What Happens in Atlanta Municipal Court?
If you get arrested for driving under the influence here in Atlanta, you will get a hearing date when you have to appear for court to plead guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere. You will have to appear for court on that date or request a change of date, or risk having a warrant out for your arrest. Before you decide whether you want to represent yourself in Atlanta Municipal Court, you should understand what a day in court will mean for you.
Before you appear in court, you will have to prepare your case, take time off of work and set aside the entire workday, dress appropriately, address the court professionally, and be prepared for the possible penalties and consequences associated with a DUI conviction. Seriously consider hiring an Atlanta DUI defense lawyer who will be able to appear on your behalf, saving you time and money, and greatly improving your chances for getting your case dismissed or charges reduced.
Appearing in Atlanta Municipal Court
Don't wait until the last minute, and just decide to show up to court without doing some research, and preparing for your case. The court procedures and processes are unfamiliar to most people, and can be confusing during your first municipal court encounter. If you don't take the court hearing seriously, you could find yourself facing fines, forced to attend the DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction program, increased insurance costs, and even jail time. Speak with an experienced Georgia DUI lawyer first, so you will not what to expect, and the possible penalties associated with a DUI conviction. Remember that an arrest does not have to end in a conviction.
Be prepared for your court date. This means arriving early, properly dressed and bringing all necessary documents and information. If you fail to appear on time or fail to show up at all, the court may issue a failure to appear notice. This can even lead to a warrant for your arrest.
Leave enough time for you to account for traffic, find the courthouse, park your car and get through security. Most people are trying to get into court at the same time of day, so expect lines of people all trying to get to the same place you are. Once you arrive, you should be prepared to wait for a long time. The judge may take a long time before getting to your case, and in some cases, your case may not be heard at all. Your hearing may be rescheduled by the court, and you'll have to come back another day.
You should be sure to dress appropriately. Despite what you think about your arrest or the court, you need to show dignity and respect for the court. This will be your chance to have your case found in your favor, so you should show the court that you are taking the matter seriously. Dirty or torn clothing, or suggestive or vulgar attire will not be appreciated by the judge hearing your case. It can't hurt your case to show deference to the court. Address the judge as “Judge”, “Sir” or “Your Honor.”
Georgia Municipal Court DUI Defense Lawyer
Don't wait until the last minute to prepare for your court appearance. With so much at stake, you need to take it seriously so that you don't end up in jail, and without your driver's license. Contact the office of Lawson and Berry today, so we can discuss the consequences of a DUI for your criminal record, and what it may mean for your ability to keep your license.