If you have been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Georgia, you face serious criminal penalties, including possible jail time and high fines. Certain counties, such as Gwinnett County, have DUI courts that allow for treatment rather than or in addition to the other criminal penalties.
Knowing not only what a DUI court is but how to be admitted into the Gwinnett County DUI court can be an important part in reducing or even dismissing your criminal charges. An experienced Gwinnett County DUI attorney can represent you to defend your case.
What is DUI Court?
A DUI court is a treatment program typically intended for repeat DUI offenders. It is a very strict program in which you must follow very specific guidelines. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in additional criminal penalties and the loss of any negotiated agreements made between your DUI attorney and the prosecutor.
Before entering into a DUI court, you should be sure you are serious about sticking to the rules. You could face additional jail time and fines, as well as longer probation supervision for failure to stick to the rules.
Gwinnett County DUI Court
The Gwinnett County DUI Court is a 3 phase intervention program. It lasts for a minimum of 12 months, but the ultimate time depends on your ability to successfully complete the program.
The program provides you:
- Education about drugs and alcohol addiction,
- Treatment for any alleged addiction,
- A possible alternative to jail time,
- Possible dismissal or reduction of your charges.
Just because you complete a DUI court, it does not mean the court is required to dismiss your charges. You should know what the prosecutor intends before agreeing to enter into such a strict program. Consult with your DUI defense attorney before making such an important choice.
Members of the DUI Court Team
In Gwinnett County, the members of the DUI court team include:
- Your defense attorney
- Georgia prosecutor
- DUI court coordinator and case manager
- Treatment provider, and
- Probation services.
These team members check on your progress and ensure you follow the strict guidelines. These guidelines are very strict, and often do little to reflect real-life issues like employment and family obligations. Being late to a single meeting or treatment session can result in your dismissal from the program.
Consult with your attorney for help with any possible issues before they happen when possible, and quickly after if something happens outside of your control. Your attorney may be able to explain your situation to the court to prevent your termination from the program.
Fourth Amendment Waiver
If you enter into DUI court, you are required to waive your fourth amendment rights regarding the search. All participants are subject to a search of their workplace, home, body, blood, or urine at any time without a warrant or probable cause. If you are found with drugs or alcohol, you will face serious penalties.
Waiver of your right to search is a serious thing to consider. It should not be done without knowledgeable legal counsel at your side.
If you fail to follow the guidelines, some of the sanctions which could be imposed include:
- Admonition from the Judge;
- Increased frequency of meetings, status hearings, or drug testing;
- Termination from the program; or
- New felony or misdemeanor offenses.
Consult a DUI Defense Attorney
Whether DUI court is right for you is best determined between you and a DUI attorney who knows the specific requirements of the program along with the unique circumstances of your life.