions in the State Court Clerks office and litigate the case all the way through trial in necessary.
All filings in State Court are handled by the office of the Clerk of the State Court. The Clerk of Court is the Honorable M. Linda Pierce. Her office is also at 100 10th Street, Columbus Georgia 31901. Her Telephone number is 706-653-4370. Her website has addition information; Clerk of Court Website. Direct telephone numbers for various departments can be found on her office information page.
Map to the State Court of Muscogee County
Muscogee County Superior Court
All felony DUI cases including but not limited to Habitual Violator, 4th Lifetime DUI, Serious Injury by Vehicle, and Vehicular Homicide will be heard in Superior Court. Felony cases are extremely serious. The consequences for Felony DUI cases in Georgia can include long periods of incarceration and high fines. You need to hire the best Muscogee County DUI Attorneys to fight for your rights and your freedom.
In Felony DUI cases that involve serious injuries or death, it's important to hire your Muscogee County DUI Lawyer as soon as possible because your defense will be otherwise compromised. In most accident cases, you will need to hire an accident reconstructionist to review the State's evidence. The main defense in such felony DUI cases is to challenge the states finding of causation, or in layman's terms "fault." Such evidence will disappear very quickly because it involves the inspection of the damaged vehicles and physical evidence such as skid marks. Hire our Muscogee County DUI Lawyers as soon as possible. Your very freedom may depend on it.
The District Attorney prosecutes all Felony Cases in Muscogee County. The District Attorney is Julia Slater. She is the chief prosecuting officer and chief law enforcement officer for the county. She has the absolute prosecutorial authority to decide who is prosecuted and for what if any offense. The District Attorney's Website has more information on her role in the criminal court process. Her office is located at 100 10th Street, Columbus Georgia. Her office telephone number is 706-653-4336.
The Judges of the Superior Court include the Honorable Gil McBride, the Honorable Frank J. Jordan, Jr., the Honorable Bobby G. Peters, the Honorable William C. Rumer, the Honorable Arthur L. Smith III, the Honorable Maureen Gottfried, and the Honorable Ron Mullins. These judges serve the Muscogee County / Columbus Georgia area as well as the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. As stated before, it would be improper to contact a judge directly.
Map to the Muscogee County Superior Court
Muscogee County Juvenile Court
Juvenile Court is a unique court unconcerned with issues of guilt or innocence. The purpose of juvenile court is to act in the best interest of the child in an effort to rehabilitate the child before entering adulthood. The goal of the court is not to be punitive but to attempt to help juvenile offenders become productive members of society. The Presiding Judge is the Honorable Warner K. Kennon. The other Juvenile Court Judge is the Honorable Andrew C. Dodgen.
Unlike all other courts, these judges have the important mission to help offenders reach adulthood with a new sense of civic responsibility. All prosecutors, clerks, defense attorneys, and judges work together to further this rehabilitative mission. For more information about the Muscogee County Juvenile Court, go to the Muscogee County Juvenile Court website.
The juvenile court also has a drug court program developed for the purpose of providing additional services to juveniles addicted to illegal drugs. In Drug Court, as well as in all Juvenile Court proceedings, the child's identity is kept confidential and the general public is not permitted in court. This is to protect the child's confidentiality. The purpose of this secrecy is to assure the child gets a second chance once they become an adult.
Map to the Muscogee County Juvenile Court
Georgia DUI Laws
A great resource to help understand Georgia's DUI Laws can be found on this website. The first resource is the Frequently Asked Questions About Georgia DUI Law page on this website. Also, there is a vast amount of information found in our "Practice Areas" pages and in our Georgia DUI Information Blog. That being said, you need to hire the Columbus DUI Attorneys from our office as soon as possible. We know how to defend your rights and help you keep your driver's license.
There is Hope if You Are charged with DUI in Columbus Georgia
Our Columbus DUI Attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you when you are charged with DUI. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now to start your DUI defense. We are here when you need us the most. Call Now.
Muscogee County DUI Resources