drinking beer while driving

Whether you’re innocent of the charges you’re facing or made a mistake, you have rights as a citizen to ensure you are tried fairly during the criminal process. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia, you may not know how your case will proceed. It’s important to understand that you have the right to a jury trial if you prefer. Keep reading to discover more about the court process as a criminal defendant and learn how a Cobb County DUI lawyer can assist you through these complex legal matters.

What Is a Jury Trial?

When you face criminal charges, the United States Constitution guarantees your right to be tried by a jury of your peers. Generally, this consists of twelve people who live in your county who will hear the details of your case. They will take the information provided by the defendant, who is the accused, and the prosecution to determine the outcome. The jury will discuss the evidence and issue a verdict, deeming you guilty or not guilty. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will issue a sentence, which is the penalty for the offense.

DUI penalties in Georgia will range based on a number of factors, like whether or not you’ve been charged with a DUI before. Generally, a DUI will entail a license suspension, jail time, and hefty fines.

However, there is another option. Some opt for a bench trial, in which the judge is the only person who decides the outcome. This means there is no jury – instead, each side will present their case to the judge who issues a verdict. Generally, most defendants prefer a jury trial, as your fate will not rest in the hands of just one person.

What Option Is Best for My Circumstances?

When facing a DUI, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this charge comes with a number of serious penalties that can influence the rest of your life. As such, hiring competent legal representation is essential to give you the best chance at beating these charges.

Before deciding on whether you want a bench or jury trial, you must consult with your attorney. They have the details of your case, which is necessary to determine which option is best for your specific circumstances.

At the Miller Law Practice, we believe everyone has the right to competent legal representation. As such, we’re dedicated to helping you during this challenging time. If you or a loved one are facing a DUI charge, it’s essential to understand your rights to a jury trial. Contact our dedicated legal team today to learn how we can assist you through these often confusing and challenging times.