Georgia Private Warrant Applications Lawyer
Dozens of crimes happen every day in Atlanta. Unfortunately, our police officers don’t catch every criminal, and may be too overloaded to track down every lead. If a crime has been committed against you, and law enforcement has not done anything to rectify the situation, you can file a private warrant application.
In Atlanta, this is done at the Magistrate Court of Fulton County. However, a private warrant application may be filed in whatever magistrate court serves your county.
The process after a private warrant application is generally quick, and can also be confusing. If you are trying to file one, it is a good idea to have an experienced attorney by your side. In addition, having a private warrant brought against you can be a scary experience.
Having a criminal defense attorney represent you in these cases is the best route. The attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Kilgo have many years of experience on both sides of private warrants in Atlanta. Call us today at 770-685-6400 for a free consultation.
Filing a Private Warrant Application in Fulton County
The process of filing a private warrant application is laid out in Georgia Code Section 17-4-40. Once the application is filed and found valid, a hearing will be scheduled during which the accused will have a chance to defend themselves as to why they should not be arrested.
This hearing will happen as soon as possible; Fulton County Magistrate Court waits at least two weeks so the defendant has time to be notified and seek legal counsel, and so any witnesses can also be notified. There are times when the arrest will be made immediately, though, if the judge finds probable cause that any of these circumstances apply:
- There is an immediate or continuing threat to the applicant or a third party;
- The person against whom the warrant is issued will attempt to evade arrest or obstruct justice;
- The person sought is in a local, state or federal jail/prison, or otherwise in the custody of law enforcement;
- The defendant is a fugitive from the law;
- The defendant is wanted for deposit fraud (Georgia Code section 16-9-20), and they have already been given a 10-day notice that payment was refused to the drawee due to lack of funds; or
- The defendant is being charged with family violence.
In addition, if the crime is a felony or of a sexual nature, the application process will be halted while law enforcement investigates the allegations. No warrant will be sent out during a pending felony investigation, unless the investigating detective requests it.
There are some small details to consider if you are filing a private warrant application in Fulton County. First, the crime must have been committed in Fulton. Second, when you file the application, there is a $20 fee, unless the crime was domestic violence or sex-related. You must present a photo ID, as well as all of the details of the crime. Finally, you must have the physical address for all parties listed, so they can be notified of the warrant.
The hearing itself will proceed as a customary court case. Both sides have the right to legal counsel, and may present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. However, all evidence and witnesses must be relevant to probable cause. If, at the end of the hearing, the judge decides there is probable cause, a warrant will be issued for an arrest.
Depending on the evidence given, the warrant may be issued for the applicant, respondent, any witness or any other person who may or may not have been at the hearing, but whom the court believes committed a crime. From there, the normal process of a criminal trial will proceed.
Private Warrant Application Process in Dekalb County
To file a private warrant in DeKalb County, a citizen must visit the Magistrate Court of DeKalb County located at 3630 Camp Circle, 4400 Memorial Drive Complex in Decatur. The Hours of operation are 8:30 am to midnight every day of the week.
There are some things that a person will need in order for the application to be granted:
- The applicant must be 18 years of age or older
- Parents or guardians may file on behalf of a minor
- The named person in the warrant must be 17 years old or older
- Proof that the alleged crime took place in DeKalb County
- The police report number, if available
- The current mailing address of the person named in the warrant
- The date of birth of the person named in the warrant
- The person filing the application must swear before the clerk of court that the information is true and accurate
- A $20 application fee
Private Warrant Application Process in Gwinnett County
For misdemeanor crimes, or those punishable by less than 12 months in jail, that occur in Gwinnett County, a citizen is permitted to pursue the criminal matter on their own. To apply for a private warrant, you must visit the Gwinnett Magistrate Court, located at 2900 University Parkway in Lawrenceville. The court can be found on the second floor.
Any applicant must not only fill out the application for the criminal arrest warrant and pay the $20 application fee in cash, but swear an oath to a judge and provide testimony. If the judge deems the testimony supports the issuance of a warrant, a formal warrant application hearing will be scheduled.
The warrant application will be given to the applicant immediately and sent to the person named so that they may attend the hearing. The hearing will be cancelled if the named person cannot be served.
Private Warrant Application Process in Cobb County
People who want to apply for a private warrant in Cobb County need to visit the Cobb County Magistrate Court at 32 Waddell Street in Marietta. The court is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the requirements for filing such an application, citizens can call the Clerk of Courts at (770) 528-8900.
Private Warrant Application Process in Forsyth County
If you would like to file a private warrant application in Forsyth County, you can do so by visiting the Magistrate Court. To expedite the process, you can fill out the application by downloading and printing it. The application can be found here.
The Magistrate Court is located at 1090 Tribble Gap Road in Cumming. Like other counties, once you have sworn that the information contained in the application is true, a hearing will be set in order for the named person to respond.
Private Warrant Application Process in Cherokee County
Once you have reported the alleged crime to the police, you may choose to pursue the matter further by applying for a criminal warrant. In order to be granted, your application must meet certain requirements:
- The applicant is an adult aged 18 or older
- The parent or guardian may file on behalf of a minor
- The named person is 17 years old or older
- The alleged crime took place in Cherokee County
- There must be a police report number included
- The mailing address for the named person is in the application
- The applicant must swear before the clerk of court that the application contains accurate and truthful information
- A $20 application fee must be paid
Private Warrant Attorneys in Atlanta
Whether you are filing a private warrant application or have been named in one, you have the right to legal counsel. Don’t squander that right. Contact the experienced attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Kilgo today at 770-685-6400 for a free consultation. Whatever side of the aisle you are on, we can solidify your case to make sure justice is realized. Call now.