Rockdale County Criminal Court

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

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.

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.

Rockdale County Criminal Court

Rockdale County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Rockdale County

In Rockdale 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.

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

Mandatory Appearances in Rockdale County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Rockdale 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.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.

Where will Rockdale County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Rockdale County Arraignments

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

Prosecutor in Rockdale County

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

I need help for my Rockdale 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 Rockdale 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 Rockdale 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.

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.

Rockdale County Criminal Court Locations

  • Rockdale County Superior Court

    Address: 922 Court Street, PO Box 937, Conyers GA 30012
    Phone: 770-278-7900 Fax: 770-278-7921

  • State Court of Rockdale County

    Address: 922 Court Street, PO Box 937, Conyers GA 30012
    Phone: 770-278-7900 Fax: 770-278-7921

  • Rockdale County Magistrate Court

    Address: 945 Court Street, PO Box 289, Conyers GA 30012
    Phone: 770-278-7800 Fax: 770-278-8915

  • Rockdale County Juvenile Court

    Address: 922 Court Street, Room 103, PO Box 289, Conyers GA 30012
    Phone: 770-278-7777 Fax: 770-278-8935

  • Municipal Court of Conyers

    Address: 1178 Scott Street, Conyers GA 30012
    Phone: 770-929-4208 Fax: 770-785-3812

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