After the applicant has applied for the Warrant Application, a hearing notice will be mailed to you and the defendant. The day of the hearing the applicant (plaintiff) will have to prove the respondent committed a crime. The respondent (defendant) does not have to prove anything. The respondent does not have to appear in court; the danger of not appearing is that the hearing will be held in the absence of the respondent.
Anytime you are appearing in a Criminal Court proceeding as either the Complainant/Applicant or Respondent it may be a wise investment to hire an attorney. You do not have to retain an attorney, but remember the Judge cannot provide you with legal advice nor can he/she present your case for you. View a list of Attorneys in Effingham County (PDF).
Please remember the Judge may issue a warrant for anyone if there is probable cause to believe they have committed a crime. This includes the Applicant, Respondent, Witnesses, and other persons, who may or may not have participated in the hearing.