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The Magistrate Court of DeKalb County, Georgia

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  556 N. McDonough Street, DeKalb County Courthouse
Decatur, GA 30030-3356
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Criminal Matters

Preliminary Hearings

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The Criminal Division of the DeKalb County Magistrate Court holds preliminary hearings on felony cases at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is sufficient reason (probable cause) to believe the defendant committed the crime(s) alleged in the warrant(s) that have been issued against the defendant. If probable cause exists the case is sent to the Superior Court. The District Attorney's office will investigate the case further and decide on further prosecution. The decision of the Magistrate Court does not determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant. Defendants are entitled to be represented by a private attorney of their own choosing or may be represented by an attorney from the Public Defender's Office.

During the hearing the State will present evidence they believe shows probable cause. The defendant's attorney has the right to cross examine any witness called by the State. The defense can also call witnesses, but that is rarely done at a preliminary hearing. The judge may also reconsider the defendant's bond, as appropriate.


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The Magistrate Court of DeKalb County, Georgia | 556 N. McDonough Street, Suite 270, DeKalb County Courthouse, Decatur, GA 30030-3356 | Phone: 404-371-2261
The Diversion Treatment Court of DeKalb County | 556 N. McDonough St. Room 1200D, DeKalb County Courthouse, DeKalb County Courthouse, Decatur, GA 30030 | Phone: 404-371-2241

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