Victim Services Program
Welcome to our web site. I hope it will assist you in better understanding the Criminal Justice System and the role of the District Attorney's office in the System.
The District Attorney represents the State of Georgia in the prosecution of felony crimes committed in Henry County. This representation involves assisting victims of crimes in a variety of ways (See Victim Services Program for details), attending Grand Juries and serving as their legal advisor, conducting jury trials for those criminal cases that do not plead guilty, and representing the State in drug forfeiture cases by seeking to condemn profits made by drug dealers. The District Attorney also prosecutes delinquency cases in the Juvenile Court of Henry County.
The District Attorney also represents the State when criminal convictions are appealed from the Superior and Juvenile Courts to either the Georgia Court of Appeals or the Georgia Supreme Court.
The District Attorney also prosecutes both civilly and criminally parents of children that fail to pay child support. This unit has collected millions of dollars in support for children from their absent parents.
Throughout all of these duties, the District Attorney's basic function is to serve Justice in all cases.
The Flint Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office has established a Victim Services Program to assist those who are victimized by crimes committed in this circuit. As a victim/witness to a crime, you have certain rights as outlined below. Please notice that you are required to provide a current address and phone number to the notifying agencies if you wish to exercise your rights as a victim. You also have a right to waive these rights if you do not wish to exercise them.
- You have the right to designate a family member to exercise your privileges and rights if you are physically disabled.
- You have the right to notification of the accused's arrest, release from custody, and any judicial proceedings at which such release is considered.
- You have the right to notification of accused's pretrial release, and of these victims' rights, and the availability of victims' compensation and services.
- You have the right to express your opinion as to pending proceedings and to file written complaints through the prosecuting attorney in the event of release from custody.
- You have the right to notification by the prosecuting attorney of legal procedures and in victims' rights in relation thereto, such as procedural steps in processing a criminal case, and suggested procedures if threatened or intimidated.
- You have the right to have a separate waiting area at court proceedings.
- You have the right to request that defense counsel not disclose victim information to the accused.
- You have the right to express your opinion on the disposition of the accused's case.
- You have the right to notification of accused's motion for new trial or appeal, release on bail or recognizance, appellate proceedings, outcome of appeal, and victim's rights retained at new trial or on appeal.
- You have the right to notification of impending parole or consideration for parole.
As well as assisting you with exercising the above-listed rights, the Victim Services Program can also provide you with additional services:
- Referrals (including emergency referrals) to other service providing agencies in the community that provide counseling, or food, clothing, shelter or medical care.
- Preparation and orientation for court appearances.
- Escort and/or moral support in the courtroom.
- Restitution information/property return assistance/victims' compensation assistance.
Remember, if you wish to exercise these rights and receive the full benefits of all these services, it is important to request so in writing. There is a notification form available for your convenience that you can obtain through the District Attorney's Office.
Our office is located in the Henry County Courthouse, One Courthouse Square, McDonough, Georgia 30253.
Special Services for Child Victims:
- Courtroom Orientations for children
- Age appropriate materials (e.g. coloring books - tips on testifying)
- Video materials available for viewing
Crime Victim Compensation
The State of Georgia has a program to assist you with crime related expenses if you are a victim of violent crime. It can compensate victims for medical costs, counseling, lost wages, funeral expense, and various other costs. The program is offered as a payer of last resort. For more information, contact the District Attorney or the following address:
Office of the Governor
Criminal Justice Coordinating Council
503 Oak Place, Suite 540
Atlanta, GA 30349
(404) 657-2222 or online
- Office of the District Attorney (felonies): (770) 288-6400
- Office of the District Attorney (Juvenile): (770) 288-6356
- Clerk of Superior Court: (770) 288-8022
- Magistrate Court: (770) 288-7700
- Solicitor's Office (misdemeanors): (770) 288-7178
- Henry County Police Department: (770) 288-8200
- Henry County Sheriff's Department: (770) 288-2200
- McDonough Police Department: (770) 957-1218
- Locust Grove Police Department: (770) 957-7055
- Hampton Police Department: (770)946-4513
Victim Services Program
- District Attorney's Office: (770) 288-6400; E-Mail
- Juvenile Division: (770) 288-6345; E-Mail
Criminal Justice Process
The following is a brief overview of the procedures involved in the criminal justice system. Of course, every case is unique and may have special considerations.
Usually, for the accused to be arrested, a warrant must be issued by the Magistrate Court. This can be done by an officer or by a civilian.
An arrest is made when the police officially takes a person into custody. The police are required to advise the individual of certain rights entitled to him.
Bail or Bond
After the arrest, the accused is offered an opportunity to make bail or bond. By paying the specified amount of money, the accused is allowed to be free from jail to await further legal proceedings. The justification for bail or bond is to assure the accused appears in court and it further serves to maintain the presumption of innocence for the accused.
There are certain crimes that require bail or bond to be set by the Superior Court Judge. Those crimes include: Murder, Rape, Armed Robbery, Hijacking, Certain Drug Offenses, Aggravated Child Molestation, Aggravated Sexual Battery, Treason, Aggravated Sodomy, Aggravated Stalking. Also Kidnapping, Arson, Aggravated Assault, and Burglary if previously convicted of or on bail for any of these crimes.
The Superior Court Judge hears the petition brought before him for setting a bond. He then rules on the motion and either sets or denies bond.
A preliminary hearing is usually held within two weeks after the arrest of the accused. It is usually held in the Magistrate Court. At this hearing, evidence is presented to the presiding judge, who decides if the evidence presented to him or her is sufficient to proceed in Superior Court. This is sometimes referred to as binding the case over for grand jury presentation.
The purpose of grand jury presentation is to hear testimony and facts from the officer and/or victim involved in the case. The grand jury is closed to the public. Only those subpoenaed to testify are allowed to participate. After hearing the presentation, the grand jury votes on the case. If they determine the defendant should be formally charged, they "indict" the case. If they determine the defendant should not be formally charged due to insufficient evidence, they "no bill" the case.
After the grand jury has indicted a case, the accused will appear before a Superior Court Judge and either plead "guilty" or "not guilty". If the defendant pleads guilty, the Judge will probably sentence him or her on that day. If he or she pleads not guilty, the case will be put on a trial calendar unless the defendant changes his or her plea.
The purpose of a jury trial is to lay before the selected jury the evidence in a case and the law that applies. A jury considers the evidence presented to them by the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney who represents the defendant. Witnesses are subpoenaed to testify in court, which is a legal notification issued by the Clerk of Superior Court. Trials vary in length and sometimes require a good deal of waiting. Usually, all witnesses are "sequestered" which means they are removed or set apart from other witnesses and from hearing testimony in the courtroom. After a victim has testified, it may be possible for her or him to remain in the courtroom for remaining testimony. At the conclusion of opening statements, evidence, closing statements, and the jury charge, the jury deliberates until they reach a verdict. If a verdict is reached, they return the verdict in open court which will be either "guilty" or "not guilty". If the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, a mistrial is declared.
The judge imposes sentence usually immediately following the trial. Sometimes a pre-sentencing hearing is held for the judge to consider. The defendant could receive prison time and/or probated sentence. If the defendant receives probation, he or she will be assigned a probation officer to whom he or she will be required to report and keep informed of his or her current residence, place of employment, and any trips out of town. Victims (or survivors) of sex-related crimes and/or violent crimes resulting in bodily injury or death have the right to be notified prior to any order by the Court shortening the period of probation originally ordered. It is the victim's responsibility to keep the Probation Office notified of his or her address. The victim notification form for the Probation Office can be obtained through the Victim Services Program in the District Attorney's office. If the defendant receives a prison sentence, the defendant will enter the State of Georgia's prison system and will serve the time in a state facility. The Georgia Department of Corrections has a notification program to which you may request notification regarding release from prison upon serving the maximum sentence, transfer, escape and recapture, or death of an inmate while in custody. This is different from parole notification. (See Parole below). To request notification from the Department of Corrections, notify the District Attorney's office or contact:
Georgia Department of Corrections
Victim Services/Operations Divisions
2 Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30334
Victims' Advocacy Office
State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30334
Remember: If you wish to request that the District Attorney's office keep you notified regarding a court case, you must request it in writing, providing an address and current phone number where you can be reached. We will send you a notification request form if you call victim services at (770) 288-6400.