How a DUI Case Proceeds in Muscogee County Georgia - How a DUI Case Proceeds in Columbus Georgia
In Muscogee County, most police officers receive training in DUI detection and enforcement, but that is only part of what they do. They also respond to calls of domestic violence, theft, drug trafficking, etc. In addition to Muscogee County officers, the Georgia State Patrol has a significant presence in Muscogee County and the greater Columbus, GA area. These state troopers almost always have extra and ongoing training in DUI detection, field sobriety, and chemical testing. You may have heard of the “Nighthawks.” The Nighthawks are state troopers who focus on making DUI arrests. Some are even specially trained as DUI-drug recognition experts.
Since the state troopers focus on driving-related offenses – usually ranging from speeding and minor tickets to vehicular homicide – and since they have a heavy presence in Muscogee County, there tends to be a lot of DUI arrests in the Columbus Georgia area. The Columbus Georgia DUI Process, however, is different than how cases proceed in other parts of Georgia.
Muscogee County is one of the very few counties in Georgia to have a Recorders Court. A Recorders Court is a court of limited jurisdiction set up to handle traffic cases and county ordinance violations. Usually, the citations that someone receives upon getting a Muscogee County or Columbus DUI offense indicate an initial court date in Recorders Court. But this is a bit misleading. Many lesser tickets – speeding, failure to obey a traffic control device, stop sign violations, etc., - are easily handled in Recorders Court and usually don't require the help of an attorney.
A DUI case in Muscogee County, however, is a more serious offense. As a result, DUI cases are transferred or “bound over” to the Muscogee County State Court. Prosecutors, known as solicitors, prosecute these cases and DUI offenses require minimum mandatory punishments that include jail, loss of license, probation, fines, community service, and DUI school. Suzanne Goddard is the elected head prosecutor of DUI cases, or Solicitor-General, in Muscogee County. She has a staff of several attorneys and paralegals that handle a large volume of cases that come through her office.
An experienced Muscogee County DUI lawyer can negotiate with the solicitor for you and attempt to reduce or drop the DUI charges. Unnecessary court appearances and trials can often be avoided if you have a Columbus Georgia DUI Lawyer who is experienced in DUI defense and knows what arguments to raise. Our office is staffed with people who have the training and expertise to help you with your case.
Two judges preside in Muscogee State Court – Judge Prather and Judge Richardson. Generally, if an agreement as to how to resolve the case is reached between your DUI defense attorney and the county prosecutor, and is accepted by you, the attorneys can set the matter for a court appearance on any Friday morning. These judges do an excellent job getting people who are prepared for court in and out of the courthouse quickly.
A Columbus GA DUI Lawyer can help you get all documents and requirements in place to make court a smooth transaction. In addition, serving in the United States military can oftentimes be of help in getting a favorable outcome in your case. The prosecutors and judges in Muscogee know that the punishments you receive in the military just for being charged can be burdensome, so if properly presented to the court, you often get this taken into consideration. Our office works with members of the US Military and knows how to use your service to the country to your advantage in court.
The attorneys at Lawson & Berry have been practicing in Muscogee County State Court and Recorders Court for years. We can help you achieve your best possible outcome. Contact our office today for a free consultation.