Screven County Criminal Court

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

Who is the prosecutor for Screven County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Screven County criminal cases will either be a representative of Screven County or a representative from Georgia. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

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.

Screven County Criminal Court

Screven County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Screven County

In Screven 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.

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 will Screven County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Screven County Arraignments

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

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Screven County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Screven 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.

Who can help me in Screven County?

For general information about your case the Screven County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

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.

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.

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.

Screven County Criminal Court Locations

  • Screven County Superior Court

    Address: 216 Mims Road, Room 105, PO Box 156, Sylvania GA 30467
    Phone: 912-564-2614 Fax: 912-564-2622

  • State Court of Screven County

    Address: 216 Mims Road, Room 105, PO Box 156, Sylvania GA 30467
    Phone: 912-564-2614 Fax: 912-564-2622

  • Screven County Magistrate Court

    Address: 216 Mims Road, Room 111, PO Box 64, Sylvania GA 30467
    Phone: 912-564-7375 Fax: 912-654-5618

  • Screven County Juvenile Court

    Address: 216 Mims Road, Room 105, PO Box 156, Sylvania GA 30467
    Phone: 912-564-2614 Fax: 912-564-2622

  • Municipal Court of Hiltonia

    Address: 140 2nd Avenue, Sylvania GA 30467
    Phone: 912-829-3999

  • Municipal Court of Newington

    Address: 201 Church Street, PO Box 268, Newington GA 30446
    Phone: 912-857-3115

  • Municipal Court of Oliver

    Address: PO Box 221, Oliver GA 30449
    Phone: 912-857-3789

  • Municipal Court of Rocky Ford

    Address: PO Box 1, Rocky Ford GA 30455
    Phone: 912-863-7121

  • Municipal Court of Sylvania

    Address: 216 Mims Road, Sylvania GA 30467
    Phone: 912-564-2056 Fax: 912-564-2057

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