Warrant Application Hearings

Definition

An individual who believes he or she has been a victim of a crime and the police have not taken an arrest warrant for the accused may file a complaint requesting a warrant for the arrest of another person.

Filing Fee

The cost to file a warrant application is $20 for each person you seek to have arrested. Individual applications must be completed for each person. If the crime alleged involves an act of domestic violence or a sex crime, there is no fee to file the warrant application. Please note that you must file the Warrant Application in the Carnes Building, 160 Pryor Street, Room J150, then submit payment to the accounting office in the Justice Center Tower, 185 Central Avenue, Room TG700 then return to Room J150 with proof of payment to receive a court date.

Filing Procedures

Georgia law (OCGA Section 17-4-40) provides that except in limited circumstances, a citizen who wishes for another person to be arrested must file a warrant application. In Fulton County, the Magistrate Court has procedures to handle applications for arrest warrants.

Procedure to Apply for a Warrant

The person applying for the warrant is the “Applicant” and the person you wish to have arrested is the “Respondent.” The Applicant is the prosecutor on the case and is solely responsible for ensuring the application is complete and accurate. The Warrant Office will not assist you in acquiring information needed to complete the application.

The Applicant must present a current picture ID to complete the warrant application. You must provide the details of the crime, including where and when it occurred. The crime must have occurred in Fulton County.

If the crime is a felony or involves allegations of a sexual offense, the case must be investigated by the law enforcement before you may apply for a warrant. A warrant application will not be scheduled on a pending felony investigation, except at the request of the investigating detective.

Complete the Warrant Application. For all parties listed, you must have complete addresses, including the apartment number if applicable, and the correct zip code and include a physical description of the Respondent.

Scheduling of Hearing

A hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible, but no sooner than two weeks from the date of filling in order to provide time for notice to be mailed to the parties and witnesses.

Hearing

The applicant seeking the warrant shall have the customary rights of presentation of evidence and examination of witnesses. The person whose arrest is sought may cross-examine the person or persons applying for the warrant and any other witnesses testifying in support of the application at the hearing. The person whose arrest is sought may bring witnesses and present evidence that probable cause does not exist for his or her arrest. The judge shall have the right to limit the presentation of evidence and the cross-examination of witnesses to the issue of probable cause. Both parties should bring any relevant documents, photos, recordings, or other evidence with them to the hearing.

At the warrant application hearing, the judge will decide whether this is enough evidence to make an arrest. If the judge finds that probable cause exists, the warrant may be issued at the hearing.

Please remember the Judge may issue a warrant for anyone if there is probable cause to believe they have committed a crime. This includes the Applicant, Respondent, Witnesses, and other persons, who may or may not have participated in the hearing.

Representation by an Attorney

Either party has the right to be represented by an attorney at the warrant application hearing. Cases will not be continued automatically for failure of a party to seek counsel prior to the hearing. Any legal questions should be directed to an attorney.

Additional Rights of Persons Accused of Crimes

The accused has the right to remain silent, and any testimony given by the accused may be used against him or her. The accused is under no duty to present any evidence tending to prove innocence and is not required to take the stand and testify. If the accused elects not to testify, no inference adverse to the accused shall be drawn by the judge, nor shall such fact be held against the accused in any way. If the accused testifies, the testimony will be recorded and could be used against the accused if the case is prosecuted.