You may not know it, but you can play a huge role in helping your lawyer get the best deal possible for you in your DUI case. Many people assume that in their criminal case, they are at the mercy of the lawyers on both sides, and that they just have to wait until they hear something about an offer or a court date. This is not so. You have lots of power to affect the outcome of your case by being proactive and taking steps to complete required or recommended conditions for folks facing a DUI charge. Taking charge of your case by taking the following steps shows the solicitor that you are proactive and cooperative, and illustrates to the judge that you are taking the charges seriously and you want to handle the case quickly and responsibly. So, what can you do?
- Think about enrolling in a DDS-certified DUI School or Risk Reduction Class. There are dozens of convenient locations all over the state to choose from. The class is 20 hours long, and it costs $260 to enroll in the course. Many locations allow the class to be taken virtually or on weekends, so you should be able to easily find a location and time that works with your schedule. Click the following link for more information on finding a Risk Reduction class near you. Make sure that you provide the Certificate of Completion to your defense attorney or to the solicitor at your court date to show them that you have already started taking steps to handle your case. https://online.dds.ga.gov/ddsgeorgiagov/locations/certified-dui-schools.aspx
- Take a Defensive Driving class. DDS requires those who have been convicted of DUI to take a 6-hour certified Defensive Driving Class, and completion of the class is oftentimes a condition to getting a solicitor to agree to reduce your DUI charge to reckless driving or another lesser charge. The class is 6 hours and costs $95. Even if you have not been charged with DUI, but you have lots of points on your license, taking this class can remove up to 7 points from your license and reduce the cost of a traffic fine by up to 20%. This class also provides participants who complete the course with a Certificate of Completion that you can provide to your attorney or the solicitor in Court. Click the following link to see schools in your area: https://online.dds.ga.gov/ddsgeorgiagov/locations/driver-improvement-schools.aspx
- Talk to a professional and have an alcohol and/or drug evaluation. If you have been charged with DUI in Georgia, solicitors often want to make sure that there is not an underlying substance abuse issue. Reach out to mental health professionals in your area and make an appointment with a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor. They will have you in to discuss your use of drugs and/or alcohol, and make a recommendation if they believe that, based on your discussions, you need treatment to address alcohol or drug use. Be honest with your counselor so that they can make the best treatment recommendation for you that they can. If you have been recommended treatment, go ahead and begin that recommended treatment. Taking that step to improve your relationship with drugs and/or alcohol can be empowering, and it shows the Court that you recognize that you may have an unhealthy habits, but that you are taking steps to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. We know several excellent professionals if you need any help getting started. Feel free to give us a call at the number below.
We attorneys work hard to make your experience smooth and efficient, but it may feel like your case is moving slowly, and distant court dates can hang over you and weigh you down. Checking one or two of the above items off of your list can help to expedite your case, ensure you get a better offer, and can empower you. You are as much a part of your case as the attorney, and we want you to be involved! We have access to resources and information to help you get through this. We want to help. If you have any questions, please contact our office at (404)-581-0999.