The DUI Process in Gwinett County

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Have you been charged with DUI in Gwinnett County?

There is a predictable sequence that occurs in any case after a DUI arrest. One should have legal representation from a Gwinnett County DUI lawyer to help you through the process. The firm has years of accumulated experience and resources from dealing exclusively with DUI. The legal team is in a powerful position to assist you in any DUI case. The sequence normally goes through the following steps:

The Stop

You will be stopped by law enforcement if they have reason to believe you may be driving while impaired.  Signs of impaired driving can include weaving, speeding or reckless driving. You may also be stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. You may be asked to perform field sobriety tests and the officer will look for the smell of alcohol, the presence of alcohol containers in the car or other indicators.

The Arrest Procedure

If the determination is made that you are driving under the influence, you will be placed under arrest and taken to the police station. Booking follows with additional tests for alcohol or drugs by blood, urine, or breath tests.  You can be charged if your driving was considered to be impaired even if you test at .08% or under.

The Arraignment - First Formal Hearing

The formal charge in front of a judge is called the arraignment. This usually occurs the day after the arrest. You make your plea.  Your attorney can speak on your behalf at this hearing.

Preliminary Motion Hearings

At this hearing, your defense counsel has the opportunity to present any existing evidence that your rights were violated at the time of arrest.  The police may have been incorrect in stopping you in the first place or they may have conducted an illegal search and seizure. In some instances, presenting such motions may result in the charges being dropped.

The Trial

There are two options for trial in the state of Georgia. There can be a trial where the judge acts as both judge and jury, also called a “bench trial”, or there can be a trial of 6 jurors. Your attorney will discuss with you what evidence there may be to present, and whether it is best presented to a judge or a jury. Your DUI defense attorney from the Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson will converse with you and decide the best strategy for your trial, including whether or not you should accept a plea bargain.

Conviction for DUI at trial occurs when guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt. Any statements you have made in the case can be used at trial against you, which is why it is so important to have an attorney before you say anything when you have been arrested.  After the evidence and witnesses have been heard in court, you are found guilty or not guilty. The judge then pronounces sentence. You may appeal any guilty verdict.

Contact a Gwinnett County DUI attorney from the firm today for a no-cost initial case evaluation!

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