Victim Services Program
The Henry County District Attorney’s Office prosecutes all felony crimes that occur in Henry County (the Flint Judicial Circuit). Henry County District Attorney Darius Pattillo and his staff represent the State of Georgia in prosecuting all violations of law that occur in unincorporated Henry County, as well as the cities of McDonough, Stockbridge, Hampton and Locust Grove.
District Attorney Pattillo and his staff are committed to the highest ethical and professional standards while working to bring justice to the State of Georgia. This includes thoroughly investigating all felony cases, presenting cases to the Grand Jury and prosecuting all felony cases through both pleas and trials in the Henry County Superior Court.
In addition to District Attorney Pattillo, the staff is comprised of Assistant District Attorneys, investigators, victim advocates and support staff. The victim advocates are tasked with ensuring that victims of crime receive up-to-date information on their cases, as well as understand the criminal justice process. The District Attorney’s Juvenile Division prosecutes youthful offenders in Juvenile Court. The District Attorney’s Office also represents the State of Georgia in all criminal convictions that are appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals and the Georgia Supreme Court. In addition, the Office is tasked with prosecuting parents of children who fail to pay child support, as well as managing asset forfeiture cases for the State of Georgia.
For more information:
The District Attorney's Office has established a Victim Services Program to assist victims of crimes that are committed in Henry County. Under the Georgia Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, victims have the following rights:
- The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any scheduled court proceedings or any changes to such proceedings;
- The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of the arrest, release from custody, or escape of the accused;
- The right not to be excluded from any scheduled court proceedings, except as provided by law;
- The right to be heard at any scheduled court proceedings involving the release, plea, or sentencing of the accused;
- The right to file a written objection in any parole proceedings involving the accused;
- The right to confer with the prosecuting attorney in any criminal prosecution related to the victim;
- The right to restitution as provided by law;
- The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; and
- The right to be treated fairly and with dignity by all criminal justice agencies involved in the case.
To exercise these rights, victims must provide a current address and phone number to the notifying agencies. Victims also have a right to waive these rights if they do not wish to exercise them.
In addition to assisting victims with exercising these rights, the Victim Services Program also provides the following services:
- Referrals (including emergency referrals) to other service providing agencies in the community, such as organizations that provide counseling, 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
To exercise these rights and receive the full benefits of all these services, it is important to request so in writing through the following link (http://www.co.henry.ga.us/DistrictAttorney/VictimNotification.shtml) or the notification form available from the District Attorney's Office on the second floor of the Henry County Courthouse, One Courthouse Square, McDonough, Georgia 30253.
Special Services for Child Victims:
Crime Victim Compensation
- Courtroom orientations for children
- Age-appropriate materials, including coloring books with tips on testifying
- Video materials
The State of Georgia has a program to assist victims of violent crime with crime-related expenses. The program provides compensation to eligible victims for medical costs, counseling, lost wages, funeral expense, and various other costs. The program has specific eligibility requirements. To learn about these eligibility requirements and additional information, contact the District Attorney or the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council at 404-657-2222 or https://cjcc.georgia.gov/victims-compensation.
Important Contact Information
- Henry County District Attorney’s Office: 770-288-6400, firstname.lastname@example.org,ga,us
- Henry County District Attorney’s Office Juvenile Division: 770- 288-6356
- Henry County Clerk of Superior Court: 770-288-8022
- Henry County Magistrate Court: 770-288-7700
- Henry County 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
Criminal Justice Process
The following is a brief overview of the procedures involved in the criminal justice system. 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. A warrant may be requested by a law enforcement officer or by a civilian.
An arrest is made when the police takes a person into custody for violating the law. The police are required to advise the individual of their constitutional rights.
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 released 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 serious crimes that require bail or bond to be set by a Superior Court judge, including murder, rape, armed robbery, hijacking of a motor vehicle, certain drug offenses, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, and aggravated stalking. The crimes of kidnapping, arson, aggravated assault and burglary require that bail be set by a Superior Court judge if the accused has a prior conviction or is on bail for any of these crimes.
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 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed in Superior Court. This is sometimes referred to as binding the case over for presentment to the grand jury.
The grand jury determines if there is sufficient probable cause to formally charge an individual with a crime. The grand jury is closed to the public. Only those subpoenaed to testify are allowed to be present. After hearing evidence, the grand jury votes on the case. If they determine the defendant should be formally charged, they will issue a true bill to indict the case. If they determine the defendant should not be formally charged due to insufficient evidence, they will return a no bill on the case.
After the grand jury has indicted a case, the accused will appear before a Superior Court judge to be informed of their charges. At the arraignment, the defendant may plead guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads guilty, the Judge will likely sentence the defendant on that day. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will be scheduled on a trial calendar.
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. Witnesses will testify in court after being issued subpoenas, which are legal notifications issued by the Clerk of Superior Court. Trials vary in length depending on the type of case, number of witnesses and time it takes for a jury to deliberate. Usually, all witnesses are sequestered, which means they are removed or set apart from other witnesses and from hearing testimony in the courtroom. At the conclusion of opening statements, evidence, closing statements, and the jury charge, the jury deliberates until it reaches a verdict. If a verdict is reached, the jury will publish its verdict of guilty or not guilty in open court. If the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the judge will declare a mistrial.
The judge imposes sentence usually immediately following the verdict. In some cases, the judge will schedule sentencing at a later date to allow time for victims and other witnesses to present information. The judge will sometimes hear a victim impact statement.
If a defendant is sentenced to prison, the defendant will be taken into custody. If the defendant receives probation, the defendant will be required to report to an assigned probation officer. The defendant will be required to notify probation 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 for victims to receive information on the defendant’s release from prison, 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 visit: www.dcor.state.ga.us.
To receive information on a defendant’s parole from the Georgia Department of Corrections, contact: Victims' Advocacy Office
State Board of Pardons and Paroles
2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr., S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30334
Remember: To be notified about a court case, victims must complete a written request at http://www.co.henry.ga.us/DistrictAttorney/VictimNotification.shtml.