Police and Municipal Court
It is the mission of the Sky Valley Police Department to safeguard the lives and property of the citizens we serve, to reduce crime, and to enhance public safety while working with our citizens to improve their quality of life. We do so with integrity, while conducting ourselves with the highest ethical standards in order to maintain the community’s confidence.
Vaughn Estes, Chief
Certain citations can be paid before your court date. Payments can be made by mail or in person. Municipal Court does not accept personal checks; payments can be made by money order, certified check, or cash.
PAY BY MAIL: Send a certified check or money order, payable to the City of Sky Valley, with a copy of your citation(s) to:
Sky Valley Municipal Court, 3444 Highway 246, Sky Valley, GA 30537.
Note: Checks mailed directly to the court must be received prior to your court date. Failure to comply will result in your license being suspended or a warrant issued for your arrest.
PAY IN PERSON: Payments are accepted at the Clerk’s Office, located at 3444 Highway 246, Sky Valley, GA 30537. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm, closed holidays. Payment can be accepted by cash or money order.
If you would like to come into court and contest the citation you may do so on the date listed on the front of the citation.
If you are charged with a state misdemeanor violation, you have a right to a jury trial. If you want a trial by jury, your case will be transferred from the Sky Valley Municipal Court to the Rabun County Superior Court; if you request your case to be transferred you will need to be in contact with the Rabun County Superior Court Office for further court date and other information pertaining to your case.
Citations that require a court appearance are:
- City ordinance violations
- Driving Under the Influence
- Driving While Unlicensed, Suspended, Revoked, etc.
- No Insurance
- Hit and Run
- Reckless Driving
- Theft by Shoplifting
- Possession of Marijuana
- Underage Possession
- Disorderly Conduct
- Pedestrian Under the Influence
This is just a partial list of offenses, if yours is not listed or you have any other questions regarding your citation(s) please contact the clerk at 706-746-2204.
1. What are the Courtroom Rules?
All pagers, beepers and cell phones shall be turned off • No weapons of any kind are permitted in the courtroom • No food, beverages or tobacco products are permitted in the courtroom • No headgear except for religious items are permitted in the courtroom • Proper attire is required: No shorts, tank tops, bare midriffs, halter tops, flip flops and low-hanging baggy pants are permitted in the courtroom • Please do not bring children to court unless absolutely necessary. Please arrange for a friend or relative to watch your child(ren) while you are in court • Be on time, stand when speaking to the judge, only approach the bench when instructed to do so, do not talk to others while court is in session, and enter and leave the courtroom quietly.
2. Can I change my court date?
You may submit a request for a continuance on your court date by contacting the Clerk of Municipal Court at 706-746-2204. If your Request is approved this continuance will go to the courts next court date. A request must be completed before 3:00 P.M. on the Tuesday prior to your court date. NO additional continuances are granted by the court office for a court date.
3. What happens if I miss my court date and do not pay my fine?
Failure to pay your fine or to appear in court will result in an automatic failure-to-appear fee. A license suspension, a bench warrant or a combination of both, depending on the violation, will be issued. A failure-to-appear warrant must be cleared before you can obtain the necessary paperwork to clear your license with the Department of Driver Services.
4. What is an arraignment?
Your very first court date is called an arraignment. Arraignment is a hearing at which the accused is brought before the court to plead to their charges. You may plead guilty, not guilty or where permitted, nolo contendere. During arraignment, if you plead guilty or nolo contendere, your charges will be heard on that day. If you plead not guilty, you may be given a future trial date. When you return for your trial, the officer who issued you the citation will be present to present their case against you.
5. I want to contest my citation. What do I do?
If you want to contest your traffic citation, simply appear in court on the date shown on the citation and plead NOT GUILTY. You will be given the opportunity to state your case before the judge, ask the officer questions, and present witnesses and evidence in your favor. If you would like to have a Jury Trial, you will need to request that in front of the judge on your court appearance.
6. What does my signature on the citation mean?
Your signature on the bottom of the citation is not an admission of guilt. It means that you acknowledge having received a copy of the citation and that you will either pay the fine or appear in court on the date indicated.
7. What options do I have regarding my ticket?
You may pay the fine prior to your court date for any charge not listed as a mandatory appearance. If you choose not to appear in court, payment must be received by the morning of your court date by 8:30 A.M. Prior payments are treated the same as a guilty plea. If you choose to plead Nolo or Not Guilty, you will have to come to court on your scheduled court date. A Not Guilty plea may be reset for a court trial.
8. I am under 21 years of age, how does the Georgia Teenage Driver’s Responsibility Act affect me?
If you are under 21 years of age and convicted of any one offense for which four (4) or more points are assessed, your drivers’ license will be suspended for a minimum of six (6) months. No work permits are available. If you are under eighteen (18) years of age and accumulate four (4) points in a 12-month period, your drivers’ license will be suspended for a minimum of six (6) months. Some common four point violations are: • Exceeding the speed limit by 24 mph or more • Improper passing on a hill or curve • Unlawful passing of a school bus • Aggressive driving For additional information: DDS Website is www.dds.ga.gov.com
9. What is a NOLO plea?
Nolo means No Contest. This plea means you are not pleading guilty or not guilty, but simply accepting the charge and agreeing to the fine and sentence. The Department of Driver Services will accept one plea of Nolo contendere for a moving traffic violation in any five year period without assigning points to the driving record.
10. Will a NOLO affect my insurance?
We do not report any violation to your insurance company. Your insurance company has the right to review your driving record and can see that you were issued a citation. The Nolo plea does not keep the citation off your record, it only keeps points from being assessed. It is up to your insurance company as to how it affects your policy.
11. Where do I get a subpoena?
The Clerk of Court issues subpoenas.
12. How am I serve a subpoena?
A subpoena may be served by a sheriff, by his deputy, or by another person not less than 18 years of age. Subpoenas may also be served by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, and the return receipt constitutes proof of service. O.C.G.A. 24-10-23.
13. How do I clear a drivers’ license suspension for failure to appear in court?
You will first have to pay your fine at the court clerk’s office. The Judge sets the fine as cash only. Once the fine has been paid, you will receive a new court date and time. You will also obtain, from the court clerk’s office and submit to the Department of Driver Services, a release from (DPS912) to clear your license. Paying the fine DOES NOT CLEAR YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE with the Department of Driver Services. Contact the Department of Driver Services for reinstatement information. Their website is below. Phone number is: 678-413-8400 DDS website is www.dds.ga.gov