A DUI charge in Atlanta can be a daunting process. It can take almost a year in some cases to finally get your day in court. Most of the time the Atlanta Municipal Court System has so many dockets, that it’s hard even for them to keep up.
An arraignment is the start of the criminal prosecution in your DUI case or any other criminal case. Many times, such as in cases in Atlanta Municipal Court, the arraignment is literally only a couple of days after a person’s DUI arrest. Most of the time, it is scheduled for several weeks later.
The reason arraignment is so important has to do with the filing of motions. Motions are both substantive and procedural. The procedural motions include the plea of not guilty, and the discovery motions filed. Again, discovery motions are the means in which the defense compels the production of evidence, scientific reports and witness statements. Failure to file the correct motions can result in the defense waiving their right to see the evidence in the case.
The substantive motions are even more important. In a DUI case, the entire defense can come down to filing and arguing the correct motions. Many people have cases that appear un-defendable at first glance. The person may have tested above .08 on a breath-test, or they may appear impaired on a video. But if the police officer did not follow all of the correct procedures in the case, some or all of that evidence may be suppressed. With a successful motion to suppress, the prosecutor will have less evidence that be used in the case against you. That is why the filing and arguing of substantive motions can make the entire difference in the case.
Why did my Lawyer WAIVE the Arraignment?
Many people express concern when we tell them that we plan to “waive arraignment.” The term “waiving arraignment” is misleading because it has nothing to do with waiving the right outlined above. It simply means that instead of appearing in person, your lawyer will file all of the correct motions prior to the actual court date. Additionally, your attorney will file a plea of “not guilty” in writing. So, in effect your arraignment occurs without your actual appearance.
Why do I need to have a Lawyer at an Arraignment?
At an arraignment, your Atlanta DUI Lawyer will enter an initial plea. The initial plea, no matter how you ultimately decide to resolve your case, will be a plea of not guilty. The initial plea of not guilty, accompanied by the filing of appropriate discovery motions, will allow your Atlanta DUI Attorney to get access to the incident report, arrest videos, toxicology reports, Brady Material (exculpatory evidence), scientific reports, witness statements, and all other evidence related to your case.
If you or someone you know has been arrested on a DUI charge in Atlanta, and has an Arraignment in the Atlanta Municipal Court coming up, you are going to need an Attorney. Don’t go at it ALONE. Contact the Howard Law Group ASAP so we can be there to represent you.