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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions on a variety of subjects.

1. What is a misdemeanor?
    There are two kinds of misdemeanors in Georgia:
A General Misdemeanor is a crime that carries up to twelve (12) months in jail and/or up to $1,000 fine and/or community service.

A High & Aggravated Misdemeanor carries up to twelve (12) months in jail and/or up to $5,000 fine and/or community service.


Some misdemeanor offenses have minimum jail time and/or community service requirements as determined by Georgia law. Furthermore, a defendant may be placed on supervised probation until completion of the terms of his/her sentence.


2. Since this is a part-time State Court, can I hire the Solicitor General or another attorney practicing law at The Gailey Law Firm, LLC to represent me in a criminal case in Putnam County State Court or the Recorder's Court of Eatonton?
Absolutely not. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Solicitor General as well as any attorney working with The Gailey Law Firm, LLC will not represent any defendant on any criminal case that either originated from the State Court of Putnam County or the Municipal Court of Eatonton, or is currently pending in the State Court of Putnam County or the Municipal Court of Eatonton.

 
3. If the victim of a criminal case no longer wants to prosecute the case pending against me, will the case be dismissed by the Solicitor General?
Not necessarily. Every case filed into the State Court is carefully evaluated by the Solicitor General. The victim of every case is contacted through the Victim Witness Assistance Program and kept apprised of the status of the case as it progresses through the State Court. While the victim has a right to express their opinion as to whether or not a case should be prosecuted, it is ultimately the responsibility of the Solicitor General to ensure that justice is done in every case, even if that means prosecuting a case that the victim no longer wants prosecuted.


4. I live far away from Putnam County, Georgia and don’t want to come back to Court on my case. What happens if I don’t show up for Court?
Unless you are charged with an offense which the Court will permit you to pay your fine in advance of your court date, if you receive a notice of a court date you should always come to Court. If you have been given a notice to appear on a criminal case that you have pending in the State Court or the Municipal Court of Eatonton and then fail to appear for court, a bench warrant for your arrest and/or a license suspension will be issued against you for missing your court date. If you have posted a bond to guarantee your appearance in court, a motion for bond forfeiture will also be filed with the Court by the Solicitor General.


5. What if I am supposed to be in Court but my employer will not allow me to miss work?
If you have received a notice to appear in court, you must appear in court as instructed. If you are having an emergency, come to court early, approach the Solicitor General, and explain your emergency so that your case can be heard as quickly as possible. If you are a victim or a witness on a case, please contact the Solicitor General’s Office at (706) 923-2331 and we will assign a Volunteer Victim Witness Advocate to assist you with your case.


6. If I cannot afford to hire an attorney to represent me on my case in State Court, can I apply for an attorney with the Public Defender’s Office?
Yes. You will need to contact the Ocmulgee Circuit Public Defender Office at (478) 986-6185 or (478) 445-8100 and fill out an application prior to your court appearance provided by their office to see if you qualify for indigent representation. You can download an application for public defender services by clicking here.


7. Are court interpreters provided in State Court?
Yes. A Spanish interpreter is present for all court dates in the State Court. If you speak neither English nor Spanish, you will need to contact the Solicitor General’s Office prior to your court date so that we can make arrangements to have another interpreter present for your court appearance.



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