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DO I HAVE TO APPEAR IN COURT?
Most citations can be paid before court. There are some violations that require a court appearance such as dui, reckless driving, driving while license or registration is suspended or no insurance. If you have not paid your citation before your court date, then you must appear in court to answer the charge(s) filed against you. You must appear in court if your case is scheduled to be heard in the Telfair County Superior Court. You can call (229) 833-6901 and speak with the Clerk of Court to confirm whether you must appear.
HOW DO I PAY A CITATION?
To pay online go to www.jacksonvillepay.com (A 5% service fee will apply); To pay by money order: Make payable to Jacksonville Police Department and mail to: PO BOX 7 Jacksonville, Georgia 31544; To pay in person visit 12 Water Tower Road Jacksonville, GA. For the fine amount go to www.jacksonvillepay.com or call us at (229) 833-6901.
HOW DO I REQUEST A CONTINUANCE? I NEED ASSISTANCE FROM THE COURT...
Contact the Jacksonville Municipal Court Clerk at (229) 833-6901. Si no habla inglés, llámenos para solicitar un intérprete de español. If you have limited proficiency in the English language, please contact us to request an interpreter. If you are disabled and require special services from the court, please contact us so we can assist you. To request indigent defense representation, contact the court clerk. A financial affidavit must be completed and your request must be approved by the Judge. If you are found to be indigent, you will be provided with legal counsel at no cost.
WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR THE COURT HEARING?
No shorts of any kind; No tank tops, muscle shirts or see through tops; No mini-skirts or short dresses; No food or drinks; No hats (religious exemption); No sagging pants (men or women); No Soliciting inside or outside court room; No flip flops; No pajama type attire; No clothes promoting violence, sex acts, illegal drugs or profanity; No ripped or torn jeans or clothing; No weapons of any kind; No cell phones, tablets, or pagers; Parents are responsible for controlling children while court is in session; No smoking/vaping inside the court room.
I CAN’T AFFORD THE FINE. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
You must appear in court on your scheduled court date and speak with the Judge. If you are found guilty, the Judge will decide if you will be placed on probation and required to make monthly payments or if you are indigent you may qualify for a reduced fine amount or community service work.
CAN I SPEAK WITH THE OFFICER TO REQUEST A NEGOTIATED PLEA BEFORE COURT?
It is possible to reach a negotiated agreement with the Officer prior to appearing before the Judge. Your attorney or you (if you are not represented by an attorney) may request to speak with the Officer before your case is called. It will be at the discretion of the City Solicitor and the issuing Officer to agree to any negotiated pleas. It is also up to the Judge whether the negotiated plea will be accepted. Ex Parte Communications with the Judge outside of court is not allowed except as authorized by law or by rule. Contact us for information on our Young Driver Program (17-20 yrs old) or Voluntary Speed Reduction Program. Both of these programs do not require a court appearance. For a list of DDS approved Driver Safety Classes click here
HOW DO I CONTACT MY PROBATION OFFICER?
Jacksonville Police Department contracts with JAG Probation. The local JAG office is located in Fitzgerald, GA. Website is: Fitzgerald Office Contact Telephone: (229) 622-0090.
HOW DO I CLEAR A DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR FAILURE TO APPEAR?
You will first have to pay your fine at the City of Jacksonville Police Department. Once the fine has been paid, you will obtain from the court clerk and submit to the Department of Driver Services, a release from (DPS912) to clear your license. Contact the Department of Driver Services for reinstatement information. Their website is www.dds.ga.gov and their Phone number is: 678-413-8400. Reinstatements may be made via the DDS Website, by mail, and in person. DDS charges a reinstatement fee. A license suspension will not go away unless you resolve the issue in court or through the City Solicitor's office. You will run the risk of arrest at any time by avoiding answering to the traffic charges and continuing to operate a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license.
HOW DO I RESOLVE A WARRANT THAT WAS FILED AGAINST ME IN JACKSONVILLE, GEORGIA?
To check the status of a warrant, you may call us at (229) 833-6901. If the warrant is active, you can resolve the warrant by turning yourself in to the Jacksonville Police Department or any other local law enforcement agency and advising the staff that you have an active warrant out of Jacksonville, Georgia. Depending on the charges, you may be transferred to Coffee County Jail or Telfair County Jail or you may be able to clear the warrant by paying a fine and avoiding jail time. A warrant will not go away unless you resolve the issue in court or through the City Solicitor's office. You will run the risk of arrest at any time by avoiding answering to an active arrest warrant.
HOW DO I FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST AN OFFICER?
The Jacksonville, Georgia Police Department is committed to providing honest and professional law enforcement services for our community. If you have a complaint involving our police department, you may request to speak with the Officer to discuss the complaint or you may request to speak with the Officer’s supervisor at (229) 833-6901. Informal complaints consist of a discussion between the parties in hopes of resolving the problem. This is typically the best method of resolving complaints involving an Officer who was allegedly rude or discourteous. If you wish to file a formal complaint, we ask that you contact the Chief of Police or Mayor at (229) 833-6901. A sworn statement, signed by the complainant will be requested. An Internal Affairs investigation will then be initiated, and you will be notified of the outcome. Please understand that there are serious potential criminal and civil consequences for filing false complaints. We will prosecute complainants who violate Georgia law by filing false information with us. Violations of our biased based policing policy (racial profiling), sexual harassment policy, excessive use of force, or any observed criminal acts by a Police Officer may be referred for investigation by an assisting local, state, or federal law enforcement agency.
HOW DO I MAKE A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST?
You may request access to public records in-person at 12 Water Tower Road Jacksonville, Georgia 31544 or by postal mail, telephone or e-mail. The City Clerk will respond within 3 business days of your request. A fee may apply and will be requested prior to release of the records. All Municipal Court hearings are recorded and stored at City Hall for a minimum of two years from the date of hearing. Copies of such recordings are available through a public records request to the Court Clerk. For more information contact the City Clerk at (229) 833-6901.
HOW DO I BAIL SOMEONE OUT OF JAIL?
If the person was arrested for an offense prosecuted in the Jacksonville Municipal Court (traffic offenses and city codes) they will be transported to the Coffee County Detention Center at 825 Thompson Drive, Douglas, GA 31535. For City of Jacksonville charges only, the bonding process can be completed by paying the Bond amount at the Jacksonville Police Department or by payment through an authorized bonding company. If the person was arrested for a felony offense or misdemeanor that is not prosecuted in the city court, they will be transported to the Telfair County Jail at 26 Pickerton Street, Milan, GA 31060. You may contact the Telfair County Jail at (229) 362-0070 for bail procedures. Initial appearance hearings are held within 48 hours of arrest or 72 hours if the arrest was by warrant. If you need to reach a Jacksonville Officer after-hours, you may contact Telfair/Wheeler E911 at (229) 868-7833. Authorized Bond Company: Allstate Bonding of Georgia (478) 595-8433.
Be Advised - OCGA § 17-6-1 authorizes jails to delay posting of bond for violations of DUI (Driving under the Influence) up to six (6) hours following booking.
HOW DO I RETRIEVE A VEHICLE OR PROPERTY AFTER AN ARREST?
Officer's will make a good faith effort to release motor vehicles to a person designated by the vehicle owner. If this is not possible, the vehicle will be towed to a local towing lot by a local vendor. All costs associated with towing and storage of a vehicle will be the responsibility of the vehicle's owner and paid directly to the towing vendor. Personal property will either be transported with the arrestee or will remain with the vehicle. Property deemed as evidence will be retained by the Police Department pending court proceedings. For more information you can reach us at (229) 833-6901.
ARE ROAD CHECKS LEGAL & DO I HAVE TO COMPLY WITH THE OFFICER'S REQUESTS?
Yes. Both the United States Supreme Court & the Supreme Court of Georgia have upheld the Constitutionality of Safety Checkpoints. (See Michigan Dep't of State Police v. Sitz, 496 U. S. 444 (1990). Failure to comply with the Officer's lawful requests could result in arrest for Obstruction under OCGA 16-10-24(a) in extreme cases. All Safety Checkpoints are supervised by a Sergeant or above; All passing vehicles are checked; Police uniforms, lights, and signs are clearly displayed; Minimal delay to motorists unless a violation is observed by law enforcement.
CAN I FILM THE POLICE?
As long as you are not interfering with a law enforcement officer in the performance of their duties and you are in a public place, on your own property, or on private property with permission from the owner, you may film the police in the performance of their duties.
CAN I REPORT CRIME ANONYMOUSLY? HOW DO I BECOME A CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT?
Absolutely, you can report crime anonymously to us. If you have information you wish to share with us, get in contact with us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. It is very important that the information you provide is truthful, accurate and involves criminal activity that falls within our police jurisdiction. Call us at (229) 833-6901 to discuss this further or you may e-mail us here.
WHY WAS A JACKSONVILLE OFFICER OBSERVED ENFORCING THE LAW OUTSIDE OF THE CITY LIMITS OF JACKSONVILLE?
The Jacksonville, Georgia Police Department currently has a mutual aid agreement in place with the Sheriff of Telfair County. Under the agreement, Jacksonville Police Officers are deputized and may be called upon to assist the Sheriff anywhere in Telfair County at the Sheriff's discretion. Jacksonville Officers will also assist Coffee County Sheriff's Office when requested due to our close proximity to the Coffee County line. See O.C.G.A. 17-4-20(2).
ARE POLICE EXEMPT FROM TRAFFIC LAWS?
Georgia law provides for certain exemptions from traffic laws for authorized emergency vehicles under certain circumstances (See OCGA 40-6-6). If you observe an Officer disobey the traffic law, please understand that the Police Officer might be responding to an emergency situation or is in pursuit of a suspected violator of the law. Officers must always practice due regard for the safety of the public. If you have a concern about a Jacksonville Police Officer's driving, you may contact us at (229) 833-6901 to discuss the matter or you may follow our complaint procedures as listed above.
HOW DO I RETRIEVE LOST PROPERTY OR CONFISCATED EVIDENCE FROM THE POLICE DEPARTMENT?
Contact us at (229) 833-6901 to inquire about lost property that was found in the City of Jacksonville. In order to retrieve found property from us, you must provide us with your valid identification. To request the return of property that was seized as evidence in a closed criminal case, please contact us at (229) 833-6901. Contraband will not be returned under any circumstances and is typically destroyed under court order.
IS IT LEGAL FOR AN OFFICER TO HAVE A DRUG DOG SNIFF MY VEHICLE DURING A TRAFFIC STOP?
Yes, under certain conditions. If a Police Officer's canine performs an open-air sniff of the exterior of an automobile during the normal time frame of a traffic stop, there is no violation of your 4th amendment rights. Further, if an officer develops reasonable suspicion of drug possession, then the officer can detain the vehicle and occupants for a reasonable period of time to wait on a canine to conduct a free air sniff. However, If an officer, without reasonable suspicion beyond the traffic offense, detains a traffic violator beyond the normal time frame for traffic stop, the officer exceeds the scope of the traffic stop, and the canine sniff will likely be held to violate the Fourth Amendment.
WHAT STEPS HAS YOUR AGENCY TAKEN TO IMPROVE COMMUNITY TRUST?
The Jacksonville, Georgia Police Department is committed to providing honest and professional law enforcement services for our community. With the appointment of our new Police Chief, we have enacted strict policies prohibiting biased-based policing (racial profiling), sexual harassment, forcible vehicle stopping techniques and zero tolerance policy for officer-involved domestic violence incidents. We have increased the training required of Officers and mandated training on de-escalation, community-oriented policing, and ethics. Further, we require body-worn cameras and in-car video systems to document police-citizen interactions. We strictly limit the use of chokeholds to deadly force situations only. We have enacted a fair police complaint procedures process. To address public concerns regarding traffic enforcement, we have lowered traffic fines; enacted a pre-trial diversion program for young people (17-20 years of age); and are primarily focusing our efforts on more serious traffic violations. We will continue to monitor state and federal legislation and guidance to ensure we are adhering to national best practices in the field of law enforcement.
WHAT IS THE POLICE DEPARTMENT DOING ABOUT ILLEGAL DRUGS & OTHER PROBLEMS IN OUR COMMUNITY?
As your Chief of Police, I am very concerned about drug abuse, mental illness and traffic safety. I will do my absolute best to deter illegal drug sales and use in our community and to arrest those who violate Georgia's drug laws. I will do this by teaming up with Telfair County Sheriff's Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Oconee District Attorney's Office & Federal partners. I have created a Jacksonville Police K9 unit that will detect illegal narcotics in our community through the amazing capabilities of our trained animal. I will reach out to families and addicts who want help by providing them with resources for drug treatment. I will continue to seek advanced training in responding to mental health crisis. I will work with families to help find resources for the mentally ill. When possible, I will find help for those who need treatment rather than arrest. Finally, I will do my best to ensure our roads are safe to travel on. We will concentrate on slowing down drivers, some of whom have little regard for the safety of our small town. Jacksonville is a great place to raise a family or operate a business. By concentrating on addressing drug abuse, mental health, and traffic safety, I feel that Jacksonville will continue to be a great place to live for many more years to come. Call me at (229) 833-6901 and I will be happy to speak with you about any issues you are having that are within the scope of our jurisdiction and authority. Call, e-mail, or stop by to request residential, business or special needs checks or for help with a disabled vehicle in the city.
WHY DO WE NEED OUR OWN POLICE DEPARTMENT?
The Jacksonville Police Department provides our community with increased law enforcement protection. Marked patrol cars in our city serves as a deterrent to crime. Our own police force allows us to respond quickly to emergencies when a Deputy could be far off in another area of the county. Our Officers develop personal relationships with our residents and tailor services to meet their specific needs and the needs of the community at large. Local community control means we answer only to our city residents. The Sheriff, on the other hand, is elected to serve the entire county and ultimately answers to all of the voters in the county. We perform these services for the citizens of Jacksonville in a cost-effective manner that reduces crime and increases public safety.