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What You Should Know About Filing a Criminal Complaint

Being the victim of a crime is a traumatizing experience, leaving you feeling vulnerable and insecure. Holding the guilty party accountable is incredibly important to restore your sense of security. 

In most places, only peace officers and law enforcement officers are allowed to file criminal charges against an individual. However, that is not the case in Atlanta.

Here in Fulton County, and all over Georgia, individuals are allowed to file a criminal complaint against anyone they feel has committed a crime against them or their property. You do not have to wait for or rely on a peace officer or law enforcement officer to file criminal charges on your behalf. 

If you want to apply for an arrest warrant against someone in Fulton County, here’s what you need to know:

File a criminal arrest warrant application

Criminal arrest warrant applications must be filed in person at 136 Pryor Street, Suite C-103, Atlanta, GA 30303. The person filing the application is the Applicant, while the accused is the Respondent. A separate application must be filed for each person being accused. Each application requires a $20 cash fee. If the application involves domestic violence or a sex crime, the application fee is waived.

Attend the warrant application hearing

Once the criminal arrest warrant application has been filed, the Applicant will receive a warrant application hearing date at least two weeks past the application date. This allows time for notice of the hearing to be delivered to the Respondent and any witnesses. At the warrant application hearing, a judge will determine if there is probable cause to arrest the Respondent for the criminal accusations made by the Applicant.

Both sides of the complaint are allowed to present evidence and witnesses at this hearing, and both parties can also cross-examine the other side’s witnesses. However, the accused is not required to testify on their own behalf, testify as a witness, or present any evidence.

The judge’s decision

If the judge determines during the hearing that probable cause exists for the accused’s arrest, a warrant may be issued and carried out instantaneously. If the judge decides that there is probable cause that other parties participated in a crime due to the revelations during a warrant application hearing, the judge can issue arrest warrants for those persons as well.

If you have filed a criminal arrest warrant application in Atlanta and want to be sure that the accused and all witnesses are notified promptly and in compliance with all Georgia laws, consider using our experienced process servers at Accurate Serve. We provide proof of service, 24/7 case tracking, and all of the tools and knowledge you could ever want in a process serving agency. Call (404) 924-4838 or visit https://www.accurateserveatlanta.com/ to contact us and find out how we can make the criminal arrest warrant process just a little bit easier.