The Magistrate Court of Columbia County, Georgia, issues arrest warrants and search warrants for the county. According to Georgia law, the magistrate has to consider the evidence before a warrant can be issued, and in the case of an individual who wishes to have a warrant issued against a suspect, the magistrate must set the date for a hearing. This is called a “Prewarrant” hearing. The individual who wishes the warrant to be issued must have a police report relating to the offense, and must be able to provide the name, date of birth, Social Security number, and address of the alleged offender. If the magistrate judge rules that there is sufficient evidence to issue an arrest warrant, it will be sent to the Columbia County sheriff’s department and received by the Records Section of the Administrative Services Division. The Records Section processes and files all types of records. In 2011, they processed almost 6,000 warrants. Once the active warrant has been filed, other law enforcement officials are responsible for locating and arresting the alleged offender. When the suspect has been apprehended, the case is sent to the District Attorney’s office, where it will be prosecuted.
To check on a warrant, contact the Columbia County sheriff’s office. The Records Section will also provide you with a criminal history report if you apply in person with picture ID at the offices at Evans Substation, 650 A Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans, GA or 2273 County Camp Road, Appling, GA. You also must complete the Criminal History Consent Form, which can be downloaded from http://www.columbiacountyso.org/divisions/administrative-services. You may also get a copy of an incident report from the Records Section. The phone number of the Records Section is 706-541-1042. Furthermore, the sheriff’s department offers an online sexual offender registry, located at http://www.columbiacountyso.org/sex-offenders, as well as a list of Most Wanted suspects, which can be found online at http://p2c.columbiacountyso.org/p2c/wantedlist.aspx. Finally, the sheriff’s office offers an online inmate inquiry, listing arrest records and other information about incarcerated suspects. It is located at http://p2c.columbiacountyso.org/p2c/jailinmates.aspx.
Between the years of 2008 and 2010, more than 8,000 crimes occurred in Columbia County, Georgia. They fell into the categories of larceny, auto theft, robbery, burglary, assault, rape and murder. There was not a large variation in the number of crimes that were committed over the course of the three years; in 2008, more than 2,500 crimes occurred, and the number dipped very slightly in the year after. In 2010, on the other hand, the number of crimes increased to almost 3,000. Although the variation is not significant, the increase in the crime rate is still a sobering sign for Columbia County.