Discovery Process for a DUI in Alpharetta
Discovery is the process in which the State of Georgia and the Defendant exchange information as a way to determine what evidence may be used in a criminal prosecution. If someone is accused of a crime, they have a right to certain types of information, such as the results of a scientific test or a witness list.
To learn more about the discovery process for a DUI in Alpharetta, you would benefit from a consultation with one of our attorneys at Hawkins Spizman. To get started, schedule a consultation today.
How Does Law Enforcement Partake in the Discovery Process?
Discovery occurs at the early stages of the case. Everything collected as evidence is required to be disclosed during the discovery process, depending on which specific pieces of evidence either party requests. A Demand for Discovery is filed with the court, notifying the opposite party that they are requesting access to the evidence gathered. As with every jurisdiction, a Defendant must file specific documents requesting particular pieces of evidence during discovery. If they submit those filings, the State of Georgia (through the prosecutor’s office) is legally obligated to provide the requested items, and there is often a deadline set by which they must comply. A judge may administer a scheduling order or issue their own discovery deadline in order to keep the case moving.
What is a Subpoena?
A subpoena is an official court order that requires an individual to appear in court at a specific time and provide testimony or evidence. Witnesses and documents can be subpoenaed, or an individual can be subpoenaed to appear and produce documents in court. Subpoenas are one method that attorneys utilize to obtain information regarding their case, so long as they adhere to certain rules, such as personally serving an individual with a subpoena. Since it is difficult for individuals without an attorney to obtain a subpoena, it is wise and recommended to hire an attorney to handle such legal matters.
Discovery Process in Misdemeanor vs. Felony Cases
In misdemeanor cases, discovery is not reciprocal, meaning that the State must provide the Defendant with everything that they have, but the Defendant does not have to give anything to the State other than a few basic pieces of information.
In a felony case, discovery is reciprocal. That means that the Defendant is required to turn over the same evidence as the State; for example, any scientific reports or experts witnesses must be disclosed by both sides in advance of trial. It is the opportunity to discover what evidence is available, and the process can be extensive depending on the particulars of the case and the types of charges that the individual is facing.
Call Today for Professional Legal Insight
DUI cases handled in the Alpharetta Municipal Court are considered misdemeanors, so the misdemeanor discovery rules apply. If there is a felony charge in addition to the DUI (drugs, a serious injury or fatality), that case will be sent downtown to the Fulton County Superior Court. The discovery process in DUI cases in Alpharetta allows the Defendant to gain knowledge regarding the evidence the prosecution has on them. However, it is not enough to just know about the evidence, A person charged with this offense should work with an attorney to fully take advantage of the discovery process.
To get started on discussing your case, get in touch with a professional attorney at Hawkins Spizman today.