By Cindy Eckles
Dodge County Probate Judge Al McCranie went before the Dodge County Board of Commissioners requesting funding for a solicitor.
Judge McCranie told commissioners that since taking office, he had been approached by superior court judges requesting that he hear misdemeanor cases involving small offenses in order to speed up the legal process of individuals charged with committing crimes. He told commissioners that he was willing to help in any way he could. Judge McCranie told commissioners that he has spoken with assistant district attorney Chris Gordon, who works in the Oconee Judicial District, and that Gordon had agreed to take the position of solicitor for $300.00 per month to handle cases under code that Judge McCranie could hear to help the county and reduce the number of cases on the docket.
Judge McCranie went on to state, “There is an average of 10 criminal jury trials each calendar year. Of these, an average of three weeks are reserved for misdemeanor trials. The vast majority of misdemeanor cases actually tried are DUI cases. An average of three DUI cases could be heard each week, resulting in a total of nine possible DUI trials during this time frame”. He explained that when an individual is charged with a crime, it takes from 12 to 18 months to go through the superior court system. By having a solicitor, the process would be completed in a timelier manner and he would be hearing and ruling on the cases.
Judge McCranie provided commissioners with information showing the savings for the county if a solicitor was hired and he heard the cases.
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