The DUI Process in Cobb County

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There is a standard procedure for each and every DUI case.  Most people do not have experience with the court system in the state, and this page lays out for you the steps that you could expect after being arrested and charged with DUI anywhere in Cobb County.  It is strongly advised that you contact a Cobb County DUI defense lawyer to guide you through the process and ensure that all the necessary legal actions are completed in a timely manner, as the legal machine moves very quickly in DUI cases.  At the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, the legal team can review and evaluate your situation and work out a defense strategy for your case.

Stopped by Law Enforcement

Law enforcement pulls you over due to some driving behavior that they suspect may be related to DUI.  This can include reckless driving, swerving, driving in and out of your lane, wide turns, speeding or other driving conduct that causes them to be suspicious.  At the stop, you will be asked for your driver's license and registration, which you must hand over.  Always be polite with law enforcement.  If they ask you “have you been drinking?” you are not required by law to answer that question.  You need to provide the documentation asked for.  You may then be asked to perform several “field sobriety tests” to determine if they think you are intoxicated.  You do not have to perform these tests by law.  You do have to take the blood or breath test, or you automatically have your driver's license suspended for 1 year.  If the law enforcement agent determines subjectively that you are driving drunk, you will be arrested and taken to the police station.

Booking

You will be fingerprinted, photographed and you may be tested for blood alcohol level at the station, either by breath test, blood test or, rarely, urine test.  You will then be put in a holding cell or released on your own recognizance.  As soon as you are “booked” is the correct time to contact a DUI defense attorney.  This is prior to discussing your case with anyone.

Arraignment

This is the formal hearing where you are charged and make your plea.  In serious DUI cases, your bail may be set at this hearing as well.  A trial date will be set for those that plead “not guilty”.  Those that plead “guilty” will be sentenced at this time.

Preliminary Hearings

Evidence and challenges to suppress evidence illegally gathered in the incident can be filed in court at a preliminary hearing.  A successful hearing can result in the charges being dismissed, or a plea bargain made with the prosecutor. You will be kept in the loop every step of the way, and the decisions are yours to make, with the counsel of your DUI defense lawyer.

The Trial

The trial comes very quickly.  It is usually within 30 days of the arrest.  At the trial, the prosecutor will call on the law enforcement officer that arrested you for evidence against you, and will also present the results of your test.  Any officers or other witnesses can be cross-examined by the DUI defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson.  As the firm is aware of how many errors could have occurred during the arrest, it is likely that the witnesses will be cross-examined regarding all aspects of the case.  Your case can be heard by a judge only (bench trial) or by a judge and a jury with six members.  This choice is made with you and your attorney, based on a variety of factors. 

The Sentence

If you are found not guilty, you will be free to go.  If you are found guilty, you will be sentenced.  Many individuals are found to be not guilty after the DUI defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson has presented evidence that raises “reasonable doubt” in the mind of the judge, or judge and jury.

Contact a Cobb County DUI defense attorney from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson today.

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