The Solicitor General’s Office is located on the second floor of the Coweta County Justice Center, 72 Greenville Street, Newnan, Georgia.
In any court proceeding, it is advisable to have legal counsel. Whether you wish to proceed with an attorney or not is a decision that only you can make.
You may retain your own attorney, at your own expense, or, if you wish to apply for a court appointed attorney, you may obtain an application from the Clerk of State Court (http://www.coweta.ga.us/index.aspx?page=197).
Certain tickets may be paid prior to coming to your assigned arraignment date. You will need to check with the Clerk of State Court of Coweta County (http://www.coweta.ga.us/index.aspx?page=197 ) as to whether your particular ticket may be paid without appearing before a State Court Judge.
Prior to a case being docketed/filed with the Clerk of State Court, it must be processed. Prior to even being received by the Solicitor General’s Office, a case must be processed by the arresting agency (for example: Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, Newnan Police Department…), and when appropriate the Coweta County Magistrate Court. Once received by the Solicitor General’s Office, the case is reviewed and investigated for a determination as to prosecution. It is only after a case has been through these steps that a determination to docket/file a case with the Clerk of State Court is made.
If your address changes from that provided at the time of your arrest or from that listed on traffic citation (if not arrested) then you must notify your bondsman (when applicable) and provide written notice to the Clerk of State Court (www.coweta.ga.us/Index.aspx?page=2228)
A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by a period of up to one year. A felony is a more serious crime that is punishable by a period of imprisonment longer than a year.
You must first contact a law enforcement agency such as your local police department or sheriff’s office to report the crime. An investigator should be able to direct you on how to proceed.
The Solicitor General represents the people and the laws of the State of Georgia.
You may contact the Assistant Solicitor General handling your case to discuss your concerns. While your feelings will be considered, the Solicitor General’s Office may decide to prosecute any case in the best interest of the State of Georgia.
Since it is not possible to give you all the information you may need on this webpage, please contact the Solicitor General’s Office or the Victim Advocate Program for more information. Most importantly, contact the Victim Advocate Program if you move or change your telephone number. We may not be able to get in touch with you otherwise. The Solicitor General’s Office and the Victim Advocate Program are concerned about you and your case.
The document which lists the formal misdemeanor charges against a particular defendant. Often, the accusation will mirror the charges on the warrant(s) or citation(s). However, the accusation may also include additional charges.
Convicted defendants have a right to appeal their convictions and sentences to higher courts. These courts examine the record made of the trial proceedings to determine if reversible error has occurred. If a higher court finds that serious errors occurred in the trial proceedings it may remand the case for a new trial or even dismiss the charges.
After a case is accused, a proceeding is scheduled in which the accused answers the charges against him. At this point the defendant enters his/her official plea to the charges — GUILTY or NOT GUILTY. If the defendant pleads NOT GUILTY, the case is set for trial. If the defendant pleads GUILTY, he may be sentenced that day.
It is not necessary for victims to be present at arraignment. Victims will receive notification by mail of the date of arraignment. Please contact the Victim-Advocate or Assistant Solicitor assigned to your case prior to the date of the arraignment to discuss any particular concerns you have regarding restitution for stolen property, property damage, medical expenses or other financial loss.
An arrest is made when the police officially take a person into custody. Once the warrant is issued, the Police Department or Sheriff’s Office will arrest the suspect.
After the arrest, the accused in certain crimes may be offered an opportunity to make bail (also called bond). By paying the amount specified by a Judge, the accused is allowed to be released from jail to await further legal proceedings
An independent group of private citizens who listen to information about the crime in order to decide whether the case should go to trial.
If the defendant is sentenced to jail, he or she will serve his or her sentence in the Coweta County Jail.
In Superior Court, if the grand jurors decide that a case should go to trial, they “return” an indictment or presentment charging the defendant with the crime or crimes he may have committed.
In many cases the attorneys may raise questions of law which must be decided by the court before the trial can proceed. The judge will conduct the necessary hearings and decide on the legal questions presented. Usually, victims and witnesses are not required to attend such motions, but in the event your presence becomes necessary, you will be contacted.
Other Release Status
Contact Department of Corrections to requested notification on other releases (escape, sentence expiration, work release, etc.,) Contact the Victim Assistance Program for further info.
Parole is the release of a criminal from an institution prior to completion of the full sentence. Before an inmate can be paroled from prison, a parole hearing is conducted. You may object to the inmate’s early release by submitting letters of protest to the State Board of Pardons and Parole.
This is sometimes inaccurately called “plea bargaining,” which is a term used to describe a method of disposing of cases without a trial. Most defendants plead guilty. Once a defendant decides to plead guilty, it is up to the Solicitor General’s Office and the defendant’s attorney to work of out an agreement to present to the judge. The defendant may agree to plead guilty to the crime(s) charged or to a lesser offense, and there may be an agreement that the Solicitor General’s Office will recommend a sentence to the judge. The judge may accept or reject the plea. Although a victim does not have the final say as to what sentence is given, the Solicitor General’s Office is interested in their viewpoint.
If the defendant is sentenced to serve a specified amount of time on probation, he or she is assigned to a particular probation officer. While serving probation, the defendant must report periodically to the probation officer and must fulfill all the conditions of probation imposed by the sentencing judge.
Sentencing may take place immediately upon a guilty plea or a guilty verdict. If the judge sentences the defendant on multiple charges, he or she may impose the sentences to run either concurrently (the time to serve runs together) or consecutively (the time to serve runs separately).
When a person is required to testify in court, he or she will be notified by a subpoena. A subpoena is legal notification issued by the clerk of the court and will specify the date, time, and place of the hearings which the individual is required to attend. Often there is no way of knowing which defendants will plead guilty to their cases and the order which the cases will be called. Sometimes,”on call” subpoenas are sent to victims and witnesses. When you receive an “on call” subpoena, YOU MUST TELEPHONE the number on the subpoena IMMEDIATELY and let the Assistant Solicitor know how to contact you at all times during the week of the trial calendar. This is done for your convenience and usually will allow you to continue your daily routine. If you receive a subpoena without the words “on call” typed on it, YOU MUST APPEAR in court on the date and time specified. You will probably be required to wait outside the courtroom until you are called to testify. Every effort will be made to avoid unnecessary delays and inconvenience.
The purpose of the trial is to determine the facts in the case. In a criminal trial, the Solicitor General’s Office represents the State of Georgia. The Assistant Solicitor assigned to the case may be referred to as the “prosecutor” during the trial. The accused may choose to represent him or herself, hire a private attorney or utilize a court-provided attorney if he or she cannot afford to hire one. Several cases are usually scheduled for trial during the same week. On the first day of the trial week, the judge will decide which cases are ready to be tried and in what order. The court will also take guilty pleas from some defendants.
At the trial, the prosecution presents its evidence to the judge and jury first. When you are called into the courtroom, you will be sworn in as a witness, and the Assistant Solicitor will ask you questions about the case. When the Assistant Solicitor is finished, the defense will then have an opportunity to ask questions of you.
Upon completion of the closing arguments, the Judge delivers the “jury charge.” The jury charge is the Court’s instruction to the jury as to the laws that should be applied to the evidence they heard during the trial.
Once the jury has been instructed as to the law, the jury retires to the jury room. Only the jury members are allowed into the room. There, the jury decides whether there is enough evidence to convict the defendant. Their final decision is called the verdict.
Georgia law provides compensation for victims of violent crimes, or their dependents, who have suffered out-of-pocket losses due to physical injury, loss of income, or death, Contact the Victim Assistance Program for additional information.
* important notice: even though you are not required to be present, you may come if you wish. Contact the Victim Assistance Program for times and dates.
Victim Impact Statement
A victim will be given the opportunity to provide a written impact statement to be submitted to the court, or if the victim wishes to make an oral statement at the time of sentencing he or she may speak directly to the judge.
A written order from a judge that a person be arrested. If you are a victim or a witness, the warrant is based on a written statement about the crime in which you were involved.