Dodge County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Dodge County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Dodge County.
Where can I get help for my Dodge 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 Dodge 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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Dodge County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Dodge County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Dodge 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.
In a jury trial in Dodge 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.
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 Dodge County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Dodge County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Dodge County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Arraignments in Dodge County
During an arraignment in Dodge 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 Dodge 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 Dodge County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Prosecutor in Dodge County
In Dodge County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Dodge County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Georgia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Dodge County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Dodge County Criminal Court Locations
Dodge County Superior Court
Address: 5401 Anson Avenue, PO Box 4276, Eastman GA 31023
Phone: 478-374-2871 Fax: 478-374-3035
Dodge County Magistrate Court
Address: 5018 Courthouse Circle, Suite 202, Eastman GA 31023
Phone: 478-374-7243 Fax 478-374-5716
Dodge County Juvenile Court
Address: 5401 Anson Avene, PO Box 4276, Eastman GA 31023
Phone: 478-374-2871 Fax: 478-374-3035
Municipal Court of Chauncey
Address: 4980 Hwy 341, PO Box 9, Chauncey GA 31011
Municipal Court of Eastman
Address: 5117 2nd Avenue, PO Box 40, Eastman GA 31023
Municipal Court of Rhine
Address: 134 1st Street, PO Box 87, Rhine GA 31077