2019 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 7 - Pretrial Proceedings
Article 4 - Accusations
§ 17-7-70.1. Trial upon accusations in certain felony and misdemeanor cases; trial upon plea of guilty or nolo contendere
(a) (1) In felony cases involving violations of the following:
(A) Code Sections 16-8-2, 16-8-14, 16-8-18, 16-9-1, 16-9-20, 16-9-31, 16-9-33, 16-9-37, 16-10-52, and 40-5-58;
(B) Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 16, relating to theft;
(C) Chapter 9 of Title 16, relating to forgery and fraudulent practices;
(D) Article 3 of Chapter 10 of Title 16, relating to escape and other offenses related to confinement; or
(E) Code Section 16-11-131, relating to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or first offender probationer,
in which defendants have either been bound over to the superior court based on a finding of probable cause pursuant to a commitment hearing under Article 2 of this chapter or have expressly or by operation of law waived a commitment hearing, the district attorney shall have authority to prefer accusations, and the defendants shall be tried on such accusations according to the same rules of substantive and procedural laws relating to defendants who have been indicted by a grand jury.
(2) All laws relating to rights and responsibilities attendant to indicted cases shall be applicable to cases brought by accusations signed by the district attorney.
(3) The accusation need not be supported by an affidavit except in those cases in which the defendant has not been previously arrested in conjunction with the transaction charged in the accusation.
(a.1) The provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section shall apply to violations of Code Section 16-13-30 whenever there has been a finding of probable cause pursuant to a commitment hearing under Article 2 of this chapter or the accused has waived either expressly or by operation of law the right to this hearing.
(b) Judges of the superior court may open their courts at any time without the presence of either a grand jury or a trial jury to receive and act upon pleas of guilty or nolo contendere in felony and misdemeanor cases. The judge of the superior court may try the issues in such cases without a jury upon an indictment or upon an accusation filed by the district attorney where the defendant has waived trial by jury.
(c) An accusation substantially complying with the form provided in subsections (d) and (e) of Code Section 17-7-71 shall in all cases be sufficient.
(d) The district attorney may not bring an accusation pursuant to this Code section in those cases where the grand jury has heard evidence or conducted an investigation or in which a no bill has been returned.
(e) Notwithstanding subsections (a) through (d) of this Code section, nothing in this Code section shall affect the rights of public officials to appear before a grand jury as provided in Code Sections 45-11-4 and 45-15-11 or peace officers to appear before a grand jury as provided in Code Section 17-7-52.
Code 1981, § 17-7-70.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1808, § 1; Ga. L. 1996, p. 678, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 208, § 1; Ga. L. 2012, p. 899, § 8-9/HB 1176; Ga. L. 2016, p. 186, § 7/HB 941.