Understanding Georgia's Criminal Laws and Procedures 

By - Isaiah
23.02.24 08:11 PM

A Guide to Georgia Criminal Code and Court Procedures 

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a crime in Georgia, navigating the criminal justice system can feel overwhelming. It's important to understand the laws and court procedures specific to our state. 

Georgia's Criminal Code

Georgia follows the Georgia Criminal Code, which outlines the statutes that define criminal offenses. The Code is divided into titles addressing different types of crimes like offenses against the person, property crimes, drug offenses, and more. Familiarizing yourself with the Code can help you understand potential charges.

Arrest and Arraignment  

After an arrest, suspects are taken to the local police station for booking. They will then have an initial appearance or arraignment in magistrate or municipal court. At this hearing, the charges are formally presented and bail is determined. The defendant can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

Preliminary Hearings

For more serious felonies, a preliminary hearing may be held within 72 hours of arrest. The prosecution must present evidence to show probable cause to proceed to trial. Defendants can challenge weak evidence and sometimes get charges reduced or dismissed at this stage.

Grand Jury Indictment

Felony charges require indictment by a grand jury. Prosecutors will present their case to a grand jury of citizens who decide if there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed. Their decision results in a true bill of indictment.

I hope this overview of Georgia's criminal laws and court procedures has helped explain the process. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you need legal assistance or have additional questions.