What is DUI court in Georgia?

When facing DUI charges, there are a variety of potential outcomes. Drunk driving charges can carry stiff penalties including harsh jail sentences, significant fines and personal consequences associated with the accused individual's work and social life. It is because of this that criminal defense rights are so important and that it is essential to have a strong criminal defense strategy when facing drunk driving charges and to understand the range of options that may be available.

Georgia courts offer a DUI court program for a DUI charge. The program lasts 12 months and consists of three phases. Under judicial oversight, the program provides substance abuse training, along with education and vocational training. The program provides an alternative to incarceration for individuals who can contribute in their communities with some level of support. A group, including the DUI Court judge, DUI court team, defense attorney and others, makes decisions related to participation in the DUI court program.

It is important to complete the program and there can be consequences for failure to complete the requirements of the program. Understanding the charges, the potential consequences and all available options is important when preparing a criminal defense strategy. It may be possible to challenge the charges and evidence against the accused individual, pursue a reduction or elimination of charges or pursue other alternatives.

Whatever the circumstances, it is important for each individual accused of a crime, including drunk driving, to understand their criminal defense rights. It is also important to understand how to leverage these rights to protect the freedom and future of the accused individual.

Source: Gwinnett Courts, "Treatment Courts," Accessed Dec. 26, 2016

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