Court Appearance

Appearing in Court
If you choose to appear in court or have a case that requires a mandatory court appearance, Court will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and is held on the second story of the Fire Department in the City Council room. Please check your citation for the specific date that you must appear or call the Cornelia Police Department at 706-778-4314. Please arrive a few minutes early in an effort to clear the security check point areas. For Court security you may be subject to a search by the court bailiffs. No weapons, food, or drinks are allowed in the court room. Your cell phone must be turned off.

Not Guilty Pleas
If you decide to plead not guilty, you may have the option of having a non-jury bench trial in Municipal Court or you may have your case transferred to State Court. You will be advised of these rights at your first appearance. If you plead not guilty and request a non-jury bench trial in Municipal Court your case will be scheduled for a later court date. If you desire a jury trial you will need to complete a Request for Jury Trial Form.

Guilty Plea
If you plead Guilty, you will be waving any rights to:
  • A trial by judge or jury
  • A presumption of innocence
  • Confront witnesses
  • Testify and offer evidence
  • A right to counsel
  • The right against self-incrimination
  • If the Judge accepts the guilty plea, you will be sentenced and case will be disposed of.
  • If you plea Not Guilty, you will be asked to choose either a bench trial (which will be held here at the Municipal Court facility by our Judge, at a future date), or a Trial by Jury (which will be transferred to State Court and the trial will be scheduled for a later date).
  • You have the right to request a pre-trial conference with the prosecutor to discuss charges against you.
  • If you are to be placed on probation, you will meet with a probation officer before you are excused from court.
  • Failure to appear on your scheduled court date, will be subject to either a Bench Warrant being issued or a suspension of your license.
  • The disposition of your case will be transmitted to the appropriate agency, such as the Department of Drivers Services.
Failure to Appear
If you have not paid your citation(s) prior to your court date, then you must appear in court. If you fail to appear on your assigned court date a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest and/or your driver’s license or privilege to obtain a driver’s license will be subject to suspension by the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services. A failure to appear will also result in additional fees being added to the citation(s). If you are stopped by any law enforcement official you will be arrested and taken to jail.

It is very important...
You must appear in court on your scheduled court date. However, if you have an emergency that prevents you from attending your court date you should notify the court immediately. When appropriate, requests for continuances should be made in writing, along with any supporting documentation.