Tift County Criminal Court

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

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.

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.

Tift County Criminal Court

Tift County Criminal Court

Tift County Prosecutor

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

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Tift County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Tift 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.

Tift County Arraignments

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

Tift County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Tift County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

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 Tift 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.

Who can help me in Tift County?

For general information about your case the Tift 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.

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.

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.

Sentencing in Tift County

In Tift County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.

Tift County Criminal Court Locations

  • Tift County Superior Court

    Address: 237 East 2nd Street, PO Box 354, Tifton GA 31793
    Phone: 229-386-7816 Fax: 229-386-7813

  • State Court of Tift County

    Address: 237 East 2nd Street, PO Box 354, Tifton GA 31793
    Phone: 229-386-7816 Fax: 229-386-7813

  • Tift County Magistrate Court

    Address: 225 North Tift Avenue, Room 211, PO Box 214, Tifton GA 31793
    Phone: 229-386-7907 Fax: 229-386-7978

  • Tift County Juvenile Court

    Address: 237 East 2nd Street, PO Box 354, Tifton GA 31793
    Phone: 229-386-7816 Fax: 229-386-7813

  • Municipal Court of Omega

    Address: PO Box 6, Omega GA 31775
    Phone: 229-528-4400

  • Municipal Court of Tifton

    Address: 130 East 5th Street, Tifton GA 31794
    Phone: 229-391-3967 Fax: 229-386-9694

  • Municipal Court of Ty Ty

    Address: PO Box 214, Tifton GA 31793
    Phone: 229-386-7907 Fax: 229-386-7978

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