The Magistrate Court handles the issuance of warrants and citations for the offense of deposit account fraud (also known as bad checks). The proper venue for prosecution of the offense of deposit account fraud is the county in which the check was delivered. Misdemeanor DAF warrants are handled in Magistrate Court in the County where the financial instrument was delivered; Felony DAF Warrants (transactions over $1,500.00) are bound over to Superior Court for prosecution.
Applying for a Warrant or Citation for Deposit Account Fraud
An applicant must apply for the warrant or citation in person in the office of the Clerk of Magistrate Court. The applicant should bring a completed Deposit Account Fraud Warrant Application form. (Click the blue for DAF instructions and form, both of which are found at the bottom of the list.) The applicant should bring a copy of the certified letter required by statute.
The filing fee is $20 per warrant or citation.
Identification of the Defendant
Since the application may result in the issuance of an arrest warrant or citation, proper identification of the defendant is required. In order for an application to be processed, the applicant must provide at least one of the following identifiers for the defendant: date of birth, social security number, or driver’s license number.
Scheduling of HearingmA hearing will be scheduled as soon as possible. Deposit Account Fraud arraignments are held the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 10:00 o’clock a.m. Deposit Account Fraud trials are held the 3rd Thursday of each month at 10:00 o’clock a.m. All hearings, whether arraignment or trial, are held in the Magistrate Court of Pike County. This, however, does not prevent a Defendant from requesting a Jury Trial in the Superior Court. Such a request must be made in writing and filed with the Magistrate Court.
Recordings of Hearings
All hearings are recorded. A party may request a copy of the recording for $12. The request must be in writing, indicate the names of the parties involved and the date of the hearing, and include payment for the recording.
Representation By An Attorney
Either party has the right to be represented by an attorney at the hearing. Cases will not be continued automatically for failure of a party to seek counsel prior to the hearing. Any legal questions should be directed to an attorney.
Additional Rights of Persons Accused of Crimes
The accused has the right to remain silent, and any testimony given by the accused may be used against him or her. The accused is under no duty to present any evidence tending to prove innocence and is not required to take the stand and testify. If the accused elects not to testify, no inference adverse to the accused shall be drawn by the judge, nor shall such fact be held against the accused in any way. If the accused testifies, the testimony will be recorded and could be used against the accused if the case is prosecuted.
Minimum Fines & Fees:
Checks in the range amount of: $0.01 – $25.00 – $75.00, plus amount of check, plus $50.00
Checks in the range amount of: $25.01 – $100.00 – $150.00, plus amount of check, plus $50.00
Checks in the range amount of $100.01 – $1,499.00 – $225.00, plus amount of check, plus $50.00
Checks over $1,499.01 – Felony Warrant, plus fine to be determined, plus amount of check, plus $50.00, plus other costs as may be sought by the Prosecution.
Further Information on Deposit Account Fraud
Please refer to O.C.G.A. Section 16-9-20