There is a standard way DUI cases are handled in Georgia. If you are facing drunk driving charges, it is important to understand how the DUI process works. The following is a brief summary of the DUI process:
You are pulled over for suspicion of DUI. The stop could be related to reckless driving, speeding, swerving, wide turns, or other suspicious driving behavior. After you are pulled over, law enforcement is going to observe you carefully and look for more evidence of DUI. This evidence might include the smell of alcohol on your breath, open containers of alcohol in the car, marijuana, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and trouble focusing or following instructions. The police will also usually ask if you have been drinking. Many individuals do not realize they are not required to answer this question by law. During the stop, the officer may also ask you to perform one or more field sobriety tests. You are not required by law to submit to these tests, but you are required to submit to the breath or blood test. If you refuse the breath or blood test, your license will automatically be suspended for 1 year.
You will be arrested for DUI if police feel there is enough evidence to reasonably conclude you were driving under the influence. Contact a Georgia DUI Attorney after your arrest.
After you are placed under arrest, you will be taken to the police or sheriff's station and photographed, fingerprinted, and usually put in a holding cell until you are released either with bail or on your own recognizance.
This is the formal hearing where you are charged and where you will make your plea. It is always best to hire a Georgia DUI defense attorney prior to the arraignment. Your lawyer can discuss your best options and advise you how to proceed at the arraignment.
At these hearings, your attorney has the opportunity to bring forward certain evidence to assist in your defense and to request that evidence be suppressed, whether due to procedural errors or due to a violation of your legal and constitutional rights. Sometimes the case is dismissed at this point, or a plea bargain is offered with a lesser charge.
A trial can be in front of a judge only (a bench trial), or with a jury of six members. Choosing which type of trial to proceed with is important, and a lawyer from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson can advise you as to what type of trial would work best for your case. Only a legal professional can help you with your trial.
If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced. If you are found not guilty, you will be free to go. Not guilty is the goal. The legal team at the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson is prepared to guide you through the DUI process and aggressively fight your charges every step of the way.