Shawn Bible Law Main: (706) 375-2145
Ringgold: (706) 935-8864
Shawn Bible - Lawyer in NW Georgia

What court will my case be heard in?

One of the first things an attorney has to do when deciding whether to handle your case is to determine where the case will be heard. I practice law mainly in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.  That means for the most part I handle cases in Catoosa, Walker, Dade, and Chattooga counties in North Georgia.  As part of my practice I represent people in DUI cases and other types of misdemeanor offenses as well as Family law.

The first question I have to ask people when they call for consultation and criminal cases is what court is your case in and where were you arrested?  One of the obvious reasons I ask the question is to know whether the person’s case will be in a County that my firm works in.  However, I also ask the question because each County has several criminal courts.

For example, if you are arrested for DUI in Catoosa County then your case may be heard in one of three courts.  If you are rested in the city limits of Ringgold or Fort Oglethorpe Georgia your case may be heard in that city’s municipal courts.  If you are outside city limits then your case will go to the Catoosa County state court.  This also holds true for the other counties in our judicial circuit and across the state. However, in some counties DUIs may be heard in the County Probate court or in some cases in that counties Superior Court if that County does not have a State Court.

I also handle civil cases such as divorce.  When it comes to divorce and other types of family law the answer to which court your case will be heard in is usually simple.  The Superior Court of the County the case will be filed in has exclusive jurisdiction over divorce and most other cases generally considered to be “family law”.  However, the Juvenile court of each County handles cases that could also fall under the general category of “family law” in cases where someone either an individual or the Department of Family and Children Services allege that the child is deprived.

Other types of cases can also be heard in multiple courts depending on several factors.  I hope the above discussion about what cases are heard and what courts is helpful.


Legal disclaimer: The information contained on this page and this entire website is for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal advice.  You should always consult an attorney before taking legal action.  Reading this website or any website is not a substitute for a trained attorney.  This website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Shawn Bible Law Firm.  Mr. Bible serves all Northwest Georgia, including the cities of Ringgold, Fort Oglethorpe, Dalton, Lafayette, Trenton, Summerville and Rossville, in the counties of Catoosa, Walker, Chattooga, Dade, and Whitfield.

Overview of DUI Law in Georgia

Introduction to Georgia DUI Law

Welcome to Bible Law Firm

Changes to DUI Limited Permits in Georgia

The Georgia legislature also amended O.C.G.A. 40-6-64, which deals with limited driving permits after DUI convictions.  The list of places a person can drive on a limited permit has been expanded.  A person convicted of a first in five DUI can now drive to court, the probation office, and to perform community service on a temporary permit.  In addition, they may also transport an immediate family member who does not have a valid driver’s license to work, to receive medical care and get prescriptions and to school.  Below is the relevant part of the statute:


Standards for approval.  The department shall issue a limited driving permit if the application indicates that refusal to issue such permit would cause extreme hardship to the applicant. Except as otherwise provided by subsection (c.1) of this Code section, for the purposes of this Code section, “extreme hardship” means that the applicant cannot reasonably obtain other transportation, and therefore the applicant would be prohibited from:

(1) Going to his or her place of employment;

(2) Receiving scheduled medical care or obtaining prescription drugs;

(3) Attending a college or school at which he or she is regularly enrolled as a student;

(4) Attending regularly scheduled sessions or meetings of support organizations for persons who have addiction or abuse problems related to alcohol or other drugs, which organizations are recognized by the commissioner;

(5) Attending under court order any driver education or improvement school or alcohol or drug program or course approved by the court which entered the judgment of conviction resulting in suspension of his or her driver’s license or by the commissioner;

(6) Attending court, reporting to a probation office or officer, or performing community service; or

(7) Transporting an immediate family member who does not hold a valid driver’s license for work, medical care, or prescriptions or to school.



However, note the above changes apply only to over 21 first time DUI convictions which were not refusal cases (those cases where the Defendant did not submit to breath, blood or urine test).  You must of course apply and be approved for a temporary permit by DDS before you can drive anywhere after a DUI conviction!

Increased DUI Fines in Georgia


Effective July of 2012 the State of Georgia has added surcharge equal to 50% of the original fine amount in DUI cases.  In other words, if you are convicted of DUI you must now pay a 50% higher fine.  This makes the lowest DUI fines around $900 now.  The State also added surcharges to vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, underage furnishing, possession of, purchasing and attempting to purchase alcohol.  The above surcharges only apply to defendants arrested after July 1, 2012.  If you were arrested before that date, the old fine amounts will be charged.

If Convicted of DUI will I have to get an Ignition Interlock Device installed on my car?

How do I get an Ignition Interlock Device

Georgia law requires that anyone convicted of a second or subsequent DUI within 5 years must install and utilize an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that they own.  O.C.G.A. §40-6-391(c).  A list of providers can be found at

How much will an Ignition Interlock Device cost?

Cost of installation varies but is typically around $65 to $200.  There is a monthly monitoring fee, which is typically around $75 a month for 6 months.  A removal fee of around $100 may be charged.  Total cost for six months is typically around $450 to $750.


How is the Interlock Device Installed?

Installation can be done on any car.  However, the vehicle must pass an electrical inspection.  The device also must be serviced for monthly maintenance and calibration every thirty days.


How does the Ignition Interlock work?

The device is installed by a trained technician.  When the key is placed in the ignition the car will not start until the device is used.  Typically, there is a loud beep and the driver blows into the device.  If the driver passes the test then the car starts.  As the car is moving, the device will ask for retests at designated intervals, typically, there is a time frame for the car to be stopped and moved to a safe location.  All tests are recorded by the device and downloaded at the monthly maintenance appointments.

Non-Georgia residents and Interlock Devices

Defendants who move out of state cannot satisfy the interlock requirement using an out of state interlock service provider.  DDS cannot issue an ignition interlock driving permit to a nonresident.

What is an Administrative License Suspension?


ALS and Implied Consent is a complicated subject.  You should always consult an attorney after a DUI arrest especially if you have been given notice of an Administrative License Suspension.  Below is a list of some of the most common questions related to this subject:

How is the Administrative Hearing different from the trial of my case? 

The administrative license suspension process is handled separately from the prosecution of the criminal charge and may result in a driver losing his or her driving privilege before the criminal charge is resolved.  The ruling made by the Administrative Law Judge in an ALS hearing does not affect the prosecution of the criminal charge, even if the administrative law judge reverses the suspension.  A conviction for DUI will result in a separate suspension of the driving privilege.  O.C.G.A. 40-5-63(a) or 40-5-58.  However, the defendant is entitled to credit the period of the administrative suspension toward satisfaction of the suspension for the conviction.  O.C.G.A. 40-5-67.2(b).

What is Implied Consent?

When a driver is arrested for driving under the influence, the arresting officer reads the violator the appropriate implied consent notice and asks him or her to submit to a test of his or her blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining whether he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The language of the implied consent notice is found in O.C.G.A. 40-5-67 (b) and is copied on the implied consent cards used by law enforcement officer.  The current cards are orange.

How do I know if I have a pending ALS suspension?

The officer takes possession of the driver’s license, and the Form 1205 contains a thirty-day temporary driving permit for the driver to carry in lieu of his or her license.  O.C.G.A. 40-5-67.  If the defendant does not appeal the suspension, it will go into effect thirty days from the date the Form 1205 is issued to the driver by the officer.

How do I contest an ALS suspension?

You have ten days to respond to notice of an ALS suspension and send in the required filing fee.  There is a $150.00 filing fee that must be sent with the appeal.  The date on which the appeal is postmarked rather than the date on which it is mailed, is determinative of its timeliness.  If you do not respond within 10 days, your license will be suspended.  If you do respond then a hearing will be scheduled in front of an Administrative Law Judge.  This will be in a different “court” then where your actual DUI case will be heard.  Typically, this administrative hearing will be heard prior to your actual court date.

How long will the ALS suspension last?

This Administrative License Suspension per se DUI (based upon BAC over .08) is for one year with early reinstatement allowed after 30 days.  ALS suspensions based upon refusals will last one year.  No permit is allowed and no early reinstatement.

What happens at the Administrative License Hearing

The DDS sends the Defendants appeal to the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH) and the suspension effective date is delayed until the appeal is resolved.  DDS then issues a 90-day extension of the temporary driving permit and further extensions can be granted.  At the hearing, the case will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge and he arresting officer will represent DDS.  Many attorneys negotiate resolutions to both the administrative suspension and the pending criminal case while meeting with the officer at the ALS hearing.  The officer can withdraw the Form 1205 if an agreement is reached.  If an agreement is not reached then a hearing will be held.


What is the State’s Burden of Proof at the ALS hearing

In assessing whether the defendant’s driver’s license was suspended properly, the Administrative Law Judge must determine that the arresting officer has proven the following four elements: DUI arrest, correct implied consent read, test or refusal and if test the per se results.  If all was done properly, the Judge will issue a suspension.

What happens if my license is suspended at the ALS hearing but my case is later dismissed or I win at trial?

The ALS suspension ends upon proper notice by the trial court.  The defendant can then go to DDS and have their license returned.

Can I get a work or temporary permit if convicted of DUI?

What is a work or temporary permit?

If convicted of a first offense DUI you may be eligible for a temporary or work permit if you are a Georgia resident and over 21.  However, work permits cannot be used to operate commercial vehicles.

Where can I drive on a work or temporary permit?

These limited driving permits allow a person to continue driving while his/her driving privilege is suspended or revoked, but only for limited, specific reasons:  Business purposes, school, medical care (including obtaining prescriptions, substance abuse treatment, driver improvement).  However, it cannot be used to take family members to school, work, etc. (not advisable even if on the way to licensee’s work, school, etc.).

Can I be prosecuted for DUI because I was driving while taking my legal prescriptions?


Yes, if those prescription drugs cause you to be incapable of driving safely.  Many people are arrested, prosecuted and sometimes convicted for driving on pain medications, muscle relaxers and related drugs even when they have a prescription.  However, use caution when driving on any new prescription which could impair driving ability and discuss the issue with your doctor and pharmacist.

If you are convicted of DUI based upon drugs impairing your ability to drive, the consequences to your license can be worse than if you have been drinking and driving.  A DUI drug conviction can suspend your driver’s license for six months with no “work” or temporary permit allowed.

Therefore, use caution when driving on any medication.  Read the warning labels on your prescriptions as many will warn you that they could impair driving and talk to your doctor and pharmacist.