General Guidelines for Citizen Arrest Warrant Application Process
Notice: This information is for the purpose of explaining the general process of applying for an arrest warrant in Magistrate Court by a citizen. It is not exhaustive and should not be substituted for competent legal counsel. The Court encourages in the greatest emphasis possible to seek legal counsel. Court personal are not authorized to provide legal advice. The Clerk will be happy to explain the general procedure for making an application, but cannot tell a person how to proceed to advise them on what to do.
Warrant application hearing may be utilized by individuals who have reason to believe that a person has committed a crime against that person or a minor in their custody. Questions to consider:
Is the action a crime in violation of the Official Code of Georgia?
Did the crime occur in Lumpkin County?
Have you first reported this to either the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office or Dahlonega Police Department? The Court encourages you to do so, as they are in the best position to investigate the matter and are the most utilized avenue for seeking an arrest warrant.
Do you have any evidence that the person committed the crime (whether by videos, photos, and other witnesses)?
Do you have information on where this person can be located (and served with a court date for the warrant application)?
A form application can be found on this section of the Magistrate Court website or at our front office. The accused must fill out the application and present sworn testimony regarding the allegation. Other witnesses and evidence are invited to be present at the initial application, as well. Once an application has been completed, a hearing date will be scheduled approximately three weeks from the application (in some limited circumstances, under statutory guidelines, warrants may be issued immediately). Notice of the hearing with a copy of the application will be sent to the person being accused of committing the crime. It is very important to supply the Court with a current mailing address or location of the accused person, including where the person works. At the hearing, the parties will first mediate the case and then will proceed with a hearing if the applicant and accused cannot come to a mediated agreement. If no agreement is reached, then a hearing will take place where the applicant must prove to the Court by probable cause that the accused committed the crime alleged. The District Attorney’s Office will not be presenting the case on behalf of the applicant at this hearing. If the Court finds probable cause, then an arrest warrant may be issued. The accused will then be arrested and go through the normal booking process, which includes a first appearance, bond and bond conditions possibly being set. The District Attorney’s Office will then decide whether to prosecute the charge to trial.