2020 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 7 - Pretrial Proceedings
Article 5 - Arraignment and Pleas Generally
§ 17-7-91. Date of Arraignment; Notice; Service of Notice and Fee Therefor; Notice to Surety on Bond; Arraignment; Receipt and Entering of Plea; Establishment of Time for Trial; Effect of Appearance and Plea on Notice Requirement

Universal Citation: GA Code § 17-7-91 (2020)
  1. In all criminal cases the court shall fix a date on which the defendant shall be arraigned. The clerk of the court, at least five days prior to the date set therefor, shall mail to the accused and his attorney of record, if known, notice of the date which has been fixed for arraignment. For such first service of notice, the clerk shall receive the fee prescribed in Code Section 15-6-77. This notice may be served by the sheriff of the county in which the court is situated or his lawful deputies. If the defendant has posted a bond or recognizance, a copy of the notice shall be mailed to each surety on the bond.
  2. On the date fixed by the court the accused shall be arraigned. The court shall receive the plea of the accused and enter the plea as provided for in this chapter. In those cases in which a plea of not guilty is entered, the court shall set the case down for trial at such time as shall be determined by the court.
  3. The appearance and entering of a plea by the accused shall be a waiver of the notice required in this Code section.

(Code 1933, § 27-1401, enacted by Ga. L. 1966, p. 430, § 2; Ga. L. 1977, p. 1098, § 5; Ga. L. 1982, p. 1224, § 3; Ga. L. 1989, p. 223, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 8, § 17.)


Purpose of section is to set a time limit in which the clerk is to give notice to the defendant and the defendant's counsel in order to make timely appearance before the court, impliedly after the defendant's indictment. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-13.

Construction with § 17-6-8. - In view of Ga. L. 1962, p. 530, § 2 (see O.C.G.A. § 17-6-8), a notice of arraignment is necessary only if the court decides to require the defendant to face trial. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-216.

When notice of arraignment to be given.

- Unless a true bill has been returned or an accusation preferred, it is premature to give the accused notice of an arraignment at the time of arrest. 1973 Op. Att'y Gen. No. U73-26.

Sufficiency of notice.

- Notice of arraignment to appear on the first day of the next court, which was attached to a copy of the bond in a criminal case, was not sufficient notice to the defendant to satisfy the statute. 1968 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 68-13.

Clerk's fee for notice.

- Notice of arraignment required by former Code 1933, § 27-401 (see O.C.G.A. § 17-7-91) to be sent to all defendants in criminal cases was to be treated as a summons rather than as a subpoena in determining the correct fee to be charged by the clerk of court pursuant to former Code 1933, § 24-2727 (see O.C.G.A. § 15-6-77). 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-42.

Applicability to traffic cases.

- Since the notice is made applicable to "all criminal cases," the notice is meant to apply to traffic cases as well as all other criminal cases. 1965-66 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-216.


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 21 Am. Jur. 2d, Criminal Law, §§ 24, 556 et seq., 570 et seq., 584.


- Defendant's appeal from plea conviction as affected by prosecutor's failure or refusal to dismiss other pending charges, pursuant to plea agreement, until expiration of time for appeal, 86 A.L.R.3d 1262.

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