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State Court Solicitor


Rebecca L. Grist
Solicitor-General, Bibb County

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Office Address

ROOM 504 BIBB COUNTY COURTHOUSE
601 MULBERRY STREET
MACON, GEORGIA 31201

Telephone: (478) 621-6572
Fax: (478) 621-6339

Staff:

Sharell F. Lewis
Chief Assistant Solicitor-General

Cheferre Young
Assistant Solicitor-General

Elizabeth S. Howard
Assistant Solicitor-General

Caroline Messer
Victim-Witness Coordinator

Wayne Shepherd
Investigator

RESPONSIBILITIES

The Office of Solicitor-General is primarily responsible for the prosecution of all criminal misdemeanor offenses filed in the State Court of Bibb County. These cases include all misdemeanor warrants initiated in the Bibb County Magistrate’s Office; all traffic citations issued by the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department, Bibb County Board of Education Police, and the Georgia State Patrol; other citations issued by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bibb County Park Rangers and Bibb County Animal Control; and other violations cited by the Mercer Campus Police. Cases also arrive to the office via transfer from other courts and offices including the Bibb County District Attorney’s Office, the Macon Municipal Court and the Magistrate’s Court of Bibb County.

This office serves all the citizens of Bibb County. More particularly, the office strives to protect victims of misdemeanor crimes; aid law enforcement and seek equal justice in all such matters.

These offenses are investigated; victims and other witnesses are interviewed; cases are prosecuted through jury and non-jury trials; pleas are negotiated; and some cases are dismissed by the prosecutors because of evidentiary problems.

COURT PROCEDURES: Requests for continuances, entries of appearance and letters of representation should be directed to the Solicitor-General or one of the Assistant Solicitors-General. Arraignments and pleas are scheduled every Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. Non-jury trials begin every Friday at 8:00 a.m. with additional non-jury days scheduled at least one day per month at 9:00 a.m. Specially set trials are scheduled through the Judge’s office. Cases of defendants incarcerated in the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) are scheduled Tuesday mornings at 7:00 a.m. in the courtroom located in the Bibb LEC.

COURT CALENDARS: Criminal court calendars for pleas, arraignments and non-jury trials are prepared by the Solicitor-General’s office and are typically completed two-three days before scheduled court dates. Jury trial calendars are prepared at least three to four weeks prior to the call of the calendar. Cases may be added by the parties or their attorneys notwithstanding the completion of the calendar.

PAYABLE TICKETS: By order of the Court, there are a number of citations which do not require a court appearance by the defendant if the citation is uncontested. For such citations, the Court has approved a schedule of fines that is maintained in the Office of Solicitor-General and the State Court Clerk’s Office. Examples of payable citations are traffic violations other than DUI, Suspended License, Fleeing and Eluding and Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Many hunting and fishing violations and most county ordinance violations also do not require an appearance in court. To find out if a court appearance may be unnecessary, call the office at 478-621-6572.

VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:

Often times the victims of crimes feel like only the accused has rights. The Solicitor-General’s Office strongly believes victims should have rights and are to be treated with respect.

Victims of many types of crimes have rights and responsibilities under a Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 17-17-1) called the Victim’s Bill of Rights. The purpose of the Victim-Witness Assistance Program is to educate and assist victims of such crimes.

As a victim, you have the right to be notified of: arrest of the accused; availability of victim service programs; availability of compensation for victims of violent crimes; any court hearings where release of accused will be considered; release of the accused; court proceedings during prosecution of the case; motion for new trial or appeal dates; and parole or change of status of defendant if you request this in writing.

A victim also has the right to: express opinions on the release of the accused pending court proceedings; express views on the outcome of the case prior to plea negotiations or sentencing of the accused; and complete a Victim Impact Statement.

It is the responsibility of the victim to provide the police their address and home and work phone numbers (not pagers) in order to be notified of various proceedings. If there is an arrest and the phone numbers change, the Solicitor-General’s Office must be notified.. Any of this notification or other rights provided may be waived.

If you are the victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible for victim compensation. You must have a completed application within six months after the date of the crime. There does not have to be an arrest in order to apply.

Compensation can help you with your out-of-pocket expenses not already covered by insurance, Medicaid, worker’s compensation, etc. Eligible expenses include medical, counseling, funeral and lost wages. The Victim-Witness Program has compensation applications and can help you apply.

FAMILY VIOLENCE COUNSELING PROGRAM:

Statistics show domestic violence is a major problem in our society. Acts of violence occur every 18 seconds in this country. A woman is abused every 9-15 seconds. Six million women are beaten each year by their husbands and boyfriends. 30% of all murders are committed within the family and 13% are committed by spouses. Children are present during 80% of the assaults against their mothers and 3 million children witness domestic violence each year. These children are 1000 times likely to abuse as adults. Many cases of domestic violence are not reported because of feelings of helplessness, fear and shame. Domestic violence transcends racial, age and socioeconomic boundaries.

The Georgia Code defines family violence as any felony, battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint and criminal trespass between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children and persons living or formerly living in the same household.

The Solicitor-General’s Office feels these are serious matters and vigorously pursues the prosecution of such cases. Protecting the victim from further acts of violence is a primary responsibility.

It is the goal of this office to stop the violence, not to break up the family. Therefore, along with the cooperation of the State Court Judge and the State Court Probation Office, the Family Violence Counseling Program was begun in 1994. This program allows a first-time offender to attend anger and violence counseling group sessions as an alternative to prosecution. If the offender fails to attend as ordered or commits a new offense, the case is then sent back for prosecution.

If you are a defendant charged with this type of offense or if you are a victim who would like the Solicitor-General to recommend this treatment of an offender, please contact the office and speak to a prosecutor or the Victim-Witness Coordinator.


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601 Mulberry Street Macon, GA 31201     Phone Number : (478) 621 - 6400
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