After an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI) in Atlanta, you will be required to go to the Atlanta Municipal Court the morning after your arrest to enter a plea for your charges. Because most people have other important obligations during these times, the attorneys at Kohn & Yager are available to attend the arraignment on your behalf—which means you do not have to abandon your family or job in order to attend. You do mot have to personally appear at your DUI arraignment.
Elements of an Arraignment
An arraignment is the first court date set after any criminal charges are filed. During this time, the judge will read the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea. You have three choices: not guilty, guilty, or no contest. If you plead not guilty, a date will be set for your next court date. However, if you plead guilty or no contest, you may be sentenced on the spot.
At that point in time, many significant things happen. That is you are going to have the opportunity to file motions in your case, if your attorney sees that there are legal issues that need to be addressed. In addition to motions being filed at the arraignment, there are other things that can happen including possible negotiation of the case to some extent. Or putting the case off for a motion hearing, a pretrial motion hearing, with the judge that will come later.
The arraignment is an important phase in the case because failure to file motions or take certain steps in the case at that point can waive them or give them up for all purposes after that date.
What to Expect
While your particular arraignment hearing will usually take less than 10 minutes, you may need to be in court for the entire morning or afternoon because no one can assure when your drunk driving case will be called. Many courts will give priority to cases where the defendant is represented by a DUI attorney. Hopefully, you will be dealing with a court that allows pre-filing of all pre-trial motions and a “waiver of arraignment.” If so, this will excuse you from attending your arraignment.
It’s important to know that it’s almost impossible to change your plea from guilty or no contest to not guilty later down the road. Because of the ramifications associated with a drunk-driving conviction, it’s critical that you speak to a reputable attorney from our firm before making any important decisions. In fact, we have won many cases that our clients have believed to be unwinnable—so don’t take any chances with your future without speaking with an expert.
How a Lawyer Can Help
In addition to their strict policies regarding arraignment schedules, the Atlanta Municipal Court also requires each DUI case to have a final disposition within six months of the original drunk-driving arrest. Our law firm can handle many of the court appearances on your behalf, but you will be required to attend the final disposition.
Because we are a dedicated DUI defense firm, our attorneys are in the courts every day—allowing them to attend the court dates you are unable to make due to your schedule. In addition, we are available around the clock to provide updates on the progress of your case.
If you are facing DUI charges in the Atlanta Municipal Court—or any other Georgia court system—please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Fill out our online form or call our office today to schedule a time for a free DUI case evaluation.