The Atlanta DUI Process
If you have been arrested for DUI in Metro Atlanta, including Buckhead, Midtown, or Downtown, you will want a lawyer who practices a majority of DUI law to defend your case in court. With Georgia’s current DUI laws, drivers accused of DUI face not only administrative penalties like license suspension, but also face jail time, community service, court mandated treatment and the like for DUI convictions.
On a first DUI in Atlanta, your case will start in the City of Atlanta Municipal Court where you or your lawyer will have the opportunity to begin gathering evidence and negotiating with the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office. The solicitor is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanor and city ordinance crimes in court. Whether your case closes in Atlanta will be a question for your lawyer to guide you on after thoroughly reviewing the ins and outs of your arrest.
If a deal is unable to be negotiated in Atlanta’s court, you have the right to a trial in Fulton County. When I discuss this with clients, I make sure to inform them that transferring a case to Fulton County will likely result in at least a 9-12 month delay before the court has your new file. For most clients, this is not a huge deal, however, if your case is time sensitive for one reason or another, you will want to take this into account.
Atlanta DUI Lawyer Evan Watson
After you have been arrested, it is important to begin the process of looking for a lawyer who you feel comfortable with representing you. A good DUI lawyer in Atlanta can range dramatically in price, and price shopping is never the best method for acquiring your lawyer. Additionally, you will want to select a lawyer who you feel truly cares about and understands the key issues in your case. At a minimum, you should make sure to discuss:
- Your career background information, including all schooling, job fields, and positions held
- Your personal goals and home life situation
- The day or evening before your arrest and what transpired beforehand
- The actual arrest itself including details about how you were driving, how field sobriety tests were performed and what happened after arrest
- The events when you arrived at jail, including conversations had w staff or other officers
- If you took a breath or blood test, be ready to discuss everything about it- did the machine seem to be having problems? did you change your mind about a test?
- Your license status and any anticipated work related or driving problems that you foresee
Typically, a first interview with a client last somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour, so make sure you have this time set aside. Also, ask questions. Wanting to know the timeline of your case, expected issues and the lawyer’s overall experience with cases similar to yours is not unreasonable. I encourage potential clients to write things out- the more details you have down on paper, the better you will be, especially if your case ends up dragging on for months or even more than a year.
If you have questions, or would like to speak to me 1-on-1 about your DUI arrest, give me a call or contact me through this website. I will be happy to set aside time to speak to you and schedule an appointment to meet.