Fayette County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Fayette County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Fayette County.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Fayette County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Fayette County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Fayette County. The Fayette 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.
Required Court Appearances in Fayette County
Any required court appearances in Fayette County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
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.
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 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.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
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 can I get help for my Fayette 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 Fayette 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.
Arraignments in Fayette County
During an arraignment in Fayette 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 Fayette 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 Fayette County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Fayette County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Fayette County will take place at the Fayette County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Fayette County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
Fayette County Criminal Court Locations
Fayette County Superior Court
Address: 1 Center Drive, PO Box 130, Fayetteville GA 30214
Phone: 770-716-4290 Fax: 770-716-4868
State Court of Fayette County
Address: 1 Center Drive, PO Box 142037, Fayetteville GA 30214
Phone: 770-716-4294 (Civil) Fax: 770-716-4868
Fayette County Magistrate Court
Address: 1 Center Drive, Fayetteville GA 30214
Phone: 770-716-4230 Fax: 770-716-4855
Fayette County Juvenile Court
Address: 1 Center Drive, Fayetteville GA 30214
Phone: 770-716-4210 Fax: 770-716-4852
Municipal Court of Fayetteville
Address: 760 Jimmie Mayfield Boulevard, Fayetteville GA 30215
Municipal Court of Peachtree City
Address: 151 Willowbend Road, Peachtree City GA 30269
Phone: 770-631-2096 Fax: 678-364-6654
Municipal Court of Tyrone
Address: 945 Senoia Road, Tyrone GA 30290
Phone: 770-487-4732 Fax: 770-487-1495