Dougherty County Criminal Court

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

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 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.

Dougherty County Criminal Court

Dougherty County Criminal 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.

Sentencing in Dougherty County

In Dougherty County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

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.

Where will Dougherty County criminal case hearings take place?

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

I need help for my Dougherty 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 Dougherty 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 Dougherty 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.

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.

Dougherty County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Dougherty County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Dougherty 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 Dougherty 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.

Mandatory Appearances in Dougherty County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Dougherty 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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Dougherty 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.

Who is the prosecutor for Dougherty County?

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

Dougherty County Criminal Court Locations

  • Dougherty County Superior Court

    Address: 225 Pine Avenue, Room 126, PO Box 1827, Albany GA 31702
    Phone: 229-431-2198 Fax: 229-431-2850

  • State Court of Dougherty County

    Address: 225 Pine Avenue, Room 126, PO Box 1827, Albany GA 31702
    Phone: 229-431-2152 Fax: 229-431-3282

  • Dougherty County Magistrate Court

    Address: PO Box 1827, Albany GA 31702
    Phone: 229-431-3216 Fax: 229-434-2692

  • Dougherty County Juvenile Court

    Address: 225 Pine Avenue, PO Box 1827, Albany GA 31702
    Phone: 229-431-2162 Fax: 229-431-2665

  • Municipal Court of Albany

    Address: 225 Pine Avenue, Room 202, PO Box 447, Albany GA 31702
    Phone: 229-431-2865 Fax: 229-432-8193

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