DUI trials are not automatic. Not everyone charged with a DUI will see their case go to trial. In fact, many people bow their heads to plea bargains and accept the defeat of DUI conviction without mounting much of a fight. The decision to fight your charges in a formalized DUI trial is just that: a personal decision to take on the difficult and nerve-wracking features of a court trial in the hopes that you can successfully challenge the charges and get them dismissed. For anyone passionate about sparing their record from a stigmatizing DUI conviction, this is a critical and bold decision and should not to be taken lightly. By choosing to go to trial, you are choosing to take on the government to protect your name. But you are not going in unarmed. For those who take the initiative to hire a devoted, private defense attorney to combat their charges, their prospects of actually getting their charges dismissed or reduced at trial are substantially greater than those who go without a private attorney and opt for an overloaded public defender.
If you have consulted with your attorney and made the carefully considered decision to fight your charges at trial, here is what you need to know about preparing for your DUI trial in Roswell Alpharetta Georgia. The best thing to equip yourself with prior to trial is knowledge--knowledge about the process, knowledge of your rights, and an understanding of what is expected of you. Your Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney will be able to untangle and explain any areas that are foggy to you or generating some level of confusion. Do not hesitate to ask.
What is Expected of Me at a Roswell Alpharetta DUI Trial?
- Show up on time! This is critical, as it will be your first chance to make an impression on the judge in your case and convey a sense of responsibility and generally upstanding character. Unless otherwise indicated, your DUI trial will be heard at Roswell Municipal Court, Phone: 770-641-3790, Fax: 770-641-3798. Open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 38 Hill Street, Suite 210, Roswell, GA, 30075. You may even want to show up early to safeguard against traffic or any other delays that might make you late to court. Punctuality is a simple yet very important feature of what is expected of you.
- Dress the part. Presentation is incredibly important. You do not want to show up in court in open-toed shoes, hats, low rise and/or sagging pants, or anything ripped. How you present yourself before the judge is another easy way to communicate that you are taking the charges and the court process at large very seriously. The judge is inclined to view you unfavorably if they think you are taking the whole thing lightly. Showing up in flip-flops with a Starbucks drink in hand is an easy way to say, "I'm not taking this seriously and neither should you."
- Address the judge in a respectful, clear manner. Speak concisely and audibly. Rise when they enter the room and only return to a sitting position when it has been indicated that it's alright to do so. Do not interrupt the judge to make a statement or ask a question; wait until they're done speaking.
- Address the judge only as "Your Honor." Provide him or her with your undivided attention, and thank them for giving you theirs. Stand up straight. Do not use derogatory or irreverent language.
- Keep your cell phone and other electronic devices out of the courtroom. Even if silenced, you don't want the embarrassment of a repetitive buzzing on the table while you are addressing the judge. Like food, drinks, and gum, your electronic devices don't belong in the courtroom. This is another way to communicate respect for the judge and the court process.
What Happens Before a DUI Trial in Roswell Alpharetta?
Before trial, your attorney will spend time gathering evidence in your case and reviewing the elements of the state's case against you. To some small extent, you will take part in this process if only to clarify any questions your attorney may have for you about the arrest, your record, and your case. There is not usually a great degree of rush, since the court process is a relatively slow-moving machine. It is not uncommon for months to pass while you are waiting for your DUI to go to trial. This window of time is used to gather witness statements and generally build the defense that will be presented in court.
You and your attorney will decide together whether or not you should testify at your DUI trial in Roswell Alpharetta. Because you have the right to remain silent, you do not under any circumstances have to testify in your case. For many people, the prospect of testifying is nerve-wrenching and they staunchly want to avoid taking the stand. These people are able to fight their charges by allowing their attorney to find holes in the prosecution's arguments. Their testimony is not needed to pull this off. If your attorney fervently and wholeheartedly believes that you could offer testimony that could help your own case, they may see if you are comfortable with giving your own testimony at trial, although it is ultimately your decision.
Another facet of trial preparation is the determination of what evidence will be used and what evidence will be excluded in your trial. Photographs, witness statements, and medical records are all examples that your defense attorney may present in court. This factors into the creation of your unique defense. Every case is different and so is every defense. Some cases warrant an "involuntary intoxication" defense. Some cases are better suited to the argument that an officer infringed on your rights and the case should categorically be thrown out.
DUI trials usually take about two days. There may not be a specific set day for your trial because there are so many factors to consider, such as the availability of jurors. Bear in mind that you may be called in for your DUI trial at any time.
Roswell Alpharetta DUI Attorney
You cannot step through the doors of the courthouse without a skilled legal representative by your side. If you are considering a trial to combat your Roswell Alpharetta DUI charges, your first step is contacting a Roswell Alpharetta DUI attorney.