If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in Georgia, you face both jail time and the possibility of high fines. In certain counties, like Cherokee County, DUI courts exist. They offer the alternative of treatment rather than or in addition to jail or fines. Utilizing a DUI court can help protect your rights.
DUI courts have very specific guidelines and rules that you must follow, but they can be an important part of reducing or even dismissing your criminal charges. To understand how to get into the DUI court, an experienced Cherokee County DUI attorney can represent you and guide you through the entire DUI defense process.
DUI Court: What is it?
A DUI court is a specialized program that offers treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol. While it is typically intended for repeat DUI offenders, there may be exceptions.
DUI courts are governed by very specific and strict guidelines you must follow to the letter. If you fail to follow the guidelines imposed by the program, you could face:
- Expulsion from the program;
- Additional criminal penalties;
- Loss of any negotiated agreements between the Georgia prosecutor and your defense attorney.
DUI courts provide an incredible opportunity to avoid the possibility of more severe penalties. However, before you agree to enter into a DUI court, you should consider whether you are serious about following all of the rules. Breaking a rule could increase your jail time, fines, and/or probation.
DUI Court in Cherokee County
The Cherokee County DUI court consists of different phases and takes a minimum of 14 months to complete. It provides:
- Vocational components,
- Educational components,
- Spiritual components, and
- Substance abuse treatment.
It is important to note that successful completion of the program does not necessarily mean your charges will be fully dismissed. Make sure you know what the prosecutor intends to do with your case before you agree to enter into the program. Your Cherokee County DUI defense attorney can help you make the decision that is right for you.
Who is on the Drug Court Team?
The Cherokee DUI Court team consists of:
- The Judge,
- The Solicitor's office,
- Law Enforcement,
- DUI/Drug Court Office,
- Treatment Provider Representatives,
- Defense attorney.
Phases of DUI Court
There are 4 distinct phases in Cherokee County's DUI Court.
- Phase 1: This phase provides alternatives to criminal and addictive thinking and basic drug education with drug and alcohol screens.
- Phase 2: This is a transitional phase that allows program participants to put their plan into action.
- Phase 3: This phase reduces the amount of times the participant is seen by the treatment team and court.
- Phase 4: Called the "aftercare" phase, in this phase the participant is not required to attend groups as often, but random urine drug screens and breathalyzers continue.
If you successfully complete the program, you are eligible for graduation.
Consult a Cherokee County DUI Attorney
If you have been arrested for DUI in Georgia, you have rights that should be protected. Remember, just because you are charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty of it -- or will be found guilty of it.
With the help of an experienced Cherokee County DUI attorney, you can fight your criminal charges. Contact us today.