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Have you been arrested for a DUI in Atlanta? Atlanta DUI cases are handled differently than DUI cases in most jurisdictions. Your first court appearance will typically be in courtroom 5A which is the Honorable Judge Christopher E. Ward's courtroom in the Atlanta Municipal Court.
As in any DUI case, there are several important issues to remember. If you have a received a temporary driving permit, you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to send in the 10-day letter which is for the purpose of requesting an appeal of your administrative license suspension. Usually the Atlanta Municipal Court will give you a reset on your first court appearance to allow you the opportunity to speak with an attorney. This next hearing is called an inquiry hearing. The purpose of this hearing to to see whether or not you have decided to retain an attorney, if so has the State responded to any discovery requests, and would you like to close your case. Last, you will have a Final Hearing scheduled and you will have to appear at this hearing.
You do not have to appear in most of your Atlanta Municipal Court hearings if you have hired an attorney
Typically, as with other criminal cases, your options are generally: enter a plea of guilty/not guilty, demand a bench trial in front of the Judge, or bind your case over for a jury trial in the State Court of Fulton County. Atlanta Municipal Court does not have jurisdiction over jury trials so if you would like to have a jury trial then your case must be bound over to Fulton County State Court.
If you are in court for an Atlanta DUI, you must be present early for court as it generally begins at 8:00AM. The procedures in this specific court are different from other courts. Once an attorney has filed an Entry of Appearance in your case you will not have to appear in court until your case is put on the court calendar for Final Plea. Your attorney must appear at each one of your court appearances but you do not have to be present until your Final Plea date.
It is important for your attorney to file his Entry of Appearance in your case and file for any discovery (State's evidence) that he/she deems appropriate. After receiving all of the evidence in your case, you and your attorney will be able to make an informed decision as to how you would like to proceed. It is important to remember that it is always YOUR DECISION as to whether or not you would like to proceed to a trial or enter a plea and close your case.
Experienced Atlanta DUI Attorney Bill Hardman has handled many DUI cases in the Atlanta Municipal Court so he is familiar with the court and its procedures. If you have any questions about your Atlanta DUI case please submit an online inquiry form through our website or call our office for a free consultation.
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William S. Hardman, Jr., P.C. 210 Washington Street, NW, Suite 104 P. O. Box 438 Gainesville, GA 30503 Phone 770-530-1164 Fax 844-894-2462 No information contained on this website is to be construed as legal advice in your case. Please consult with a licensed Georgia attorney before making any legal decisions in your case.