Together, Attorneys Evan Watson and Peter Zeliff have over 20 combined years of defending DUI charges in Sandy Springs and surrounding cities throughout the Atlanta area. Attorney Watson, a Sandy Springs resident, has been involved with the City since its beginning in 2005, when he interned with the City Attorney’s Office. Since being licensed to practice law in 2008, Evan has devoted his practice to DUI defense, formerly working with the law office of Head, Thomas, Webb & Willis. As trial attorneys, both Peter and Evan know the ins and outs of all stages of litigation, including navigating your DUI in Sandy Springs Municipal Court and Fulton County’s court system.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Sandy Springs, you have the option of having your case heard in Sandy Springs, or transferred to Fulton County. There are pros and cons associated with each of these venues – here is some of the basic information you need to know. If you want to discuss your specific case with me, please call me at 404-590-6642.
Sandy Springs DUI Laws and Other Serious Offenses
Sandy Springs police officers are empowered to enforce both the traffic laws of the City of Sandy Springs as well as the traffic laws set out under Georgia state law. This means that if a Sandy Springs police officer observes any violation of city or state law, he can stop you and arrest you.
Common traffic offenses I see in Sandy Springs include:
- Reckless Driving
- Aggressive Driving
- Texting While Driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Car accident citations
If you are arrested for a traffic offense in Sandy Springs, you generally have the option of dealing with the charge in Sandy Springs Municipal Court, or having your case “bound over” to Fulton County. Very serious offenses like vehicular homicide will be bound over automatically as Sandy Springs prosecutors are not set up to investigate and prosecute certain felony cases.
Misdemeanor traffic offenses – including DUI – can be handled in Sandy Springs Municipal Court and, as a matter of strategy, I find that there are many instances where a municipal court like Sandy Springs can offer my clients a faster resolution and reasonable plea terms.
Choosing to proceed in Sandy Springs vs. binding (transferring) the case to Fulton County has advantages and disadvantages. I encourage you to discuss the pros and cons with a lawyer before making this decision.
DUI Charges in Sandy Springs
If you are arrested for DUI in Sandy Springs, you will be booked into the North Fulton Jail located in Alpharetta and either have a bond set by a judge, or from a predetermined schedule.
Your DUI arrest represents both a criminal charge filed against you by the City of Sandy Springs and a civil charge regarding your driver’s license filed against you by the Department of Driver Services of the State of Georgia. While you can and should be focused on the criminal charge, you should not ignore the threat to your driver’s license.
In fact, under Georgia law, within ten (10) days after your arrest, you must send a letter to the Georgia Department of Drivers Services to request a hearing to determine whether you can keep your license. If you do not request this “administrative” hearing, you will lose your license for a year.
I regularly speak to new clients who waited more than 10 days to call me and while I can help those folks with regard to their DUI charge, I cannot do anything to preserve their right to drive for the next year.
If it has been less than 10 days since you or your loved one was arrested for DUI, please call me now to discuss the steps you need to take to preserve your right to drive.
Disposing of Your DUI Charge in the City of Sandy Springs
Since Driving Under the Influence is a violation of both Georgia state law and Sandy Springs municipal law, you generally have the right to have your case decided in either Sandy Springs Municipal Court or in Fulton County state court.
I have tried cases and entered pleas in both Sandy Springs Municipal Court and in Fulton County and I would happy to discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages based on the facts of your specific case.
Plea bargains are potentially available both in Sandy Springs or in Fulton County state court. The factors that go into plea bargain negotiations will be very specific to your case. Like every criminal defense lawyer, I have my own approach to these negotiations, and I discuss those strategies only with my clients. I will say that a “successful” resolution of your DUI case can range from an outright acquittal (being found not guilty) to a reduction of DUI charges to a less serious crime like disorderly conduct or reckless driving.
Always, my goal in a DUI defense representation is to represent your zealously, minimize your fine and jail time, and preserve your right to drive.
If you have questions, give us a call at (404) 590 6642.