Frequently Asked Questions

General

How do I find out when my case is set to go to trial?

If you are a victim, you will be notified by a victim advocate in the District Attorney’s Office.  If you are a defendant, the Clerk of Superior Court will mail notification to the address they have for you.  If you have an attorney, the Clerk of Court will also notify your attorney.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by a sentence of up to 12 months.  A felony is a crime punishable by a sentence of one year or more.

What is the difference between a DA and an ADA?

The DA (District Attorney) is the elected leader of the District Attorney’s Office and chief prosecutor for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.  ADAs (Assistant District Attorneys) prosecute crimes under the supervision of the District Attorney, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, and the Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorneys.

Why does it take so long for some cases to go to trial?

We try to obtain justice as soon as possible.  The amount of time it takes for a case to reach trial, however, depends on various factors such as the time needed for investigation, the need to address pre-trial motions, and the number of other cases that are awaiting trial.

Why are some defendants sentenced to prison and others get probation?

Every case presents a unique set of facts and circumstances that must be considered to determine the appropriate sentence.  Among the factors that are considered are the seriousness of the crime, the criminal history or lack of criminal history of the accused, the need to deter other crimes, the need for rehabilitation of the accused, and the degree to which the accused participated in the crime.

Do you decide where someone will serve their prison time?

The District Attorney’s Office does not decide where anyone will serve a prison sentence.  The location where someone serves their prison time for felony convictions is determined by the Georgia Department of Corrections.  Jail time for misdemeanor convictions is served in the county jail where the crime was committed. 

How do cases reach the District Attorney’s Office and individual prosecutors?

In most instances, a criminal case will reach the District Attorney’s Office after a law enforcement agency either arrests an individual or provides an investigative case file to the Office to review and determine if there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.  After the Office receives an arrest warrant or investigative case file, a case will be assigned to an individual prosecutor based on the nature of the case.

Why can’t the ADA talk to me about my case if I have an attorney?

It would be unethical for an ADA to talk to you about your case without your attorney’s permission. 

What if I’m the victim of a crime and I don’t want to prosecute?

If you are a victim and you don’t want the case prosecuted, you should go to the District Attorney’s Office in your county, and meet with a Victim Advocate who will discuss your situation with you and provide you with a Victim Affidavit to fill out in the office.  Please bring your photographic identification with you when you come to the office.

Your Affidavit will be provided to the ADA assigned to your case, and the ADA will consider your Affidavit when deciding what should happen with the case. Although your wishes will be considered, the ADA may decide to still prosecute the case.  The ADA represents the State of Georgia and must also consider the community’s interest in public safety, the need to deter criminal activity, and the need for rehabilitation of an accused.

How do you decide whether a case should be prosecuted?

We conduct a thorough review of the evidence and applicable laws to determine if there is sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and to determine whether or not we believe the accused actually committed the crime.  If we determine that there is not sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or we don’t believe an accused committed the crime, the case will not be prosecuted.


Open Records Act Request: Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 50-18-71(b)(2), the Open Records Officer for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office is Cathy Browning. Written requests should be submitted to her via email at cbrowning@pacga.org or by mail to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, Attention: Cathy Browning, 210 E. 4th St., Woodbine, GA 31569.
Media Policy: The Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney aims to scrupulously follow the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. The office is not ethically allowed to answer many questions posed by reporters, whatever the journalistic merit. The office cannot, for example, discuss an accused party’s criminal history or speculate about the impact of a particular piece of evidence. These rules are in place to ensure a defendant’s rights to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.