Why do we have night court in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

When clients call, they are often surprised to find out that their court date occurs at night.  Some Georgia courts start at 4:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and even at 6:00 pm.  In fact, many clients were under the impression that the time listed on their citations was incorrect.

There are two reasons we have night court in Georgia:

The first reason has to do the practicality of running a court system in a small jurisdiction. If a person is arrested or cited within the city limits of a municipality, their traffic ticket cases and misdemeanor cases are heard in the municipal court of that city. 

However, some municipalities are very small, and as a result, cannot afford a full-time judge and prosecutor. Those attorneys, who serve as prosecutors and judges in city court, are usually full-time practicing attorneys who serve in their municipal court as a public service. Those small-town courts usually only meet for a few hours once or twice a month. 

The second reason has to do with the conflict rules for the appearance of attorneys. When an attorney has more than one case scheduled at the same time, he or she must appear in the order of the highest court. Ordinarily, the most serious cases are heard in a higher court, and as a result, they must be handled first. 

The result is that small municipal courts have a hard time getting attorneys to appear when they hold court at the same time as State Courts and Superior Courts. The solution is to either hold court early in the morning or in the evening. 


Please note that even though your citation or arrest will be heard in a small municipal court, you still face the same potential Georgia DUI Penalties and misdemeanor penalties, as with any case.  Take your case seriously whether you are charged in a large city or state court, or in small-town municipal court. Our Georgia DUI Attorneys are here to help. Call now. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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