Rabun County Criminal Court

Rabun County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Rabun County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Rabun County.

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.

Where can I get help for my Rabun 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 Rabun 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.

Rabun County Criminal Court

Rabun County Criminal Court

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.

Defendant Sentencing

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.

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.

Rabun County Required Court Appearances

In Rabun 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.

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.

What happens in Rabun County at an arraignment?

In Rabun County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Where will Rabun County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Rabun County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Rabun County.

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 Rabun 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.

Prosecutor in Rabun County

In Rabun County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Rabun County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Georgia. For the most part, the prosecutor in Rabun County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

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.

Rabun County Criminal Court Locations

  • Rabun County Superior Court

    Address: 25 Courthouse Square, Suite 105, Clayton GA 30525
    Phone: 706-782-3615 Fax: 706-782-1391

  • Rabun County Magistrate Court

    Address: 25 Courthouse Square, Suite 105, Clayton GA 30525
    Phone: 706-782-3615 Fax: 706-782-1391

  • Rabun County Juvenile Court

    Address: 25 Courthouse Square, Suite 105, Clayton GA 30525
    Phone: 706-782-3615 Fax: 706-782-1391

  • Municipal Court of Clayton

    Address: 99 North Church Street, Clayton GA 30525
    Phone: 706-782-2181

  • Municipal Court of Dillard

    Address: 892 Franklin Street, Dillard GA 30537
    Phone: 706-746-5891

  • Municipal Court of Mountain City

    Address: PO Box 493, Mountain City GA 30562
    Phone: 706-746-3513

  • Municipal Court of Sky Valley

    Address: 3444 Highway 246, Sky Valley GA 30537
    Phone: 706-746-2204

  • Municipal Court of Tallulah Falls

    Address: 255 Main Street, PO Box 56, Tallulah Falls GA 30573
    Phone: 706-754-6040

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