DUI Defense

A DUI conviction can result in jail time, a suspension of your driver's license, fines, community service, and more. Contact our criminal defense attorneys in Atlanta, GA to enquire about our legal services.

DUI's are prosecuted under O.C.G.A.§ 40-6-391. A DUI charge can be based on being under the influence of alcohol, drugs (including prescribed drugs), or glue/aerosol/toxic vapors. Here are the typical phases of a DUI as it proceeds through the judicial system in Georgia:

1. Initial encounter and arrest by police officer or State Trooper

You are stopped by a police officer for a traffic violation, because of an accident, or at a checkpoint. The officer(s) make an evaluation based on your driving patterns, physical state, behavior, statements, and any field sobriety evaluations as to whether arrest you. If you are arrested for DUI, you should be read the “Implied Consent” warning and asked to provide a sample of your blood, breath, or urine for purposes of a state administered chemical test.

2. Jail (or hospital)

IF you choose to do so, this is where you perform the state administered breath, blood, or urine test. If you submit to the officer’s requested test, you can also request an independent test of your breath, blood, or urine from a medical professional, which the officer must reasonably accommodate. This is also where you have the opportunity to post a bond, which is set by a magistrate Judge (or based a pre-set schedule). If it’s a misdemeanor, you have the right to have a bond amount set.

3. Arraignment

This is where you are first advised of your charges in Municipal, State, or Superior Court. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or in some cases, nolo contendere. You can get the plea offer from the prosecutor, and request discovery (i.e. police report, video, breath/blood test results). If you are in Municipal Court, and request a jury trial, the case will be bound over to the appropriate State or Superior Court.

4. Administrative License Suspension Hearing

This is a separate CIVIL hearing regarding the suspension of your license. You have 10 business days after receiving the notice of suspension (which is usually when you are arrested) to request a hearing and challenge the suspension by questioning the arresting officer under oath. A suspension occurs if you refuse the State administered test or your results are .08 or higher.

5. Motions Hearing

If your attorney files the appropriate motions, you can challenge the checkpoint, the reason for the stop, probable cause for arrest, the implied consent reading, your actual consent to the State’s test, the administration of the breath or blood test, and other issues. This is an opportunity to try to exclude evidence so the State cannot present it at trial, or in some cases, have the case dismissed.

6. Trial

While a last minute plea bargain might happen, this is where a Judge or Jury (you have the right to a jury trial) hears the evidence and decides whether you are guilty or not guilty of the charges filed against you. The State has the burden of proving the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and you have the right to remain silent. You can present evidence in your favor, but are not required to do so. If you are convicted of any charges, the Judge will sentence you after trial according to the law.

7. Appeal

You have 30 days after conviction to file a notice of appeal with the trial court. An appeal typically occurs if your attorney believes the Judge made an error in a legal ruling, or failed to follow proper legal procedures. It can also be based on other issues. An appeal would go to the Georgia Court of Appeals and possibly the Supreme Court of Georgia. In rare cases, an appeal can occur after a motions hearing but before trial.

This website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship with the Law Office of Kyle H. Jarzmik, LLC. Information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for advice provided by an attorney. Kyle Jarzmik is licensed to practice law only in the State of Georgia.

With offices in Atlanta, Georgia, we represent and advise people in Fulton, Cobb, Dekalb, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Clayton, Rockdale, Douglas, Coweta, Carroll County, Lawrenceville, Cumming and all over the state of Georgia.