Decatur County Criminal Court

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

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

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.

Decatur County Criminal Court

Decatur County Criminal Court

Where will Decatur County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Decatur County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Decatur County.

Who can help me in Decatur County?

For general information about your case the Decatur County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Who is the prosecutor for Decatur County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Decatur County criminal cases will either be a representative of Decatur 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.

Plea Agreements

A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Decatur County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Decatur 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Decatur County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Decatur 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.

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.

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.

What happens in Decatur County at an arraignment?

In Decatur County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Decatur County Criminal Court Locations

  • Decatur County Superior Court

    Address: 112 West Water Street, PO Box 336, Bainbridge GA 39818
    Phone: 229-248-3025 Fax: 229-248-3029

  • State Court of Decatur County

    Address: 112 West Water Street, PO Box 336, Bainbridge GA 39818
    Phone: 229-248-3025 Fax: 229-248-3029

  • Decatur County Magistrate Court

    Address: 912 Spring Creek Road, Bainbridge GA 39817
    Phone: 229-248-3014 Fax: 229-248-3863

  • Decatur County Juvenile Court

    Address: 112 West Water Street, PO Box 336, Bainbridge GA 39818
    Phone: 229-248-3025 Fax: 229-248-3029

  • Municipal Court of Attapulgus

    Address: PO Box 99, Attapulgus GA 39815
    Phone: 229-465-3322

  • Municipal Court of Bainbridge

    Address: PO Box 946, Bainbridge GA 39818
    Phone: 229-243-0132

  • Municipal Court of Climax

    Address: PO Box 7, Climax GA 39834
    Phone: 229-246-0267

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