Muscogee County Criminal Court

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

I need help for my Muscogee 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 Muscogee 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 Muscogee 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.

Muscogee County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Muscogee County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Muscogee County. The Muscogee 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.

Muscogee County Criminal Court

Muscogee County Criminal Court

Plea Agreements

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 Muscogee 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.

Required Court Appearances in Muscogee County

Any required court appearances in Muscogee 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.

Muscogee County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Muscogee County will take place at the Muscogee County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Muscogee County Criminal Court Locations.

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.

Muscogee County Arraignments

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

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 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.

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 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.

Jury Deliberations in Muscogee County

In Muscogee 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.

Muscogee County Criminal Court Locations

  • Muscogee County Superior Court

    Address: 100 10th Street, PO Box 2145, Columbus GA 31902
    Phone: 706-653-4370 Fax: 706-653-4359

  • State Court of Muscogee County

    Address: 100 10th Street, PO Box 2145, Columbus GA 31902
    Phone: 706-653-4370 Fax: 706-653-4359

  • Muscogee County Magistrate Court

    Address: 100 10th Street, PO Box 1340, Columbus GA 31902
    Phone: 706-653-4390 Fax: 706-653-4559

  • Muscogee County Juvenile Court

    Address: 100 10th Street, PO Box 2145, Columbus GA 31902
    Phone: 706-653-4290 Fax: 706-653-4359

  • City of Columbus Recorder’s Court

    Address: 702 10th Street, Columbus GA 31901
    Phone: 706-653-4256

  • Municipal Court of Columbus

    Address: 100 10th Street, PO Box 1340, Columbus GA 31902
    Phone: 706-653-4378

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