DUI Cases In Smyrna Municipal Court

DUI Cases In Smyrna Municipal Court

Smryna, Georgia is a city in south Cobb County that has approximately 55,000 residents.  Smyrna has seen significant growth recently with the redevelopment of a downtown.  This area has numerous new homes, shops, restaurants and watering holes.  With this increase in local nightlife has come an increase in police presence on Smyrna roadways especially at night and on the weekends.  The Smyrna Police Department (SPD) has a reputation for tough enforcement of traffic laws and especially DUIs. The SPD has 98 officer when it is fully staffed and has 2 officers assigned to the DUI Task Force.  In 2014, the SPD made a total of 515 arrests and the two DUI Task Force Officers made 287 of those cases. If you are arrested for DUI in the city limits of Smyrna, your case will start in the Municipal Court of Smyrna located at 2800 King Street, Smyrna, Georgia 30080.  Judge Alton Curtis is the Chief Judge in Smyrna and he has a reputation of being tough but fair.  You and you lawyers will have to decide whether or not to keep the case in Smyrna Municipal Court or “bind the case over” to the State Court of Cobb County in downtown Marietta, Georgia.  As a general rule, municipal courts in Georgia are only allowed to have “judge” or “bench trials”.  If an individual wishes to have a trial by jury, the case must be “bound over” to State Court (or Superior Court if a county does not have a state court).  The decision of where to handle your DUI case is an important one and should be made only...
Cobb County DUI Court

Cobb County DUI Court

Alternative Sentencing For DUI In Cobb County, Georgia Many individuals charged with DUI are not aware that Cobb County State Court offers an alternative sentencing program for individuals charged with DUI. When a driver is arrested in Cobb County for a misdemeanor involving a driving under the influence of alcohol offense or driving under the influence of drugs, he or she is randomly assigned to one of the Cobb County State Court judges. Although most Cobb County State Court judges are similar in the way they typically sentence DUI offenders, sometimes sentences can vary depending upon to which judge a defendant’s case is assigned. For this reason, it is important to hire a local Cobb County attorney who is very familiar with each judge’s reputation for sentencing individuals charged with DUI. Under certain circumstances, it may be preferable to apply for DUI Court, which is best suited to those individuals who have been convicted of prior DUI offenses. An individual’s election to participate in the program is voluntary, so one cannot be assigned to DUI court unless and until one applies for admission to it. Once admitted, an individual must complete the entire program which requires a 24-month commitment. This program emphasizes treatment rather than punishment or incarceration, offering counseling which focuses on drug and/or alcohol abuse. To be eligible for the program, applicants must: be charged with their 2nd DUI in ten years or 3rd or more in their lifetime; have sufficient charges to support a 24-month sentence (In other words, the defendant must be charged with at least two misdemeanor charges to which he will be pleading,...
Georgia DUI Ten Day Letter

Georgia DUI Ten Day Letter

If you are charged with DUI in Georgia, the arresting officer is required to fill out a form from the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services (“DDS”) called a DDS 1205 Form.  If the officer fills out this form, the arrested driver must request a hearing with DDS within 10 business days of his or her arrest.  It should be noted that the driver must also send a $150.00 payment along with the request following the procedures outlined in the form.  If the driver does not request a hearing within the deadline, the driver’s license will be suspended (the time depends on the circumstance of the case) pending the outcome of the criminal case.  The hearing on the DDS 1205 is commonly called an Administrative License Suspension Hearing or an ALS hearing for short.  If you are charged with a DUI by Cobb County PD, Marietta PD, Smyrna PD, Acworth PD, Austell PD, Kennesaw PD, KSU PD, SPSU PD or Powder Springs PD, the ALS hearing will be heard on a Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. in Marietta Municipal Court. Despite the fact that officers are “required” to fill out this form, sometimes they don’t do so for a number of different reasons.  One reason some officers don’t fill out and submit the form is if the arrested driver was cooperative and the officer wants to “cut him or her a break.”  Another reason is that the officer doesn’t want to have to attend an early court appearance for the ALS hearing when they have worked a late “morning watch” shift the night before the hearing.  Just because the officer...
Roadblocks in Georgia,  DUI and Drug Offenses

Roadblocks in Georgia, DUI and Drug Offenses

Most of us have driven up to a police “check points” or “roadblocks” where we have been stopped and questioned by an officer.  There are several different reasons given by law enforcement officials for these roadblocks.  For example, some roadblocks are described as “safety checks” where the officers are looking to see if the driver and his or her passengers are wearing seatbelts.  Other roadblocks are to check the validity of the individual’s driver’s license, proof of insurance and/or proof of vehicle registration.  Regardless of the stated purpose of the detention, a police roadblock is often a “net” that allows the police to “catch” many different types of criminals.  DUI drivers, drug traffickers, drivers of stolen vehicles, and fugitives with outstanding warrants are just some of the individuals that get nabbed. The United States Supreme Court and Georgia Courts have long upheld the validity of roadblocks as an effective crime fighting tool under certain circumstances.  The Courts have said that roadblocks that have as the primary purpose the detection of general criminal wrongdoing will not survive the scrutiny under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution but others that have certain specific reasons for establishing roadblocks will pass Constitutional muster.  Some of the Court approved legitimate purposes for roadblocks include:  driver’s license checks, vehicle registration checks, sobriety checks, and the interception of illegal aliens. Because the Courts do not like the police to stop motorists without some showing that they have committed a crime or at least a traffic violation, case law has set out certain guidelines the police must follow in order for a roadblock to be deemed...