Ware County Criminal Court

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

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Ware County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Where will Ware County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Ware County Criminal Court

Ware County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Ware County Prosecutor

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

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.

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.

Ware County Required Court Appearances

In Ware 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.

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Ware County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.

Arraignments in Ware County

During an arraignment in Ware County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Ware County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Ware County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

I need help for my Ware 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 Ware 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 Ware 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.

Ware County Criminal Court Locations

  • Ware County Superior Court

    Address: 800 Church Street, Suite 124, PO Box 776, Waycross GA 31502
    Phone: 912-287-4340 Fax: 912-287-2498

  • State Court of Ware County

    Address: 800 Church Street, Suite 104, PO Box 776, Waycross GA 31502
    Phone: 912-287-4340 Fax: 912-287-2498

  • Ware County Magistrate Court

    Address: 310 Albany Avenue, PO Box 17, Waycross GA 31502
    Phone: 912-287-4373 (Criminal) Fax: 912-287-4377

  • Ware County Juvenile Court

    Address: 801 Grove Avenue, Waycross GA 31501
    Phone: 912-287-4345 Fax: 912-287-4347

  • Municipal Court of Waycross

    Address: 512 Oak Street, PO Box 176, Waycross GA 31502
    Phone: 912-287-2921

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