In Stephens County misdemeanor cases (cases where the maximum punishment cannot exceed 12 months in jail) are prosecuted by the Solicitor-General, an elected county officer who represents the State of Georgia in the trial and appeal of misdemeanor criminal cases in the State Courts and performs other duties as required by law.
Crimes Against Persons
Misdemeanors include crimes against persons such as:
- Domestic violence
- Simple assault
- Simple battery
Misdemeanors may also include property crimes such as:
- Criminal damage to property (less than $500)
- Criminal trespass
- Theft by shoplifting (less than $300)
- Theft by taking (less than $500)
Traffic violations occurring in the county and those bound over from municipal courts for jury trials may also be prosecuted in State Court, including, but not limited to:
- Driving under the influence
- Reckless driving
- Fleeing and attempting to elude
- Hit and run
- Any other moving, tag, or license violations
Prior to 1996, this office was known as the "Solicitor," a title that was used from 1865. The term "solicitor" is sometimes used locally to refer to this office. In 21 counties, the Solicitor-General is a full-time official with a staff of assistants, investigators and administrative personnel; in the remaining 40 counties, of which Stephens is one, they are part-time officials who may maintain private law practices.
In those areas without a State Court, and in Chatham, Dougherty, Miller and Rockdale counties, misdemeanor cases are prosecuted by the District Attorney who also is responsible for prosecuting felony cases. Although full-time Solicitors-General handle only criminal cases, some part-time Solicitors-General may also serve as the attorney for the county.