Navigating the Smyrna Municipal Court: Your Complete Guide
Basics of the Smyrna Municipal Court
Located in the heart of Smyrna, GA, the Smyrna Municipal Court handles hearings for citations that relate to traffic violations, environmental violations, and misdemeanor offenses that have been cited by local or state police departments. While the concept of traffic infractions and other misdemeanor offenses are relatively easy to understand, there are often questions that surround the idea of “environmental violations.” Environmental violations include those infractions that warrant a citation from the Community Development’s Department of Code Enforcement. These violations may include those pertaining to animal control, property maintenance, and other environmental degradation cases that a Code Enforcement Officer has cited.
Many traffic citations and other court fees can be paid through the court’s online payment system. However, alleged offenders who wish to contest the charges that have been filed against them or those who have been charged with a more serious offense may be required to appear in person. These more serious offenses include reckless driving, DUI/DWI, shoplifting, marijuana possession, lack of auto insurance, and more.
The citation that you receive from a law enforcement officer will contain the information that you need to determine if your fine can be paid online or if you will need to make plans to appear in court at a designated time. For those who must appear before a judge, the Smyrna Municipal Courthouse is located at 2800 King Street, Smyrna, GA 30080.
If you have been asked to appear at the Smyrna Municipal Court, having a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side can greatly improve your odds of reaching a favorable resolution in your case. Before you show up or make any important decisions regarding your case, reach out to The Waltman Firm to schedule a consultation, where we will inform you of your rights and options and begin mounting a strong defense.
Smyrna Municipal Court Pay Ticket
Many of the cases heard at the Smyrna Municipal Court pertain to traffic violations. Those violations that do not involve a lack of insurance, reckless driving, driving under the influence, or driving while intoxicated typically come with fines which can be paid online through the Smyrna Municipal Court’s Pay Ticket feature.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your traffic violation fine can be paid online, you can follow the links provided on the Smyrna Municipal Court online ticket payment page. If your citation is not eligible to be resolved through online payment, the system will not let you proceed. If your citation has reached past-due status, your fine must be paid in-person at the courthouse. If you are unable to appear in person, you must make arrangements with the Court Solicitor or another approved member of the Court Staff. Online payments must be submitted by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time the day before your court date to avoid becoming classified as a past-due fine.
If, on the other hand, you are facing charges for a criminal traffic-related offense such as DUI or reckless driving, you will be required to appear in court. These offenses are usually classified as misdemeanors and carry significant repercussions compared to a simple traffic ticket. Before facing the judge in the courts, call a reputable Smyrna or Marietta DUI lawyer as soon as possible for the reliable representation you need.
What to Expect When Facing a Criminal Case at the Municipal Court Smyrna, GA
There are various types of hearings that take place at the Municipal Court in Smyrna, GA, but the court does not hold jury trials here. Instead, the only hearings that take place are bench trials, which means that those cases are presented to a judge who makes a verdict on his or her own. Cases that require the presence of a jury must be “bound up,” or sent to the Cobb County State Court.
Even though the Municipal Court in Smyrna, GA is a city court, the fines and penalties that are levied can be serious. The court has the full authority to issue lengthy jail or prison sentences, impose the maximum fines that are allowed by state laws, and mandate that an accused individual submits to routine drug and alcohol screening.
The court recognizes three types of pleas if your case reaches the Municipal Court. A not guilty plea is where you deny guilt and you will receive a trial date for a non-jury trial. Witnesses to the alleged event will be called, the police officer who cited you in the alleged incident will present his or her findings, and both the defense and the prosecution will present any evidence at their disposal to help better support their case. A guilty plea is the second option, which results in the court issuing the appropriate fine, probation, or jail sentence. The third option is known as Nolo Contendere.
Under this plea, you state that you claim neither guilt nor innocence, but that you are not fighting the charges and do not want a trial. Nolo Contendere, though only allowable at the discretion of the court, does not disqualify the accused from serving in a public office, serving on a jury, or voting. Alleged offenders who file a Nolo Contendere plea state that they believe that the city should have to provide evidence of their wrongdoing, if not rebutted by their evidence.
If you are unable to attend your scheduled hearing, you or your attorney is required to contact the court clerk within 48 hours of your scheduled appearance. Failure to notify the court of your inability to appear for your hearing may result in a warrant being issued for your arrest in criminal cases. You should also be aware that judges have the right to issue a ruling in your case without your presence in civil cases that pertain to divorce, child custody, and cases involving a temporary protective order.
Smyrna Municipal Court Solicitor
Tim Williams serves as the Smyrna Municipal Court Solicitor. Mr. Williams serves in this capacity for cases that are heard in both traffic and environmental cases that are heard by the judges at the Smyrna Municipal Court.
Tim Williams can be reached by phone at 678-631-5415, by fax at 678-631-5420, or by email which is available on Mr. Williams’ directory page of the official Smyrna Municipal Court website.
It’s important to note, however, that Mr. Williams, along with the other court staff members, cannot provide legal advice regarding your case. For personalized legal guidance in the City of Smyrna, please contact a Cobb County misdemeanor attorney instead. The Waltman Firm is available 24/7 at 770-235-1015 if you are in need of assistance, so we invite you to call us today to begin fighting your charges.
Smyrna Municipal Court Clerk
Another resource that may be useful as you navigate the City of Smyrna Municipal Court is the Court Clerk. The Clerk’s duties include maintaining court records, preparing and issuing court orders, informing parties about the timing of court hearings, and a variety of other non-judicial tasks that are essential to the court’s operations.
Three people serve in the role of Smyrna Municipal Court Clerk: Ashley Arnold, Pam Chambers, and Lisa Collins. Arnold can be reached by phone at 678-631-5421, Chambers can be reached at 678-631-5412, and Collins can be reached at 678-631-5417. You can also email any of the Smyrna Municipal Court Clerks by following the email link that is provided on their respective court directory page of the official Smyrna Municipal Court website.
As with other court and government staff, the Smyrna Municipal Court Clerks cannot offer legal services to defendants. If you are facing a case here and would like more information on your charges, your court records, or how to prepare for your hearing, The Waltman Firm is ready to assist you. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey to justice. We look forward to hearing from you.