PLEASE SEE BOTTOM OF ARTICLE FOR DUI LAWS UPDATE AS OF JULY 1ST, 2017
After an arrest for DUI in Atlanta or anywhere else in Georgia, the process to successfully resolve the case is very similar.
Getting out of Jail - Bonding:
The first step after an arrest is to bond out of jail. Occasionally, people are released on their own recognizance. Most of the time, however, a person must post bail to be released.
The quickest way to be released is to post a cash bond. With a cash bond, you bypass the time spent making arrangements with a bail bondsman. Also, you do not have to pay an additional fee for the use of the services of a professional bondsman. However, your money will be tied up until the case is resolved.
The second way to be released is to pay a professional bondsman a fee for their services of posting the remaining bond. The advantage of using a bondsman is that you will only pay a fraction of the bond. The disadvantages include the fact that their fee is not returned upon completion of the case. Additionally, they may require you to check in with them and obey their rules.
The third way to post bail is called a property bond. This is when your appearance in court is secured by a lien placed on real estate property. Our office does not recommend property bonds in misdemeanor cases. The process takes too long, and the risk of losing a piece of realty property is too great versus the small amount of the bond in a misdemeanor case.
Keep Track of the Court-Related Paperwork:
Very often people immediately misplace or destroy their tickets, their driver's permit, and their court notices. It may seem obvious, but your Atlanta DUI Lawyer needs those documents. Sometimes it is impossible to get new copies before a person's court date or the due date of their 10-day letter.
Hire an Attorney Before Arraignment:
Motions for discovery and to suppress must be filed at or before arraignment. The basis of almost all DUI defense is the filing of the proper motions. If you do not hire an attorney before your arraignment, you may be waiving the most important defenses in your case.
Your Atlanta DUI Attorney can also make your first appearance on your behalf. When Atlanta DUI Attorneys make the first appearance, it does not violate your bond arraignment, as it is a procedural hearing, not a substantive hearing.
There is no reason to miss work, school, or any other responsibility to attend the arraignment. However, it is your right to appear at all court appearances; our goal is to make things as simple for you as possible.
Keep in mind, anyone arrested for DUI in Atlanta will have an arraignment the very next business day. If arrested over the weekend, the arraignment will be the following Monday morning. We always have one of our Atlanta DUI Lawyers in court every Monday morning.
Filing the ALS Appeal With a 10 Day Letter:
In order to avoid the automatic suspension of your driver's license, you have to file an appeal with the Department of Driver Services. There is a $150 filing fee associated with the appeal. If you fail to appeal the suspension, it will go into effect in 30 days. If the case is an alleged refusal, the suspension will be for 12 months. The suspension can almost always be avoided if you hire counsel immediately.
Reviewing the Evidence:
The evidence in a DUI case includes police reports, a video of the arrest, chemical testing, and the interview of the police officer. This is the most critical stage in your DUI case. What sets us apart is that every attorney in my office is certified in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Every one of our attorneys focuses their practice on DUI cases.
Our experience is then applied to your problem. The result is the best possible outcome. Once the evidence is reviewed, we will discuss with our clients all possible options.
Negotiate or Litigate:
Every DUI case has two possible roads. Most cases are resolved with a negotiated settlement commonly called a plea bargain. A plea can be to a reduced charge such as a reckless driving or to reduced punishment.
If a satisfactory plea cannot be reached, your DUI Lawyer in Atlanta will litigate the case. All misdemeanor jury trials in Fulton County are heard in Fulton County State Court. If accused of a felony DUI, that case will be bound over to Superior Court.
Our office is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. This includes nights and weekends because your problem should be addressed when it happens. Call now.
UPDATE JULY 1ST 2017
The 10 day letter as described previously has now been extended to a 30 day letter. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you now have 30 days to either appeal your automatic license suspension or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you do not file an appeal or install the interlock device before the 30 days are up, it will result in your license being suspended for up to one year. For more information, please visit 30 Day Letter / ALS Hearings.