You have Constitutional and Statutory Rights in Criminal and Civil Cases (Georgia)
The U.S. Constitution, Constitution of the State of GA, and GA Statutes provide a basis for your rights to a Trial by Jury and access to the courts. This is a non-exhaustive list. This guide is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XI of the Constitution of the State of Georgia (Jury Trial)
“Right to trial by jury; number of jurors; selection and compensation of
(a) The right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate, except that the court shall render
judgment without the verdict of a jury in all civil cases where no issuable defense is filed
and where a jury is not demanded in writing by either party. In criminal cases, the defendant shall have a public and speedy trial by an impartial jury; and the jury shall be the
judges of the law and the facts.
(b) A trial jury shall consist of 12 persons; but the General Assembly may prescribe any
number, not less than six, to constitute a trial jury in courts of limited jurisdiction and in
superior courts in misdemeanor cases.
(c) The General Assembly shall provide by law for the selection and compensation of
persons to serve as grand jurors and trial jurors.” Cf. Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia (Access to Courts)
“Right to the courts.
No person shall be deprived of the right to prosecute or defend, either in person or by an attorney, that person’s own cause in any of the courts of this state.”
Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XIV of the Constitution of the State of Georgia (Benefit of Counsel)
“Benefit of counsel; accusation; list of witnesses; compulsory process.
Every person charged with an offense against the laws of this state shall have the privilege
and benefit of counsel; shall be furnished with a copy of the accusation or indictment and,
on demand, with a list of the witnesses on whose testimony such charge is founded; shall
have compulsory process to obtain the testimony of that person’s own witnesses; and shall
be confronted with the witnesses testifying against such person.”
Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XVI (No Self-incrimination)
No person shall be compelled to give testimony
tending in any manner to be self-incriminating.”
Article 1, Section 1, Paragraph XVII (Reasonable Bond)
“Bail; fines; punishment; arrest, abuse of prisoners.
shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments
inflicted; nor shall any person be abused in being arrested, while under arrest, or in prison.”
O.C.G.A. 15-12-125 (Jury Panel – criminal case)
“For the trial of misdemeanors in all courts, each party may demand a full panel of 12 competent and impartial jurors from which to select a jury. . .”
O.C.G.A. 9-11-38 (Jury Panel – civil case)
“The right of trial by jury as declared by the Constitution of the state or as given by statute of the state shall be preserved to the parties inviolate.”
If you have been arrested, sued or are in need of legal advice to bring about a case against someone else, contact our office now. We will take the time to hear your situation and discuss your options, making you a priority.