Question: I have to go to court in Dunwoody, Georgia, for a DUI, speeding and a failure to maintain lane. If I want to have a jury trial can I do it in that court?
The reason I'm asking is that I think I might want to plead not guilty to buy some time because I'm in the final interviews for a job that I really want to get. I'm a computer security consultant and I want to get this job before I possibly get the DUI.
I only got the DUI because I fell asleep in the drive-thru of a McDonald's and someone called the cops. I was coming home from a night out with some friends from Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. I dropped everyone off and I went to catch a burger and fries. But I just went to sleep in the drive-thru and very quickly a cop was knocking on my window.
I admitted that I had a couple of drinks and the Dunwoody cop saw marijuana in my car. I told him it belonged to a friend of mine and he didn't believe me. I took all those tests they give you and I took a breath test at the jail. I blew a .137.
If I want a trial, can I have it in the Dunwoody Municipal Court? I live very close to court.
G.A. in Dunwoody, GA
Answer: Jury trials are not available in the Dunwoody Municipal Court. Municipal courts in Georgia do not have the power to conduct jury trials. If you want a jury trial, you can request that your case be "bound-over" to the DeKalb County State Court, because Dunwoody is a city in DeKalb County. Jury trials are available in state courts.
In Georgia, not all courts are empowered to have jury trials. State courts and superior courts are given the power to hold jury trials. State courts can hold trials for misdemeanors; superior courts handle felony trials. But municipal courts (city courts), probate courts and magistrate courts have not been given the power to hold jury trials.
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