Why Jurisdiction Matters in DUI Cases

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 29, 2016 | 0 Comments

In real estate, the adage is "location, location, location."  When a person is charged with a crime, the jurisdiction in which that case is being heard matters a great deal.

Very often adjacent counties will handle DUI cases entirely differently.  Unfortunately, we Georgia DUI Lawyers cannot select the county in which our cases are heard.  However, we can make a significant jurisdictional choice within the county in which the arrest occurred.

When a case originates in a lower court, such as a municipal or probate court, a decision must be made to either keep the case in the lower court or send it (bind it over) to the higher court. 

This decision is the single most important decision that will be made in a person's DUI case, and should only be done by an attorney who is familiar with the sentencing patterns in both the lower and higher court. 

The attorney should also be familiar with the evidentiary rulings of the judges in the superior court.  The point I am making is that the attorney should already know the likelihood of success in the higher court before deciding to bind the case over to that court.

There are many moving parts to this equation, so experience matters.  Many clients make the decision to send a case to a higher court before consulting with a qualified attorney.  The wrong decision can be the difference between a good outcome and a bad one.  

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Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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