I was given a citation in Walton County GA for violating GA Code 40-8-31. I need to know if I have the right to request a jury trial since this is a State law?
DUI / DWI Attorney
Yes, you have the right to request a jury trial, but for several reasons you should consider carefully if you want to do this:
1. In some municipal courts in Walton County (specifically Monroe and Loganville), if you request a jury trial the judge will have you taken into custody and make you post a bond on the charge (if you were only written a citation instead of arrested initially).
2. The DA's office prosecutes cases where a jury trial has been requested, and the DA's office in Walton is generally not considered friendly or easy to deal with.
3. The superior court judges in Walton frequently reject the plea negotiations made with the DA's office, imposing much stiffer sentences than in a municipal or city court and including substantial jail time.
4. OCGA 40-8-31 is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 12 months confinement and a $1000 fine. You're probably only facing a fine at worst in city court.
Speak with a local attorney before making a decision on requesting a jury trial. I have an office in downtown Monroe if you want to chat about your case.
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