Driving under the influence (DUI) is a very serious criminal offense in all 50 states—and Georgia is no exception. Indeed, with the state’s tough DUI laws and stringent sentencing guidelines, a DUI conviction can lead to severe penalties such as fines, a mandatory license suspension, and jail sentence.
Unfortunately, as state law enforcement officers continue to focus their efforts on apprehending DUI offenders, more and more Fulton County drivers find themselves facing such devastating consequences. The good news, however, is that with help from a Fulton County DUI lawyer, many of these same individuals are able to challenge their arrest and successfully avoid a life-altering drunk driving conviction. To get started on your case, consult with a defense attorney in Fulton County today.
Fulton County Considers DUIs a High Priority
The Georgia State Patrol Nighthawks DUI Task Force has been making 100+ DUI arrests each month in Atlanta, Buckhead, Sandy Springs and other areas of Fulton County, Dekalb County and Clayton County since 2004. Per officer, these specially-trained Troopers have more driving under the influence arrests per officer than any other police force in Georgia.
These roving patrols of Georgia troopers have saturated high traffic roadways and interstate corridors, bar districts, sporting events, metro Atlanta entertainment concerts to procure many arrests. The Nighthawks have also used roadblocks to get more late night DUI arrests after traffic volume have slowed down.
These Georgia State Patrol DUI Task Force officers made more DUI arrests in Fulton County, GA than all the Atlanta and Fulton County Police officers combined between 2004 and 2010.
Fulton County Court Process
Fulton County courts work a little differently than others; whereas you may normally be given an arraignment date following your DUI arrest, Fulton County will put you on “to be notified” status and send your court date notification later. Understanding these differences is important when fighting a criminal charge, so staying informed is critical.
Once you receive your notice for arraignment, you will report to your assigned courtroom. The presiding judge will then read the State’s case against you and ask how you plea. If you plead guilty, your case is essentially over. If you choose to fight your case, however, your next court date (either a motions hearing or calendar call) will be scheduled.
If the judge schedules you for a motions hearing, this is where your attorney will file motions (such as a motion for discover, motion to suppress evidence, motion to dismiss the charges, etc.). In addition to hearing the motions, the judge will determine if your case is ready for trial and schedule you for calendar call.
Some judges will lump in the motions hearing with the trial date. A defense lawyer who is familiar with the Fulton County judges can guide you through each scenario to ensure your case is prepared.
The court system tries to ensure that all cases are moving along. At the calendar call, the judge will ask about your intentions with the case, such as whether you are looking for a plea deal or are interested in pursuing a bench or jury trial. The court process can be confusing, but we are here to help.
How a Fulton County DUI Attorney Can Help
A Fulton County DUI arrest is truly a life-changing event, and your immediate action should be to find a veteran Fulton County DUI Lawyer to begin fighting the charges against you. Spending a night in the Fulton County Jail is not pleasant.
As soon as you get home, your mailbox will begin to fill with mail from Georgia DUI lawyers who make a living by taking on many cases, only to have clients plead guilty at the arraignment.
Our top highly-specialized criminal defense attorneys are tireless in crafting the strongest drunk driving defenses, and we work countless hours successfully defending clients who must appear in Fulton County Traffic Court. We know the Fulton judicial courts very well, and we are well-known as tenacious fighters.