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By: Cory Yager and Larry Kohn Criminal Defense Lawyers for City of Atlanta Municipal Court and William C. Head, Board-Certified DUI Attorney legal book author on Georgia DUI laws
Below, our three award-winning traffic attorneys answer twelve (12) FAQs (frequently asked questions) that a car accident attorney from our DUI law firm in Atlanta GA is routinely asked, via phone calls or in-person DUI lawyer consultations.
To summarize what will be discussed below concerning the way the Atlanta Municipal Court operates, the following list of topics covers what follows on this page for City Court of Atlanta, arrests on DUI offenses, or a serious traffic ticket arrest (like hit-and-run Georgia) or the motorist being cited and released and given a court date (arraignment). Driving while intoxicated cases are our #1 category, but we fight EVERY type of traffic violation for any drivers, in the state of Georgia or for out-of-state licensees.
Going to the Atlanta Municipal Courthouse at 150 Garnett Street, Atlanta GA 30303 is nerve-wracking for many. Uncertainty, fear, concern about screwing something up and possibly being suspended from driving are the concerns most frequently voiced to our lawyers in Atlanta.
These twelve commonly asked questions of our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys may be what you need to know more about:
Unless these 4 things are of no consequence to you (now or in the future), the answer is NO:
►higher car insurance rates
►traveling abroad to places like Canada
►points on your driver license record
Possibly, if you miss your court date. Plus, for failure to appear (FTA) the trial judge can send a notice to Georgia DDS to suspend your driver’s license for failure to appear.
Your case will then have an FTA status. This can result in an arrest warrant (bench warrant) being issued, and any law enforcement officer can see this “failure to appear” warrant on your driving history. Occasionally, the Atlanta city council launches an amnesty program for FTA tickets. Judge Christopher Portis in the Chief Judge now, but this job has rotated from Judge Ward, Judge Sloan, Judge Graves and Judge Gaines.
Our traffic attorneys resolve many types of traffic tickets without the client being present. For a serious traffic offense, as stated on the back of your traffic citation, this is a “must appear” case.
So, our Atlanta lawyers can cover all aspects of such cases without you EXCEPT a final plea. Plus, if you opt for a jury trial, if our Atlanta attorneys are not able to get your DUI reduced in Municipal Court of Atlanta, Atlanta GA you NEVER have to go to the Court in Atlanta.
Going to court for a speeding ticket is a huge pain in the derriere, and costs people time and money from work. For out-of-state drivers, coming back to Georgia could costs thousands of dollars. Go to atlantaga.gov if you don’t want to fight a ticket.
Because all traffic tickets in GA are misdemeanor offenses, with proof that you qualify for an appointed legal counsel, the answer is yes. Each Atlanta Municipal courtroom has a traffic ticket lawyer paid by the City of Atlanta that handles public defender cases. You must pay an “application fee” of $50 to see if you qualify.
This free lawyer is not usually a private traffic ticket attorney, who gets appointed to assist with Atlanta traffic ticket cases. The Atlanta traffic court has full-time public defenders. Plus, very few appointed Atlanta attorneys handle speeding cases, but will commonly get appointed for a DUI case or similar serious driving offense.
No. This Court is a non-jury court. If you ask for a trial, you must also sign a waiver of jury trial, to knowingly give up your right to a jury. Then, the Judge alone decides your case. Never make this choice without consulting an Atlanta criminal defense attorney.
You may try to pay fines online, and it won’t work. This inability to pay online can be because the category of a traffic ticket is a serious offense, or that the City of Atlanta computers are malfunctioning. Plus, pleading guilty for SOME people (e.g., those licensed in states like SC, or underage drivers) can be a disaster for license suspensions or costly points being added to your records.
Paying fines online for minor offenses may be alright, but when entering a special plea, you need to go to Court and have the Judge accept it and note the disposition. You can call to ask some questions at 404 658-6940. Have your citation number (or numbers) handy.
Sloppy dress communicates a message to the Judge, and that message is NOT good. Dress the same way for court as you would if you’re applying for an important job. Shorts and t-shirts with offensive logos or prints can get you sent OUT of court, and you are required to come back when properly dressed.
The rule here is DON’T send a letter to your judge. Any Atlanta criminal defense attorney will tell you that this is “ex parte communication” (one-party communication) and is prohibited.
The Prosecutor must be involved in communications by the accused citizen, and you cannot bypass the Rules of Court. When in court, you should respectfully address the Judge as “your honor,” and say “Yes, sir” (or “Yes, ma’am.”) This behavior is appropriate court etiquette.
Yes, but this process not easy at the Atlanta Municipal Court. Even attorneys who need a reset of a client’s court date must trudge down to court BEFORE the court date just to get the court date rescheduled. Because the decision to allow rescheduling or not only occurs on the DAY you were supposed to be in court, how can you be comfortable that it will be approved?
Commonly, our Atlanta DUI lawyers at our DUI law firm will get calls asking, “How many points for speeding?” or “How long do points stay on your license?” In your FREE lawyer consultation, our attorneys in Atlanta try to guide the person through how he or she can look up their driving history, for existing points on your driving record at Georgia DDS.
If hired, the job of your legal advocate from our law office is to eliminate or minimize any potential points suspension or other harsh penalties from being a repeat offender. Our lawyers in Atlanta are in court on some client’s DDS Georgia license suspension or license revocation every week of the year, except during holidays, when the Georgia Department of Driver Services (GA DDS) shuts down.
Our traffic ticket lawyers can prevent YOU going to court for a ticket at 150 Garnett St. Call an attorney in Atlanta who is a skilled traffic ticket lawyer. You can speak directly with Bubba Head, Larry Kohn, or Cory Yager at our office (404-567-5515) to discuss how to avoid this costly inconvenience or ask a traffic lawyer with our law office how to appear in traffic court without a traffic ticket lawyer.
One of our specialists and a DUI attorney Atlanta can help guide your path. The initial call to DUI attorneys near me is FREE, so why not ask for our FREE legal advice? You won’t find another Atlanta DUI law firm that provides you with MORE drunk driving information, or with better credentials or that has more experience at winning a DUI in Georgia.
For information on other Atlanta metro Municipal Courts within a 20-mile radius, click below:
Roswell GA DUI Lawyer for Municipal Court
DUI Lawyer for Sandy Springs Municipal Court
DUI Attorney Marietta GA (Cobb County)
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