What happens before a criminal trial in georgia

Municipal courts are the busiest courts in Georgia with more than judges managing more than 1,, cases per year. This site is designed for use not only for the judiciary, but also for citizens.

The Georgia Felony Process

Take a moment to browse the resources available on our site. Whether you seek Council-related information, or seek to become more familiar with the structure of Georgia Courts, it is my hope that you find a wealth of resources to assist you. All judges serving in municipal and special courts in Georgia are members of the Council. If you committed a crime because you felt that it was necessary to do so, then you may be able to assert the defense of necessity.

For example, in the landmark case of State v. Cole , the U. Supreme Court held that the defendant was justified in driving on a suspended license in order to find a phone to seek medical attention for his pregnant wife. If you were arrested for possessing illegal drugs, unlawfully possessing a firearm, or any other possession-related offense, if the item was not yours, then you do not deserve to be convicted.

As a general rule, the prosecution is required to disclose its charges and evidence during the pre-trial phase of your case. The introduction of surprise charges or surprise evidence at trial may violate your Sixth Amendment rights. The Fourth Amendment provides fundamental protections against unlawful searches and seizures. If the police searched you or seized your property without probable cause, then any evidence obtained in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights should be suppressed from your trial.

In Miranda v. Arizona , the U. Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement officers must read suspects their rights prior to conducting a custodial interrogation. If you were interrogated without being read your rights, then any self-incriminating statements you made should be inadmissible in court.

The Stages of a Criminal Case in Georgia

The Sixth Amendment guarantees all criminal defendants the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay and with an impartial jury. A violation of your Sixth Amendment rights may compel a verdict in your favor. If you are facing criminal charges in Augusta, GA and would like to find out what defenses you have available, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential consultation. To speak with one of our criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible, call or inquire online now.


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As experienced criminal defense attorneys in Augusta, Georgia, we obtain favorable results for our clients…. Depending on the circumstances of your case, here are 20 defenses that you may be able to use to avoid a conviction or mitigate the consequences of your arrest when facing charges in Georgia criminal court: 1. Abandonment or Withdrawal If you were involved in a plan to commit a crime but ultimately decided not to participate, you may be able to assert the defense of abandonment or withdrawal.

Georgia Pre-Trials

Alibi If you were somewhere else when the crime was committed, proving your alibi will provide a strong defense to the charges against you. Coercion or Duress If you committed a crime because someone else put you in a situation where you felt that you had no choice other than to do so, then you may be able to assert the affirmative defense of coercion or duress.

Defense of Others Similar to self-defense discussed below , defense of others can also constitute justification for the commission of an assault or homicide in Georgia. For defendants remaining in jail, bond and release recommendations are reviewed.

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Negotiated pleas and non-negotiated pleas are also taken. Finally, for cases continuing, the next court date is set.

What are the typical steps in a criminal proceeding in Georgia?

Grand Jury - The Grand Jury is the citizen body that determines whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. If so, an indictment or formal criminal charge against a defendant is issued.

Council of Municipal Court Judges – Georgia Judicial Gateway

Grand Jury hearings are confidential and closed to the public. Plea and Arraignment - At this hearing, a number of case management-related issues are resolved. For cases continuing, the next court date is set. Pre-Trial Conference - At this hearing, non-negotiated and negotiated pleas are accepted; discovery requests are filed and served; the next court date is set.

Motions Hearings - At this hearing, evidence suppression matters are heard; jury challenges are heard and ruled upon; non-negotiated and negotiated pleas are accepted.