Emanuel County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Emanuel County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Emanuel County.
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 Emanuel County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Who can help me in Emanuel County?
For general information about your case the Emanuel 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.
Emanuel County Required Court Appearances
In Emanuel County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
Arraignments in Emanuel County
During an arraignment in Emanuel 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 Emanuel 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 Emanuel County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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 Emanuel 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.
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.
Where will Emanuel County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Emanuel County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Emanuel County.
In a jury trial in Emanuel 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.
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.
Emanuel County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Emanuel County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Emanuel County. The Emanuel County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
Emanuel County Criminal Court Locations
Emanuel County Superior Court
Address: 125 South Main Street, PO Box 627, Swainsboro GA 30401
Phone: 478-237-8911 Fax: 478-237-1220
State Court of Emanuel County
Address: 125 South Main Street, PO Box 767, Swainsboro GA 30401
Phone: 478-237-4225 Fax: 478-237-4227
Emanuel County Magistrate Court
Address: 107 North Main Street, Swainsboro GA 30401
Phone: 478-237-7278 Fax: 478-237-9154
Emanuel County Juvenile Court
Address: 125 South Street, Swainsboro GA 30401
Phone: 478-237-8911 Fax: 478-237-1220
Municipal Court of Adrian
Address: 205 West Main Street, PO Box 265, Adrian GA 31002
Municipal Court of Garfield
Address: PO Box 124, Garfield GA 30425
Municipal Court of Stillmore
Address: PO Box 70, Stillmore GA 30464
Municipal Court of Swainsboro
Address: 212 North Main Street, Swainsboro GA 30401
Municipal Court of Twin City
Address: 2790 Highway 80 East, PO Box 980, Twin City GA 30471