If you’re facing a DUI charge in Georgia, you’re probably experiencing an avalanche of feelings. Fear, nervousness, and anger are but a few of the emotions typically experienced by defendants in DUI cases. A big part of the reason for this is lack of knowledge about the DUI process and how to approach it. Without a good understanding of the DUI process, it can be difficult to know what to expect, and this can be a great source of anxiety. In order to help you alleviate some of this anxiety, we’ve compiled an overview of how to approach the first step in the DUI process, your first court appearance. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact our Georgia DUI attorneys.
If you don’t already have one, let the judge know you want an attorney
While we suggest that you hire an attorney as soon as you can following a DUI arrest, if you don’t have one at the time of your first court appearance, let the judge know that you want one. Specifically, you should inform the judge that you need time to go out and hire a lawyer. Usually, the judge will be flexible at your first appearance and allow you time to find an attorney.
Don’t waive your right to a jury trial
Next, be sure not to waive your right to a jury trial. Many DUI suspects are intimidated by the prospect of a jury trial, so they sign away this right at their first appearance. Don’t make this mistake. Before you sign away any of your rights, you need to consult with a DUI attorney.
While in court, be patient. The process can be long and slow, so be prepared for this. Also, no matter what the prosecutor says about you in court, keep your cool. One of the worst things you can do is draw attention to yourself in court by becoming irate. Stay professional and courteous at all times.
While you don’t necessarily have to wear a suit to court, you should at least make an attempt to look presentable. By showing up to court looking sloppy, you give the judge and prosecutor the impression that you aren’t taking your charges seriously.
Hire a DUI attorney
By hiring a Georgia DUI attorney following your DUI arrest, you can rest assured that you have someone on your side who will not only prepare you for your first court appearance but will walk you through the entire criminal justice process while fiercely advocating for your innocence. At Carter Pilgrim, we specialize in DUI law and have an impressive track record of DUI defense success. While we are well known for our courtroom success, we also have a track record of obtaining favorable plea bargains and dismissals with our strong negotiation tactics. If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Georgia, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.