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District Attorney's Office
Hall County Courthouse - 3rd Floor

The District Attorney represents the citizens of Hall County in the prosecution of all criminal cases in a manner which best protects the public and best preserves justice for each citizen. The prosecution of any criminal case includes the presentation of a criminal case to the Grand Jury, and the litigation of a criminal case from the arrest of an accused throughout the appellate process conducted in each case.

Drug Court
The Hall County Drug Court program has been in existence since February 2001 and currently has approximately 140 participants. The program combines weekly court reviews with multiple drug screens and treatment groups per week. The program has graduated 159 participants with a recidivism rate of just 5% with 24 drug free babies born. The Dawson County Drug Court program accepted its first participant in September of 2006 and currently has 8 participants. The Dawson County DUI Court program is a mandatory multi-level offender program where treatment is married with random drug and alcohol screens as well as frequent home visits. The DUI Court program currently has nine participants in outpatient treatment and one in a residential treatment facility.

HELP Court
In addition to regular case load duties, one assistant district attorney is assigned to assist in HELP Court (Health Empowerment Linkage and Possibilities). HELP Court is a program that provides a linkage between defendants with mental health issues and resources in the community (counseling, physicians, therapy and substance abuse treatment). The community based services, in conjunction with a HELP Court case manager, assist the defendant in treating and coping with his/her mental illness in a positive fashion so as to be able to reside in a healthy, stable environment, maintain a job if able to work, and reduce the likelihood of future criminal activity. The program also enables lower-risk mentally ill defendants (who are often indigent) to be released from jail on a small or O/R bond while in the HELP Court program, thus reducing taxpayer expense in keeping these individuals in jail pretrial. HELP Court handles misdemeanors and felonies; however, the program does not accept participants charged with sexual offenses or serious violent crimes. In 2006, 22 individuals graduated from the HELP program. In recognition of the graduates’ progress in the program, the District Attorney’s office reduced or dismissed some criminal charges, or, alternatively, recommended a less severe sentence in exchange for a guilty plea to the crime charged. Thus far, the recidivism rate among HELP Court graduates is extremely low, at 4.5%.

Juvenile Court
The Juvenile Court prosecutes juveniles up to the age of 17 charged with delinquent activity and up to the age of 18 charged with unruly activity (runaway, ungovernable) who are charged with criminal activity. In Hall County, the District Attorney supervises 2 assistant district attorneys, 1 investigator, and 1 victim/witness advocate/administrator assigned to the Juvenile Division. The focus of Juvenile Court is to supervise, treat and rehabilitate youth and is on a much faster track than Superior Court. 745 new cases were referred to this division of our office in 2006. 769 petitions (formal charges presented to the Grand Jury), with a total of 1,125 charges prepared in 2006.

Pretrial Diversion
The Hall County Pretrial Diversion Program is a six-month program for some first time offenders charged with minor-property crimes. The program was created as an alternative to the County’s usual criminal procedure. First, it gives a limited first time offender the opportunity to go through the program, but only with the consent and cooperation of the alleged victim. Satisfactory completion of the program will result in the offender’s case being dismissed or Nolle Prosequied (no conviction ever being entered). Second, those cases accepted into the program are removed from the court calendars; therefore, the judge and assistant district attorneys can turn their attention toward the more serious cases. In 2006, 11 out of the 37 individuals who applied were accepted into the program; 5 of those individuals graduated from the program. Those who do not successfully complete the program proceed to full prosecution.

Contact Information
Lee Darragh
District Attorney
 Media Resource
P.O. Box 1690
Gainesville, GA

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Gainesville, GA 30503