Shane Smith Attorney from Law Offices of Shane Smith Covers Criminal DUI Proceedings
Unfortunately, virtually every single day people throughout Georgia are arrested based on evidence that accuses them of driving intoxicated. While a personal injury claim to recover for damages sustained from a Gwinnett County DUI auto accident is taken care of by your Georgia PI attorney, a criminal case is taken care of by government officials to determine the accused’s guilt or innocence.
Step # 1 Arraignment
During your arraignment you are formally charged with driving under the influence. Through a public and formal hearing, you are presented before a judge, with your lawyer, and you will be read your charges. With the opportunity to speak with your lawyer before, during and after the arraignment hearing, you will have a chance to hear and understand your charges and enter in a plea for the charges you are facing.
Step # 2 Pre-trial Procedures
If you are a first-time offender, you may be able to please guilty to lesser charges and fulfill your legal obligations through one or more of the following actions:
- Pay a fine
- Perform community service
- Take alcohol education classes
- Take driving education classes
- Surrender your license for an agreed to amount of time
However, if you are a repeat offender, you may or may not be able to plead guilty to lesser charges. Manadatory jail time and/or alcohol rehabilitation may be necessary in order to fulfill criminal obligations. Repeat offenders often must complete one or more actions discussed above.
Step # 3 Trial
If you wish to challenge your criminal charges, a trial is available to every person accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. Criminal court proceedings will enable the government to present evidence in support of their charges. The defendant is entitled to refute the government’s evidence and present its own evidence in defense of the accused person. After deliberation and challenges of evidence from both sides, a verdict will be reach from a jury or a judge. Depending on the outcome, jail-time, fines, license revocation, community service will be recommended by a jury or a judge or the charges will not be agreed to by the jury or judge.
Drivers in Georgia accused of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol have a constitutional right to a fair and speed trial. For those found guilty of driving under the influence, victims in Georgia may have a civil case, able to be filed with the help of a Gwinnett County DUI accident attorney or a Georgia PI attorney. If the criminal can be proved to be the at-fault party that has caused the victim physical and emotional damages, substantiated through medical records and lost wage records, the guilty party may also owe civil damages in addition to the criminal penalties. The only way to determine if you have a civil case against at-fault drunk drivers is to speak with a Gwinnett County PI attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith by calling (770) 487-8999.