If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you have the right to a jury trial. However, you must waive your right to a jury trial in writing before your case can be resolved in a municipal, probate or records court.
The statute governing DUI waiver of jury trial in Georgia is § 40-13-23 titled, “Waiver of Jury Trial; Withdrawal of Waiver.”
- This statute states that no court defined in Article 2 of Chapter 13 of Title 40 of the Georgia Code shall have the power to dispose of traffic misdemeanor cases as provided in the article unless the defendant shall first waive in writing a trial by jury.
- If you want a jury trial, you must notify the court and, if reasonable cause exists, you will be immediately bound over to the court in the county having jurisdiction to try the offense, wherein a jury may be impaneled.
- If you have posted a bond, the bond will be transferred to the court assuming jurisdiction, and you will not be required to post a new bond.
- You cannot withdraw your waiver of a jury trial if you have waived it for the purpose of delay. However, you may be able to withdraw your waiver with the approval of the court.
- You cannot withdraw your waiver after the commencement of the trial or the filing of motions on behalf of the defendant, whichever comes first.
If you are facing DUI charges in Georgia, it is important to speak with an experienced DUI attorney to discuss your rights and options. An attorney can help you understand the waiver of jury trial process and advise you on whether or not a jury trial is in your best interest.
Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to waive your right to a jury trial:
- If you bind over your case from Municipal, Probate or Recorders Court, your case starts over with arraignments, motions, calendar call and then trial by judge or Jury. It does not go straight to a jury trial in State or Superior Court.
- The cost of a jury trial is typically higher than a bench trial but the chances of a not guilty verdict is more likely, typically, with a jury trial.
- No new bond can be required if you bind your case over to State or Superior Court for a jury trial.
- Jury trials can take longer than bench trials.
- If you are found guilty at a judge trial, jury trial, or after a guilty plea, you will have a criminal record.
- In most cases the difference between a plea, judge only trial and a jury trial is only more jail time after a jury trial. All the other conditions, fines and probation period are generally the same.
- If you are considering waiving your right to a jury trial, it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully of binding your case over for a jury trial. An experienced DUI attorney can help you make the best decision for your case.
Contact a DUI Attorney Today
If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you should contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options and protect your interests in court.
George C. Creal, Jr. P.C., Trial lawyers is a DUI law firm with over 60 years of combined trial experience. We have handled thousands of DUI cases, and we know the ins and outs of the system. We are also familiar with the latest developments in DUI law, and we are always up-to-date on the latest rulings from the courts.
If you have been arrested for DUI, we urge you to contact our firm for a consultation. We will be happy to discuss your case with you and answer any questions you may have. We will also help you to understand your legal rights and options. We are confident that I can help you to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.