Fulton County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Fulton County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Fulton County.
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.
Fulton County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Fulton County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Fulton 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 Fulton 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 Fulton County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Fulton 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.
Sentencing in Fulton County
In Fulton 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.
In a jury trial in Fulton 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.
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 Fulton 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.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fulton County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Fulton County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Fulton County. The Fulton 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.
Fulton County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Fulton County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
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 Fulton County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
Where can I get help for my Fulton 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 Fulton 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.
Fulton County Criminal Court Locations
Fulton County Superior Court
Address: 136 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta GA 30303
Phone: 404-613-5313 Fax: 404-332-0391
Fulton County Superior Court – North Service Center
Address: 7741 Roswell Road, Room 235, Atlanta GA 30350
Fulton County Superior Court – South Service Center
Address: 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Room 219B, College Park GA 30049
Fulton County Superior Court – West Annex
Address: 5440 Fulton Industrial Boulevard, Suite 165, Atlanta GA 30336
State Court of Fulton County
Address: 185 Central Avenue, Atlanta GA 30303
Fulton County Magistrate Court
Address: 185 Central Avenue, Atlanta GA 30303
Fulton County Juvenile Court
Address: 395 Pryor Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30312
Municipal Court of Alpharetta
Address: 12624 Broadwell Road, Alpharetta GA 30004
Phone: 678-297-6250 Fax: 678-297-6251
Municipal Court of Atlanta
Address: 150 Garnett Street SW, Atlanta GA 30303
Phone: 404-658-6940 Fax: 404-546-9339
Municipal Court of Chattahoochee Hills
Address: 6505 Rico Road, Chattahoochee Hills GA 30268
Phone: 770-463-6572 Fax: 770-463-8550
Municipal Court of College Park
Address: 3717 College Street, College Park GA 30337
Municipal Court of East Point
Address: 2727 East Point Street, East Point GA 30344
Phone: 404-559-6250 Fax: 404-305-8219
Municipal Court of Fairburn
Address: 26 West Campbellton Street, Fairburn GA 30213
Phone: 770-683-4611 Fax: 770-964-8984
Municipal Court of Hapeville
Address: 700 Doug Davis Drive, Hapeville GA 30354
Phone: 404-669-2149 Fax: 404-305-7861
Municipal Court of Johns Creek
Address: 11445 Johns Creek Parkway, Johns Creek GA 30097
Phone: 678-512-3444 Fax: 678-512-3243
Municipal Court of Milton
Address: 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite 107E, Milton GA 30004
Phone: 678-242-2525 Fax: 678-242-2520
Municipal Court of Mountain Park
Address: 118 Lakeshore Drive, Mountain Park GA 30075
Phone: 770-993-4231 Fax: 404-893-6853
Municipal Court of Palmetto
Address: 401 Carlton Road, PO Box 434, Palmetto GA 30268
Municipal Court of Roswell
Address: 38 Hill Street, Suite 210, Roswell GA 30075
Phone: 770-641-3790 Fax: 770-641-3798
Municipal Court of Sandy Springs
Address: 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, Sandy Springs GA 30350
Municipal Court of Union City
Address: 5060 Union Street, Union City GA 30291
Phone: 770-306-6847 Fax: 770-306-6843