Your Guide to the Suwanee Municipal Court
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Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.
Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.
Published on June 13, 2023.
What Is the Suwanee Municipal Court?
The Suwanee Municipal Court is a local court in Gwinnett County, Georgia, with jurisdiction over traffic offenses, Suwanee City Code of Ordinance violations, and some misdemeanor crimes under Georgia State law when they are committed within the city limits.
If you are facing charges for a traffic offense or misdemeanor DUI in Suwanee City, there’s a good chance that your case would be handled at the court. As such, it is crucial that you’re aware of how the court works to make things easier as you navigate the system.
This guide offers valuable information about the court’s operations that could benefit you as you prepare for your trial. Read on if you’d like to learn more.
Types of Cases Heard at the Suwanee Municipal Court
Unlike other cities or counties where there is a designated traffic court, the Municipal Court in Suwanee City has the power to decide on traffic offenses, including the following:
Running red lights or stop signs
Failing to yield
Driving under the influence (DUI) (If it is charged as a misdemeanor)
Driving with a suspended or revoked license
If your case involves a traffic offense such as a DUI, the court will send the record of your conviction to the Georgia State Department of Driver Services if you get convicted. This is in addition to any other criminal law penalty the judge may issue.
The Department will, in turn, deduct the appropriate number of points from your driver’s record, which could lead to an eventual suspension of your driver’s license.
You can avoid such penalties if you successfully establish a defense in court and avoid a conviction. You may need help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows all about DUI court cases or fighting a move-over violation to achieve this.
City Ordinance Violations
The City of Suwanee is governed by a code of ordinance that regulates the lives and activities of the government and city residents. The code regulates issues such as:
The sale of alcoholic beverage
Adult entertainment establishments
Vehicles for hire
Carnivals and circuses
The Suwanee Municipal Court is responsible for addressing violations of any of these regulations.
Violations of the Gwinett County Animal Control Ordinance
If your pet hurts someone or damages their property, you could face criminal charges under the Gwinett County Animal Control Ordinance. Such cases are heard by the municipal court if they occur in Suwanee City.
The Court also handles some misdemeanor cases, such as shoplifting and some alcohol and drug crimes.
How Cases Are Decided at the Court
Cases over which the Suwanee Municipal Court has jurisdiction fall within two broad categories: cases requiring a mandatory court appearance and those that do not.
Cases That Require a Court Appearance
Certain cases cannot be disposed of without the defendant appearing in court and going through a criminal trial. Cases in this category include the following:
Driving on a suspended license
Driving without insurance
Failure to move over for emergency vehicle
Alcohol or drug offenses
All traffic violations where the defendant is less than 18.
If Your Case Requires a Court Appearance
When your case is called on the trial day, the details of the offense you’re being charged with will be read to you. You’ll need to plead ‘guilty,’ ‘not guilty,’ or ‘no contest’ to the charge. Each response has different legal implications, so you may need to consult a criminal defense attorney to explain what each one means and the effects on your case.
If you make a ‘not guilty’ plea, your trial will be scheduled for later. Generally, you have a right to trial by a jury at this court. But if the case is for a city ordinance violation, the judge decides your fate alone.
The typical sentence at the court upon conviction is the payment of fines. The court may also issue other sentences such as community service, mandatory driving school (for traffic offenses), and sometimes jail time.
Remember, you have the right to be represented by an attorney throughout your case. Consider getting one to defend you to increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Cases That Do Not Require the Defendant’s Appearance
Some cases scheduled for hearing at the court can be concluded without your appearance in court. In such cases, such as when you’re issued a parking ticket, you can avoid a court appearance by paying the assessed fine before your court date. You can pay the fine at the court premises, by mail, or by calling the court. You’ll find the court’s telephone number in the next section below.
If you fail to pay your fine before that date and do not attend court, the judge may issue a warrant authorizing your arrest, and your driver’s license may be suspended.
Refrain from assuming your case does not need a court appearance and avoid court. Confirm the nature of your charge from an experienced attorney before you make any decision.
Visiting the Suwanee Municipal Court
You can find the Suwanee Municipal Court at 323 Buford Highway, Suwanee, Georgia, 30024. You can also reach the Court by phone at 770-945-6962 or by fax at 678-714-0992.
The Court opens from Monday to Friday between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, but hearings usually occur every Wednesday at 5 PM. If you need to visit the Court, you should be aware that everyone and everything that enters the courtroom is subject to search. This mandatory search is both for the protection of the general public and the security of the court officials.
On the day of your hearing, ensure you check in with a deputy clerk at the window as soon as you arrive.
Got Questions About Your Criminal Charges at the Suwanee Municipal Court? We Can Help at Philip Kim Law, P.C.
At our firm, we understand the anxiety of facing criminal charges. We are here as your allies to defend you and help you fight your way out of the harsh criminal justice system.
Our experienced criminal defense attorney can provide answers to your burning questions and top-notch representation throughout your case at the Suwanee Municipal Court or elsewhere in Gwinnett County. Contact us today to book a free consultation where we can assess your case and decide on the next steps.