Getting charged with a DUI in Atlanta can be intimidating, and going into trial alone can be scary. Experienced attorneys can help. A distinguished DUI lawyer may be impactful to the outcome of your case and can help you prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt. Contact an Atlanta attorney with drunk driving case experience to begin building your defense.
Atlanta DUI trials tend to be heard at the Municipal Court of Atlanta. If a person wants a jury trial, they would be moved to the state court of Fulton County or potentially DeKalb County. There is a small segment of the City of Atlanta that is in DeKalb County. The City of Atlanta only has bench trials that typically take six months. In the city court of Atlanta, it is unlikely a case will be decided by a jury. To learn more about what to expect, contact an attorney today.
Severity of the Charge
If a person loses in an Atlanta DUI trial, the penalty is generally worse than if the person walked in and simply pled guilty. The judge or jury will look at the overall record of the defendant and then make a determination as to what the appropriate sentence is.
Oftentimes, judges want to dissuade people from trying cases and taking up the court’s time, so they will put a harder penalty on a trial than if the person walked in and plead guilty. They want to discourage people from taking up their time with the Atlanta DUI trial process, and there are a lot of cases to be heard.
Dynamics of a DUI Case
Atlanta DUI trials typically take two days on average. There is no difference in an Atlanta DUI case versus any other impaired driving case, but they would typically need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was some element of bad driving. In certain cases, the impairment of the individual, to the point that it is unsafe for them to drive, shows the element of bad driving.
The judges like to expedite and close Atlanta DUI trials within a six-month period. Other than that, there is nothing different about Atlanta cases versus many others. Oftentimes, the prosecutors in Atlanta can be willing to work a case out to a non-DUI as opposed to a conviction. Most people would rather move their case for a jury trial than resolving their case within the City of Atlanta.
Role of an Investigator
The first thing an investigator will look at is any prior history of drunk driving. They will then try to establish the individual’s alcohol level at the time of the arrest and whether or not there was an accident associated. They look for aggravating factors before they look for mitigating factors. However, the main thing that will determine what sentence is going to be offered in the case is a person’s criminal history and the facts of the case.
The solicitor and prosecutor present the government’s case against the driver. They will generally present the police officers, any civilian witnesses and perhaps a representative from the crime lab. Any expert witnesses to explain how the alcohol could affect the driver or, perhaps if it was a prescription drug case, how the prescription drugs affected the person.
Appealing a Case in Atlanta
If the person decides to participate in Atlanta DUI trials and they lose in all municipal courts along with the Atlanta municipal court, the person has the right to a direct appeal. A direct appeal goes to the superior court of the county that the municipal court lies in. In this case, they go to the Superior Court of Fulton County as a direct appeal. The individual has the ability to raise arguments that there was some legal problem with their previous case. If you are deciding to appeal the decision of your Atlanta DUI case results, contact an experienced lawyer before proceeding with your case.