The Court System

The criminal process typically begins with a stop or an arrest. It could end at any point up to the time of acquittal or sentencing, depending on the facts and circumstances of any particular case. You have certain rights at every stage of the criminal process. The following is a brief explanation of each step from a stop through verdict in a DUI case:

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Map of North East Georgia

Arrest and Bail: After being arrested for DUI typically bail will be set under $5,000.00. Bail is an amount of money that the suspect must post so that he or she can get out of jail. The amount of bail depends on a number of factors including the number of DUI arrests, whether a lengthy criminal history is present and whether the suspect is a flight risk. If the suspect shows up for future court dates, the bail money is returned.  If, however, the suspect doesn't show up or flees, the court will keep the money and issue an arrest warrant.

Administrative license suspension: The ten-day period after a DUI arrest is very important in Georgia.  Simply stated, if you do not follow exact steps for requesting a hearing within ten business days of your arrest, in most cases, the State will automatically suspend your driver's license. The failure to follow this procedure will drastically affect your options and your outcome.

Arraignment: The accused is given a court date upon release from jail. On this date the judge will inform the accused of the criminal charges against him or her; typically this process will be waived as a courtesy to the client so as not to disrupt normal daily activities and to lessen the headache associated with a DUI arrest.  A schedule is set for future court dates.

Motion hearing: Prior to a motion hearing the prosecutor will forward the evidence in the case; after a review of the evidence motions will be filed.  At the motion hearing the court will consider evidence presented and make a ruling as to what evidence will be allowed at trial. This is where technical, constitutional and other issues may be presented. Based on the court's ruling we will develop a strategy and a plan of attack.

Trial: At trial typically a jury of six will be selected. The government and attorney will give opening and closing statements, introduce evidence and question witnesses. An acquittal will result in you leaving the courtroom with your attorney. If a guilty verdict is returned, the court will impose a sentence, which may include incarceration, fines, court costs, restitution and probation.

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State Court

State courts exercise limited jurisdiction within one county. These judges hear misdemeanors including traffic violations.

Municipal Court

Cities and towns in Georgia establish municipal courts to handle traffic offenses and local ordinance violations.  Municipal court judges are often appointed by the mayor.  Some are elected.  There are more than 350 municipal courts operating in Georgia.

Superior Court

The superior court exercises both civil and criminal jurisdiction. Superior court judges preside over all felony trials. The 49 superior court circuits in Georgia are made up of one or more counties; each circuit has a chief superior court judge and a number of other judges as authorized by the General Assembly.



Judge Robert Sneed  -

Chief Clerk Wylene White -  Address: 229 Chatuge Way, Hiawassee, Ga 30546- phone: (706) 896-2203 - Chief of Police: Jimmy Wright  - Address: 50 River Street, Hiawassee, Ga 30546 -  phone: (706) 896-2888


Judge Robert Sneed -

City Clerk Amanda Sexton  -    Address: PO Box 247, Baldwin, Ga 30511- phone: (706) 778-6341 - Chief of Police: Chad Nichols - Address: 155 Willingham Ave., Baldwin, Ga 30511 phone: (706) 776-5256 ·


Judge Robert Sneed -

City Clerk Cindy Neely -  Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 307, Blairsville, GA 30512, (physical) 33 Blue Ridge Street, Blairsville, GA 30512 - phone: (706) 835-1692 - Chief of Police: Johnny W. Carroll  -  Address: 378 Beasley Street, Ga 30512 - phone: (706) 835-1692 ·

Blue Ridge

Judge Robert Sneed -

City Clerk Barbie Gerald  - Address: 480 West First Street, Blue Ridge, GA  30513 - phone: (706) 632-2091 - Chief of Police: Johnny Scearce  - Address: 301 Church Street, Blue Ridge, Ga 30513  - phone: (706) 632-3451 ·


Judge Graham McKinnon IV -

City Clerk Dawn Farris -  Address: 4982 Georgia 53, Braselton, Ga 30517 ;- phone: (706) 654-3915 -  Chief of Police: Terry Esco  -  Address: 5040 Georgia 53, Braselton, GA 30517 - phone: (706) 658-2852 ·


Judge Robert Sneed -

Chief Clerk Elaine Waller  - Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 21, Clarkesville , GA 30523, (physical) 123 N Laurel Dr , Clarkesville, GA 30523 - phone: (706) 754-4216 - Chief of Police: Brad Barrett o   Address: 210 E. Water Street, Clarkesville, Ga 30523 - phone: (706) 754-5390


Judge David Smith -

City Clerk Rhonda Lundsford - Municipal Clerk Merrie Queen -  Address: 99 N. Church Street Clayton,  Ga 30525  - phone: (706) 782-2181 - Chief of Police: Lindsey Owens  - Address: 837 Highway 76W, Suite 125 Clayton, GA 30525 - phone: (706) 782-2181 ·


Judge Winslow H. Verdery, Jr. -

City Clerk Paula Kimbrell  - Address: (mailing) PO Box 934 Cornelia, Ga 30531, (physical) 163 Larkin St, Cornelia, GA 30531; phone: (706) 778-4314 - Chief of Police: Chad Smith  - Address: 163 Larkin St, Cornelia, GA 30531 - phone: (706) 778-4314


Judge G. Hammond Law III -

City Clerk - Address: 465 Riley Rd. Dahlonega, GA 30533; phone:


Judge Winslow H. Verdery,Jr.  -

City Clerk Samantha Eller - Municipal Court Clerk Cecelia Collins  - Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 128, Demorest, GA 30535 (physical) 125 Ivy Street Demorest, GA 30535 - phone: (706) 754-7562 - Chief of Police: Greg Ellingson - Address: 125 Ivy Street Demorest, GA 30535- phone: (706) 754-7562


Judge Robert Sneed -

City Clerk Jackie Hefner -  Address: 197 North Main Street , Ellijay, GA 30540 - phone: (706) 635-4711 - Chief of Police: Larry Callahan  -    Address: 197 N Main St, Ellijay, GA 30540 -  phone: (706) 635-7430 ·

Flowery Branch

Judge Michelle Hall -

Chief Municipal Clerk Debra Culberson  -  Address: PO BOX 757 Flowery Branch, Ga 30542 ; phone: (770) 967-6371 - Chief of Police: David Spillers  - Address: 5517 Main Street, Flowery Branch, Ga 30542 ; phone: (770) 967-6371


Judge G. Hammond Law III -

City Clerk Carolyn Sullins  - Address: 701 Queen City Parkway, Gainesville, GA  30501 phone: (770) 538-2486 - Chief of Police: Carol Martin  - Address: 701 Queen City Parkway, SW Gainesville, GA 30501-  phone: (770) 534-5252


Judge G. Hammond LawIII -

City Clerk Tangee Puckett  - Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 99, Oakwood, GA 30566, (physical) Main St SW, Oakwood, GA 30566; phone: (770) 534-2364 - Chief of Police: Randall Moon  - Address: 4035 Walnut Circle, Oakwood, Ga 30566, (physical) P.O. Box 99 Oakwood Georgia 30566; phone: (770) 534-2365 ·

Habersham County State Court

Judge Steve Campbell

Clerk David C. Wall - Address: (mailing) PO Box 489 Cornelia, GA 30531, (physical) 295 Llewellyn Street, Suite 240, Clarkesville, GA 30523 - phone: (706) 778-2134 - Sheriff: Joey Terrell -  Address: 1000 Detention Drive Clarkesville, Georgia 30523 - phone: (706) 839-0500 ·

Hall County State Court

Judge Charles Wynne -

Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 737 Gainesville, GA 30503-3303 ; phone: (770) 531-7007     Judge B.E. Roberts, III -  Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 1036 Gainesville, GA 30503-3303 ; phone: (770) 718-5143     Judge Larry A. Baldwin II -  Address: P.O. Box 3303 Gainesville, GA 30503-3303 ; phone: (678) 450-3720  Physical address for all 3: 225 Green St., SE Gainesville, GA 30501-3717  Clerk Michelle Meeks  Address: 225 Green St., SE Gainesville, GA 30501-3717; phone: (770) 531-7038 Sheriff: Gerald Couch  Address: 610 Main Street SW Gainesville, GA 30501-4420 ; phone: (770) 536-8812

Stephens County State Court

Judge James Irvin

Clerk Tim Quick  Address: (mailing) P.O. Box 386, Toccoa, Ga 30577, (physical) 37 W. Tugalo St., Toccoa, Ga 30577 ; phone: (706) 886-9491-  Sheriff: Randy Shirley -  Address: 70 N Alexander St, Toccoa, GA 30577; phone: (706) 886-2525

Rabun County Probate Court

Judge Lillian W. Garrett -

Clerk Savannah Dixon - Address: 25 Courthouse Square, Suite 215 Clayton, GA 30525 ; phone: (706) 782-3614 - Sheriff: Frank Andrews  - Address: 175 E Boen Creek Road, Tiger, GA 30576; phone: (706) 782-3612

White County Probate Court -

Judge Garrison Baker - Clerk Dena M. Adams  - Address: 59 S Main St Ste H, Cleveland, GA 30528; phone: (706) 865-4141 - Sheriff: Neal Walden  - Address: 1210 Hulsey Rd Cleveland, GA 30528 ; phone: (706) 865-5177 ·

Lumpkin County Probate Court

Judge Michael Chastain -

Clerk Shelley Wilson -  Address: 325 Riley Rd, Dahlonega, GA 30533; phone: (706) 864-3847, (706) 482- 2455 - Sheriff: Stacy Jarrard o   Address: 385 E. Main Street Dahlonega, GA 30533; phone: (706) 864-0414, (706) 864-0412

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