2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 17-7-71 (2010)
TITLE 17 - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 7 - PRETRIAL PROCEEDINGS
ARTICLE 4 - ACCUSATIONS
§ 17-7-71 - Trials of misdemeanors; trial of misdemeanor motor vehicle violations; form and contents of accusations; amendment of accusation; service of amendment upon defendant; continuances
17-7-71. Trials of misdemeanors; trial of misdemeanor motor vehicle violations; form and contents of accusations; amendment of accusation; service of amendment upon defendant; continuances
(a) In all misdemeanor cases, the defendant may be tried upon an accusation framed and signed by the prosecuting attorney of the court. The accusation need not be supported by an affidavit except in those cases where the defendant has not been previously arrested in conjunction with the transaction charged in the accusation and where the accusation is to be used as the basis for the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of the defendant.
(b)(1) In all misdemeanor cases arising out of violations of the laws of this state, relating to (A) the operation and licensing of motor vehicles and operators; (B) the width, height, and length of vehicles and loads; (C) motor common carriers and motor contract carriers; or (D) road taxes on motor carriers as provided in Article 2 of Chapter 9 of Title 48, the defendant may be tried upon the uniform traffic citation and complaint provided for in Article 1 of Chapter 13 of Title 40.
(2) In all misdemeanor cases arising out of violations of the laws of this state relating to game, fish, or boating, the defendant may be tried upon the summons provided for in Code Section 27-1-35.
(c) Every accusation which states the offense in the terms and language of the law or so plainly that the nature of the offense charged may be easily understood by the jury shall be deemed sufficiently technical and correct.
(d) An accusation substantially complying with the following form shall in all cases be sufficient:
IN THE COURT OF COUNTY
STATE OF GEORGIA
On behalf of the people of the State of Georgia, the undersigned, as
prosecuting attorney for the county and state aforesaid, does hereby charge
and accuse (name of accused) with the offense of ; for that the
said (name of accused) (state with sufficient certainty the offense and the
time and place it occurred) contrary to the laws of this state, the good
order, peace, and dignity thereof.
(e) If there should be more than one count, each additional count shall state:
The undersigned, as prosecuting attorney, does further charge and accuse
the said (name of accused) with the offense of (the offense as
before); for that the said (name of accused) (state with sufficient
certainty the offense and the time and place it occurred), contrary to the
laws of this state, the good order, peace, and dignity thereof.
(f) Prior to trial, the prosecuting attorney may amend the accusation, summons, or any citation to allege or to change the allegations regarding any offense arising out of the same conduct of the defendant which gave rise to any offense alleged or attempted to be alleged in the original accusation, summons, or citation. A copy of any such amendment shall be served upon the defendant or his or her counsel and the original filed with the clerk of the court. On motion, the court shall grant the defendant a continuance which is reasonably necessitated by an amendment. If any additional charges against the defendant are made the judge shall advise the defendant that he or she has an automatic right to a continuance.
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