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Posted on June 27, 2018 at 9:49 AM by Justin Flage
This 90th Edition of Justice For All is the annual review of the criminal case docket for one month in Clayton County.
For the month of July there are 43 indictable criminal cases set for jury trial at the time this article is being written. An “indictable” case is a case wherein the most serious charge is a felony, aggravated misdemeanor, or serious misdemeanor. Cases where the most serious charge is a simple misdemeanor, such as speeding, disorderly conduct, assault with no injury, theft of $200 or less, trespass, harassment, no contact order violations, and possession of drug paraphernalia are all scheduled on a different trial docket in Magistrate Court as opposed to District Court where all indictable cases are handled.
Of the 43 cases scheduled for trial, the highest level charge is a felony in 18 cases, an aggravated misdemeanor in 14 cases, and a serious misdemeanor in 11 cases. The most common crimes are possession of a controlled substance which is a charge in 10 of the 43 cases and operating while intoxicated which is a charge in 9 of the 43 cases. Other crimes include driving while barred or revoked in 6 cases, theft in 6 cases, manufacturing or delivering methamphetamine in 3 cases, domestic abuse assault in 3 cases, felon in possession of a firearm in 3 cases, and child endangerment in 2 cases. 16 of the 43 defendants awaiting trial are facing more than one charge.
This is the seventh year I have tracked the July jury trial dockets. The low number of cases set for trial was 38 which occurred last year in July 2017. The high number of cases was 52 in July 2015. The average number of cases scheduled for a jury trial in July since I started tracking it has been 43.57 making this year’s 43 cases consistent with the average of prior years.
The Clayton County Attorney's Office, which has two attorneys, me and Assistant County Attorney Zach Herrmann, is responsible for prosecuting every case on the District Court docket along with all juvenile court cases and all criminal cases in Magistrate Court except for city ordinance infractions which are handled by city attorneys. Our secretary / office manager Sarah Whittle is also a valuable part of the team as she assists in case organization and scheduling, document filing, witness notifications, drafting subpoenas, and trial preparation along with making sure that every defense attorney gets a copy of all officer reports, videos, and all the other large volume of case evidence that comes into my office on a regular basis.
Although it can at often times be challenging for an office of our size to handle the case docket we are given, Zach, Sarah, and I will continue to diligently and zealously work towards justice for all in every case.