Candler County Criminal Court

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

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.

Candler County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Candler County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Candler County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Candler County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.

Candler County Criminal Court

Candler County Criminal Court

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

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.

I need help for my Candler County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Candler County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Candler County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Mandatory Appearances in Candler County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Candler 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.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Jury Deliberations in Candler County

In Candler County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Candler County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

Candler County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Candler County will take place at the Candler County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Candler County Criminal Court Locations.

Who is the prosecutor for Candler County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Candler County criminal cases will either be a representative of Candler County or a representative from Georgia. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Candler County Criminal Court Locations

  • Candler County Superior Court

    Address: 35 SW Broad Street, PO Box 830, Metter GA 30439
    Phone: 912-685-5257 Fax: 912-685-2946

  • State Court of Candler County

    Address: 35 SW Broad Street, PO Box 830, Metter GA 30439
    Phone: 912-685-5257 Fax: 912-685-2946

  • Candler County Magistrate Court

    Address: 35 SW Broad Street, PO Box 830, Metter GA 30439
    Phone: 912-685-5257 Fax: 912-685-2946

  • Candler County Juvenile Court

    Address: 35 SW Broad Street, PO Box 830, Metter GA 30439
    Phone: 912-685-5257 Fax: 912-685-2946

  • Municipal Court of Metter

    Address: 10 West Candler Street, Metter GA 30439
    Phone: 912-685-5437 Fax: 912-685-2664

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