Those arrested by the City of Atlanta Police Department and the State Patrol Night Hawks DUI Task Force unit will have their first court appearance in The Municipal Court of Atlanta. Your first court appearance is often within days of your arrest. These court appearances are mandatory. However, the judges are very generous with granting continuances for the purpose of hiring a lawyer.
The Municipal Court of Atlanta DUI Court is an ever-evolving machine, and it is critically important for your lawyer to stay updated on every new development because the developments can affect the outcome of your case. The judges and prosecutors must constantly make adjustments to court procedures due to budget uncertainties. Your lawyer must monitor these developments to ensure that your case is not negatively affected by these changes.
No DUI jury trials occur in the Municipal Court of Atlanta. The municipal court only has jurisdiction to handle bench trials (judge trials). If you demand a jury trial, your case will be sent to the State Court of Fulton County. There are strategic reasons for keeping your case in the municipal court and strategic reasons for “binding your case over” to the State Court of Fulton County. Generally, cases with technical challenges are kept in the municipal court while cases involving factual disputes will be sent to the State Court of Fulton County.
The Ryczek Firm lawyers will assist you in deciding whether to keep you case in municipal court or to send it to state court after thoroughly investigating the facts and legal issues in your case.