Criminal Matters FAQs

Criminal Matters: Frequently Asked Questions

No. If you think that there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you should contact the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office at 404-298-8200.

As a private citizen, you may apply for the issuance of a criminal arrest warrant, however, an investigation by the appropriate police department may be required before a warrant is issued for a felony offense. You can do so in person at Magistrate Court Criminal Division, 3630 Camp Circle, in Decatur. More information about warrants and applying can be found on the warrants page.

A cash bond may be refunded only after a case is completed and all paperwork signed. Any cash bonds that were posted at the DeKalb County Jail will be refunded by the Sheriffs Office located on Floor B of the Judicial Tower at the DeKalb County Courthouse. Cash bond money may be refunded only to the person who posted the bond and whose name appears on the bond receipt upon presentation of appropriate documents to verify identity.

For a misdemeanor case, you will request the disposition from the State Court clerk’s office. For felony cases, please make your request with the Superior Court clerk’s office. The clerk’s office of the State Court retains original misdemeanor case files for the last three (3) years on-site. Superior Court retains rerecords on site for the last five (5) years. Upon request, the clerk will make a certified copy of the case disposition. There is a fee for this certified copy. Older files stored offsite must be ordered from the county’s records retention center. Once a request has been made it takes (3) three to (10) ten days for the file to be delivered to the clerk’s office.

The Clerk’s office is not allowed to give legal advice on how to have a record expunged. You may make inquiries of the prosecuting agency (the Solicitor-General’s office in State Court case) or the original arresting agency about the expungement of arrest records. There are other legal remedies. Please seek the advice of an attorney. Generally, a defendant or the attorney is expected to contact the assistant solicitor (or his or her staff) to inform them of the request for a continuance and the reason for it and to find out whether they will be opposed to the continuance before the matter is presented to the judge. Requests for continuance are generally presented in writing, if time permits, or by contacting the judge’s secretary. Unless you are informed by the judge’s staff that a continuance has been allowed, you must appear. Failure to appear may lead to revocation of any bond and the issuance of a bench warrant for your arrest and incarceration pending trial.

The police agency that takes the report has a records department from which you would get a copy.

An investigation by the appropriate police department is required before a warrant is issued for a felony offense.

You can call the DeKalb Magistrate Court Criminal Division at 404-294-2150.

Generally, once a warrant is issued the warrant will not be dismissed before a review by the prosecuting attorney’s office.

In most cases, Georgia law requires the court to schedule a hearing when an application is made for a warrant by a person other than an officer. The hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a warrant for that person’s arrest.

You do not pay for a warrant. The payment is the application fee for a warrant and the cost is in no way based upon whether or not a warrant is issued.

You can have witnesses at your warrant application hearing if you feel their testimony will help you prove your case.

Legal Waiver

The following “Questions and Answers” are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. DeKalb County State and Magistrate Clerks do not practice law, and the employees of State and Magistrate Courts cannot act as your attorney. The State and Magistrate Clerks cannot provide legal advice and are not permitted to engage in the practice of law. The Clerk’s Office is prohibited from providing any kind of advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies.

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