Judge Amanda Williams presided as a Superior Court Judge in Brunswick, GA. In November 2011, she announced her resignation as Judge effective early 2012. An ethics investigation was launced against her following accusations of her out of control behavior as the Judge that presided over the Brunswick circuit Drug Court program.
In Georgia, Drug Courts and DUI Courts are programs that more and more jurisdictions are implementing for repeat offenders. The term "Court" is a little confusing here as these programs occur after a court date when a plea of guilty is entered. A Georgia DUI Court or Drug Court is part of someone's sentence. Typically, if someone has had several DUI convictions or several drug convictions or drug related charged they may agree to participate in the DUI or Drug Court. Defendants offered Drug or DUI Court should consider their options before accepting this outcome. These programs typically are a minumum of one year and have a series of phases. They require weekly apperances before a judge, weekly counseling and treatment, random drug screens, conditions that a person may not use any alcohol, drugs (even prescription or over the counter medications), no breath mints or mouth wash, and even limit one's use of insect spray like "Off" as these substances can cause false positives on the screens for drugs and alcohol. Any violation can lead to immiediate arrest. In addition, the Drug and DUI courts often ask you to waive your 4th amendment rights and be subject to random checks of your household for any alcohol or drugs.
In March 2011, a radio program on NPR brought focus to the trreatment Judge Williams was giving to participants in her Drug Court program. This lead to a probe of ethics as her methods appeared overly punitive and in violation of the sentences of the drug court defendants. Judge Williams chose to resign shortly after the probe was launched.
If you are facing DUI or drug charges in Georgia, call Atlanta DUI lawyer Richard Lawson. He can help you decide if a drug or DUI court program would be in your interest and help you negotiate a favorable plea bargain or fight your case.