Can you appeal a Magistrate Judge’s decision if you feel they are being overly harsh?

UPDATED: Aug 14, 2012

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Can you appeal a Magistrate Judge’s decision if you feel they are being overly harsh?

A person was written a check that did not clear. He went to court and was given extended time. He was still unable to pay. Was sent to jail on a bench warrant. When he went before the judge again he was sentenced to pay the fine and 1 year probation. Not sure what happened at that point but he was then sentenced back to jail to be held over for the next court day over 30 days away. An offer was made for someone to pay the check amount plus fines but it is unaccepted. What legal action can be taken at this time to get the person released from jail. All this over $85.00 bad check.

Asked on August 14, 2012 under Criminal Law, Georgia


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An appeal can always be filed with a higher court than that of the magistrates. On Appeal, the appellate court will determine whether or not the magistrate or judge abused their discretion in their sentencing of the defendant. This can be costly and timely, but if the appeal is granted, the person could be released from jail sooner.

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