Gwinnett County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Gwinnett County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Gwinnett County.
Where can I get help for my Gwinnett 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 Gwinnett 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.
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.
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.
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.
Gwinnett County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Gwinnett County will take place at the Gwinnett County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Gwinnett County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
Prosecutor in Gwinnett County
In Gwinnett County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Gwinnett County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Georgia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Gwinnett County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Required Court Appearances in Gwinnett County
Any required court appearances in Gwinnett 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.
Jury Deliberations in Gwinnett County
In Gwinnett County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Gwinnett County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Gwinnett County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Gwinnett 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 Gwinnett 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.
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.
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.
Gwinnett County Criminal Court Locations
Gwinnett County Superior Court
Address: 75 Langley Drive, PO Box 880, Lawrenceville GA 30046
State Court of Gwinnett County
Address: 75 Langley Drive, PO Box 880, Lawrenceville GA 30046
Gwinnett County Magistrate Court
Address: 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville GA 30045
Gwinnett County Juvenile Court
Address: 115 Stone Mountain Street, Lawrenceville GA 30046
Phone: 770-619-6325 Fax: 770-619-6092
Gwinnett County Recorder’s Court
Address: 115 Stone Mountain Street, Lawrenceville GA 30045
Municipal Court of Berkeley Lake
Address: 4040 South Berkeley Lake Road, Berkeley Lake GA 30096
Phone: 770-368-9484 Ext. 104
Municipal Court of Buford
Address: 2300 Buford Highway, Buford GA 30518
Municipal Court of Dacula
Address: PO Box 400, Dacula GA 30019
Phone: 770-963-7451 Fax: 770-513-2187
Municipal Court of Duluth
Address: 3276 Buford Highway, Duluth GA 30096
Municipal Court of Lawrenceville
Address: 70 South Clayton Street, PO Box 2200, Lawrenceville GA 30046
Phone: 770-963-3288 Fax: 770-339-2407
Municipal Court of Lilburn
Address: 76 Main Street, Lilburn GA 30047
Municipal Court of Norcross
Address: 65 Lawrenceville Street, Norcross GA 30071
Phone: 770-448-2173 Fax: 770-255-3374
Municipal Court of Snellville
Address: 2342 Oak Road, Snellville GA 30078
Phone: 770-985-3550 Fax: 770-985-3541
Municipal Court of Sugar Hill
Address: 5039 West Broad Street, Sugar Hill GA 30518
Phone: 770-945-6734 Ext. 1209
Municipal Court of Suwanee
Address: 323 Buford Highway, Suwanee GA 30024
Phone: 770-945-6962 Fax: 678-714-0992