Warrant Application & Probable Cause Hearing
Under Georgia Law (Official Code of Georgia Annotated [O.C.G.A.] 17-4-40), except for limited, specific circumstances before an arrest warrant may be issued an application for the warrant must be filed and a hearing on the application must be held. To schedule the hearing, the court must attempt to notify the person, whose arrest is being sought, of the date, time, and location of the hearing.
To File an Arrest Warrant Application
- An Incident Report is necessary from the Sheriff's Department or City Police where the Incident occurred.
- The completed arrest warrant application must be paid for and filed at the Magistrate Office between the hours of 8:00am to noon and 1:00pm to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. There are no exceptions to these time periods.
- State law provides that the applicant, unless involved in a domestic violence situation shall pay a non-refundable application fee (PDF) of $10 for each warrant you attempt to have issued.
- The applicant must provide the full name, last known complete address, and physical description, including the date of birth, if possible, of the person whose arrest is being sought. The application may only include one person to be arrested per application.
- The application must give a full description of the alleged crime by including the date and location of the incident. The alleged crime must have occurred in Liberty County in order for the hearing to be scheduled at the Liberty County Magistrate Court.
- For child abandonment arrest warrant applications, the application should not be filed unless there has been 30 days of total abandonment by the non-custodial parent, (30 days of no food, clothing, money, medical insurance, or extended visitation.) If the non-custodial parent does not live in Georgia, the applicant should seek assistance from the District Attorney and should not file an application with the Magistrate Court. If the non-custodial parent lives in Georgia, the application should be filed in the county of the child's residence.
- All witnesses and evidence must be present in court on the hearing date.
- You may subpoena witnesses if necessary. There is a $5 fee per subpoena, and a $10 fee for the Sheriff's Department to service the subpoena. There is not a $10 Sheriff's Fee if you choose to service the subpoena yourself.
- If your arrest warrant application is denied or if you dismiss the application, you cannot file again on the same set of facts.
- The applicant does not have the right to see a Magistrate Judge. The Judge will not hear any evidence before the scheduled hearing. So please do not ask.
- This is an application to have someone arrested and will not result in award of money damages or cause property to be returned.
- Under Georgia Law, the employees of the Magistrate Court cannot give legal advice. The judge cannot give legal advice. If you have questions about your legal rights or what options are available, you should consult an attorney.
- Warrant Application Form (PDF)
- Warrant Application Form - Spanish (PDF)
- Warrant Application Information (PDF)
Probable Cause Hearing
The applicant must appear in court to present his/her case; if the applicant fails to appear their case may be dismissed. The accused is not required to appear in court, but it is in the accused best interest to appear in court. If the accused chooses not to appear in court, the Judge will base their decision solely on the testimony and/or evidence presented by the applicant/victim, and their witnesses.
In a warrant application/probable cause hearing, the applicant/victim is to give any testimony, and/or present any evidence to the court pertaining to his/her allegations(s). The Judge will determine after all testimony and/or evidence is presented whether there is enough probable cause for a warrant to be issued against the accused. The Judge may also determine, at that time, that a warrant should issue for the applicants arrest if testimony and/or evidence is presented in court that would incriminate the applicant. The Judge may also decide to issue a Good Behavior Bond, in an attempt to keep the peace between the parties.
Please refer to the Guidelines for Clerks (PDF) for understanding of what a clerk may or may not do to assist a party.
The information and forms available on this website are not intended as legal advice and should not be considered as such; they are provided for reference only. Consult an attorney for legal advice.