If you or a loved one are arrested for driving under the influence in Georgia, you may not know where to turn for help. The police, and even the court seem to treat you as a criminal, even if you're innocent. After you are arrested, you will usually have to go back to court to face the formal charges, and enter your plea of guilty or not guilty. Before you decide to plead guilty, you should know that you have rights, and can get a lawyer to fight on your behalf so your charges are dismissed or reduced.
Having a lawyer represent you in your DUI case can take a lot of the pain, confusion, and mystery out of the criminal court proceeding. In most cases, your lawyer will be able to go to court for you, so you don't have to show up at all, and can get back to your normal life. But if you decide to take your case to court by yourself, you need to take it very seriously, because some simple mistakes can leave you facing a suspended license, a warrant for your arrest, and possible jail time.
The first step you need to make in taking care of your DUI charges is simply showing up to court on the day of your hearing. Too many people fail to do this, either because they lose track of when the hearing is, can't take time off of work, or have an emergency. But failing to appear (FTA) does not just mean that your DUI charge won't be addressed, there are other consequences to an FTA.
If you miss your Atlanta DUI court date, it will lead the judge to issue a bench warrant for your arrest. That means that if you are stopped by police for any reason, even a seatbelt violation or talking on the phone while driving, you won't just get a ticket, but you'll be arrested, even if you're driving in a completely different city or county.
You'll also lose your driving privileges with an FTA. The Georgia Department of Driver Services will suspend your driver's license until you have your FTA resolved. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, you'll face additional misdemeanor charges in addition to being arrested for your bench warrant.
What Happens if You Miss Your Atlanta DUI Court Date?
There are lots of reasons why you may have missed your Atlanta DUI court date. You might have lost track of the paper indicating the court date, forgotten about it until it was too late, or simply too worried about what might happen that you intentionally didn't show up. In other cases, a real emergency might have come up with work, school or your kids, and you couldn't make it to court. Whatever the reason for missing court, don't just ignore it thinking it will go away. It won't go away, and the longer you wait, the more complicated it can be to get it taken care of.
Atlanta Criminal Court DUI Lawyer
Most people find the whole DUI criminal court process confusing, and sometimes overwhelming. It is important for you to be prepared for your Atlanta DUI court hearing, and that you remember to show up so you don't risk having a warrant for your arrest. As an experienced Atlanta DUI lawyer, I will represent you in court, and in any DDS hearings, to make sure you are treated fairly by the court and the state. Call me today, so we can fight the criminal charges against you, and make sure you keep a clean record.