| CONTACT INFORMATION
Brian M. Rickman
Mountain Judicial Cicruit
70 N. Alexander St. Ste 208
Toccoa, GA 30577
The District Attorney is the chief prosecuting officer for the State of Georgia within each of the State's 49 judicial circuits, which consist of one to eight counties. Stephens County is part of the Mountain Judicial Circuit which includes Habersham and Rabun Counties.
The District Attorney is an elected constitutional officer, who is part of the judicial branch of state government. The District Attorney represents the State of Georgia in the trial and appeal of criminal cases in the Superior Court and delinquency cases in the juvenile courts. In all cases, the objective of the Office has been, and continues to be, the administration of justice.
Each District Attorney has a full-time staff of assistant district attorneys, investigators, victim assistance and administrative personnel who assist the District Attorney in carrying out the duties of the office.
Because cops and robbers television programs abound, most people are aware of the role of law enforcement in investigating crimes and apprehending the people who appear to be responsible for the offenses. But when does the office of the District Attorney (DA) get involved?
Once an arrest on a felony charge punishable by one year or more in prison has been made in any one of the counties of the Mountain Judicial Circuit, the DA is presented with the evidence. The testimony and facts are reviewed and later presented to the Grand Jury. This jury must determine if there are sufficient grounds to return a "true bill" or indictment.
If the decision is yes, then the DA's office is responsible for prosecuting the case when it is scheduled to be heard in the Superior Court of the Mountain Judicial District. The outcome, of course, rests in the hands of the judge and jury.
For more information: www.mountaincircuitda.com
Victim Assistance Program
Meanwhile, the office also provides aid to victims through its Victim Assistance Program.
Imagine the emotional trauma of a person who has been beaten, or who has lost a loved one at the hands of a murderer, or who has returned home to find the property he had worked so hard for gone. To someone trying to work through shock, disbelief, and anger, dealing with the unknown process of the court system may be an additional unwelcome burden.
To lend a hand during this distressing time, the District Attorney's office has implemented the Victim Assistance Program.
One important part of this program is providing answers to questions regarding victim's rights and compensation, the status of a case, court procedure, and others. As well as helping a victim regain a sense of control, they also point out practical steps they may take, depending on their situation. In addition, abused spouses and children are directed to needed help.
For more information about this program, please contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Sharon Moore, in the District Attorney's office in Clarkesville at 706-754-4496.