Atkinson County Criminal Court

Atkinson County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Atkinson County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Atkinson County.

Arraignments in Atkinson County

During an arraignment in Atkinson County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Atkinson County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Atkinson County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Atkinson County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Atkinson County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Atkinson County Criminal Court

Atkinson County Criminal Court

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mandatory Appearances in Atkinson County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Atkinson County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

Where can I get help for my Atkinson County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Atkinson County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Atkinson County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

The Right to Trial by Jury

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.

Prosecutor in Atkinson County

In Atkinson County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Atkinson County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Georgia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Atkinson County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

Appealing a guilty verdict

A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.

Atkinson County Criminal Court Locations

  • Atkinson County Superior Court

    Address: 305 South Main Street, PO Box 6, Pearson GA 31642
    Phone: 912-422-3343 Fax: 912-422-7025

  • Atkinson County Magistrate Court

    Address: PO Box 674, Pearson GA 31642
    Phone: 912-422-7158 Fax: 912-422-7989

  • Atkinson County Juvenile Court

    Address: 305 South Main Street, PO Box 6, Pearson GA 31642
    Phone: 912-422-3343 Fax: 912-422-7025

  • Municipal Court of Pearson

    Address: 89 Main Street South, PO Box 295, Pearson GA 31642
    Phone: 912-422-3397 Fax: 912-422-3393

  • Municipal Court of Willacoochee

    Address: 33 Fleetwood Avenue, PO Box 508, Willacoochee GA 31650
    Phone: 912-534-5991

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