In Georgia, any person arrested and charged with an offense can find themselves prosecuted in one of four (4) courts; municipal, state, superior or federal court. Where a charge is prosecuted depends on the level of offense and the jurisdiction in which the alleged crime was committed.

The lowest level offenses, including traffic tickets and misdemeanors, are commonly prosecuted in municipal (city courts) and state courts. Misdemeanor offenses are those commonly punishable by up to twelve (12) months in incarceration/probation and/or a $1,000.00 fine. High and Aggravated Misdemeanors are also commonly prosecuted in these courts, and their sentencing range varies and are more severe. Common misdemeanors include Affray, Simple Battery, Theft by Shoplifting, Theft by Taking, DUI (Driving Under the Influence), including “less safe,” and Possession of Marijuana Less than One Ounce.

Felony offenses are prosecuted in the Superior Courts of Georgia. Felonies have varied ranges of potential incarceration and/or fines and are the offenses for which a Georgia Department of Corrections sentence are eligible in the State of Georgia. Felony offenses can include VGCSA (Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act) as Possession of Illegal Drugs, Possession with Intent to Distribute Illegal Drugs, Theft Crimes, Family Violence Crimes including Aggravated Assault and Battery.

Federal Courts may choose to prosecute misdemeanors or felonies which are committed in violation of federal statutes, even if the same action is also a violation of a State law.

The jurisdiction of your offense matters when choosing a defense attorney. Some attorneys specialize in State crimes which would appear before the State and Superior Courts. Some attorneys specialize in Federal crimes. Some attorneys participate in a practice that is a mix of the two.

Choosing a defense attorney that regularly practices in the jurisdiction in which you are charged can be beneficial, as that attorney will be familiar with the practices of the Court and demeanor of all those participating in the process of the prosecution.

No matter where you are charged, State, Superior or Federal Court, we at Horne & Griffis are prepared to fight for you against any chargeable offense. Your rights are our priority.