Can I have a jury trial for my DUI in the Sandy Springs Municipal Court?

Posted by William H. Sherman on Mar 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

Question:  I got a DUI in Sandy Springs and I think I want to have a trial in Sandy Springs. The cop said I was speeding and he clocked me at something like 40 miles per hour over the speed limit and that's why he stopped me. I admit I was speeding but I don't think it was quite that fast. I speed, but not like that and not that much. I only have like 4 speeding tickets in the past 10 years, which isn't bad because I drive a lot.

This is my first DUI since I got one in college in Athens, Georgia, and that was almost 10 years ago when I was in graduate school at UGA. So I'm not a menace to society or anything like that. So I'm thinking that maybe I should have a DUI trial, but I'm not totally sure.

I work in Johns Creek and I live in Alpharetta so Sandy springs is convenient for me and I certainly don't want to go to Atlanta, that doesn't make much sense to me. Atlanta has too much traffic. So I'd definitely like to explore a trial with your DUI firm because I heard you guys are really great DUI attorneys. But I'll take your advice; I mean you're the experts.

I had a few drinks at a bar on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs, but not too many. I had a couple of beers then I got a few free shots because the bartender used to date my sister.

So let me know if I should do a jury trial in Sandy Springs because it's really convenient to my home and my office and I don't want to miss work or waste time.

P.E. in Alpharetta, Georgia

Answer:  A person charged with a DUI in Georgia can elect to have a trial. They can have either a jury trial or a “bench trial,” which is a trial in front of a judge. With a jury trial, a jury determines guilt or innocence. With a bench trial, guilt or innocence is determined solely by a judge.

You cannot have a jury trial in Sandy Springs. Sandy Springs has a municipal court, and jury trials are not available in municipal courts. Jury trials are only available to a defendant in state court or superior court.

In your case, you can elect to have a jury trial, and that trial would be held at the Fulton County State Court in Atlanta. To have a jury trial, you would have to “bind-over” your case from the Sandy Springs Municipal Court to the Fulton County State Court.

The vast majority of DUI cases, however, do not involve jury trials. Most DUI cases end with a negotiated outcome, known as a “plea.” Most DUI defendants elect to save time and money and enter a plea negotiated between their DUI lawyer and the prosecutor.

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About the Author

William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.


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