About the Criminal Justice Process

The criminal justice process is complex, and often can be confusing to persons not familiar with criminal law. The following facts should help explain and clarify the process in DeKalb County:

  1. After arrest, your case will be reviewed by an Assistant Solicitor-General (ASG).
  2. If the ASG decides to prosecute your case, you will be arraigned.
  3. Arraignment:
    1. If you plead guilty, you will then be sentenced by the Judge.
    2. If you plead not guilty, your case will move to the next phases: a series of meetings (Calendar Call) during which the case will be scheduled for trial.
  4. Calendar Call:
    1. You may plead guilty and be sentenced.
    2. You may plead not guilty and go to trial.
  5. Trial: This is a public hearing in front of a jury or judge. This is the formal presentment of evidence that supports the criminal charges. The result is typically either conviction or acquittal.
    1. If the verdict is not guilty, you will be acquitted, and the case will be closed.
    2. If the verdict is guilty or you decide to plead guilty, you will be sentenced, and the case will be closed.