Solicitor-General, State Court
Solicitor-General, State Court
Solicitor-General Sonya Compton
Contact: Sonya Compton, Esquire - Solicitor General, State Court of Douglas County
8700 Hospital Drive - Third Floor, Douglas County Courthouse
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
The State Court of Douglas County was formed in July 2001 under the direction of Georgia Governor Roy Barnes. The Solicitor General represents the people of Douglas County and the State of Georgia as the Court's prosecuting attorney. The State Court, and therefore the Solicitor General, handles all misdemeanor criminal and traffic offenses committed with Douglas County.
The goal of the Solicitor General's Office is to balance the representation of the State while delivering justice swiftly and efficiently using a fair and impartial attitude. The goals include safety for the Public, holding defendants accountable for their actions, advocating the protection of victims of crime and offering support and assistance throughout the Court process.
The Office of the Solicitor General prosecutes all traffic violations occurring in Douglas County. All traffic offenses are prosecuted in the State Court of Douglas County located on the 4th floor of the Douglas County Courthouse.
Many fines for traffic citations may be paid before the arraignment date shown on the citation. If a ticket recipient wishes to pay their fine before the scheduled Court date, they may do so at the Clerk of State Court's office, located in the Clerk of Superior Court's Office, 2nd floor, Douglas County Courthouse.
In some situations, traffic recipients must appear before the Judge, as follows:
- driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI);
- driving without insurance;
- driving with a suspended license;
- speeding violations well in excess of the posted speed limit (100 mph or more); and/or
- speeding violations more than 24 miles per hour over the limit if the ticket recipient is under the age of 21.
Assigned Court dates are rescheduled only under extreme circumstances, such as the death or hospitalization of an immediate family member. If there is a possibility that a scheduled Court date will be missed, the Clerk of State Court and/or Solicitor General's Office must be contacted as far in advance of the Court date as possible. If the Court date is missed, a Bench Warrant will be issued for arrest.
Victim and Witness Services
"No one expects to be a victim of crime, but it does happen!"
Every year, many citizens of our County are victimized by violent crime. If you or someone you know are affected by crime, you may be shocked, angered or shamed, feel helpless or even confused.
The Victim's Witness Program of the Solicitor General's Office was established to offer crime victims and witnesses emotional support during the aftermath of crime and guidance through the maze of the criminal justice system.
Crime Victim Bill of Rights
- information about the status of your Court case;
- notice of all Court proceedings;
- explanation and information about the criminal justice system and proceedings;
- orientation to the courtroom setting and the people involved;
- escort to and from the Courtroom during proceedings as well as moral support;
- referral to social service agencies, counselors and others who can assist you;
- private waiting area prior to and during your Court appearance;
- assistance in completing your Victim Impact Statement and/or any additional forms needed.
The Court Process and Relevant Terms
- the right to notification of each stage in the judicial process to include pretrial hearings, bond, Grand Jury, arraignment, motion hearings, pleas of guilty, trial, sentencing, appeals;
- the right to notification of arrest, release, possibility of release, or escape of accused or any change in custodial status;
- the right to give opinions of release from custody or on bond issues;
- the right to a private waiting area during any related Court proceedings;
- The right to offer input on plea negotiations or sentence hearings and conditions;
- the right to receive compensation and/or restitution when eligible; and
- the right to protection from intimidation or harm.
Typical timeline for all misdemeanor cases and traffic offenses in the State Court of Douglas County:
- a criminal/traffic offense occurs;
- a warrant/citation is issued and served;
- an arrest is made (in some situations);
- bond/bail is set;
- Solicitor General's Office receives the warrant/citation and all related materials;
- an investigation is conducted to determine if charges need to be filed;
- if there is sufficient cause to do so, a formal accusation is filed with the Court;
- an arraignment is held;
- trial is held; and
- sentence is imposed by the Court.
List of terms commonly used in the Court process:
- Warrant: an arrest order issued by a Judge after probable cause has been shown by a law enforcement officer or victim;
- Bail/Bond: bail is set by Judges for misdemeanor charges that allows for the release of the defendant. Bond conditions may be ordered that will limit or deny contact between the defendant and a victim;
- Arraignment: this hearing is for the defendant to be advised of the charges against him/her and be allowed an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads guilty, the Judge will usually sentence the defendant on that day. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will be scheduled for trial.
- Trial: bench trial - the case is tried before the Judge only; jury trial - the case is presented before the Judge and a jury of six people;
- Subpoena: a Court document that requires your presence in Court. If you receive an on-call letter with your subpoena, you must respond to the Solicitor General's Office and let them know how you can be reached at all times during the week of trial. On-call is for the witness or victim's convenience. If the subpoena requires that you be in Court, you must report to the Courtroom listed on the day and time specified.
There are several laws that apply specifically to young people who are under 21 years of age. If you are under 21 and are convicted of any of the following offenses, your license will be suspended for 6 months (1st offense) or 1 year (2nd offense):
- driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (DUI);
- eluding or attempting to elude a police officer;
- reckless driving
- hit and run
- leaving the scene of an accident
- purchase of an alcoholic beverage;
- any moving violation for which 4 or more points are assessed (including speeding 24 mph or more over the speed limit);
- if under the age of 18, accrual of 4 or more points in a 12-month period.