The Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office represents the people of the State of Georgia as the top prosecutor for state crimes in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit including Dade, Catoosa, Chattooga and Walker counties.
The mission of the office is to seek justice for the citizens of Georgia with courage, integrity, and professionalism.
The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for seeking justice in felony and misdemeanor cases in Dade County. Misdemeanors in Catoosa, Chattooga and Walker Counties are prosecuted by three separate prosecuting agencies, the Solicitor Generals, in the state courts of those three counties. We also seek justice in all criminal offenses in the Juvenile Courts of the Judicial Circuit.
Our office is comprised of highly skilled professionals who live in the counties we represent and who are passionate about doing what’s right and seeking justice for the people we serve. The office employs 16 attorneys and 19 support and non-attorney staff members. We handle approximately 4,750 felonies and 250 misdemeanors each year.
We are committed to conducting ourselves within a strict value system that focuses on honesty, integrity, respect, courage, fairness, professionalism and humility.
The work we do is more than prosecuting people who commit crimes. We are committed to
holding the right people accountable for violating the law without fear or favor in an ethical, equitable, and independent manner. We are committed to providing advocacy, support and resources to victims, witnesses and their families. We strive to act at all times with compassion for witnesses, victims and defendants. We take seriously our obligation to serve as leaders within the criminal justice system and to foster professionalism and cooperation among all constituents including the courts, law enforcement agencies, victims, witnesses, social service agencies, and the community.
We are passionate about protecting conviction integrity, ensuring cases move quickly and justly through the criminal process, and efficiently and effectively leveraging alternative sentencing programs when appropriate.
Finally, we believe it is our duty to educate and engage the community through volunteer work and greater access to information about the functions of our office and criminal justice system.
DA Chris Arnt
As a longtime resident of Georgia, Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Chris Arnt has dedicated the majority of his adult life to keeping the community he loves safe and prosperous. Even as a young person, Chris’ strong work ethic helped propel him to achieve the goals he set for himself by working throughout high school, college and law school as a cook, janitor, in fast food, retail, hospitality, and as a laborer.
Chris attended Mcintosh High School in Peachtree City, Georgia where he lettered in football. Chris attended Tulane University in New Orleans and graduated as a history major with a focus on American history and ancient Roman history. He continued his athletic pursuits by playing Rugby for several years, and he served as the President of College Republicans.
Chris’ commitment to public service was fostered by his parents’ love for their community and country. While attending Emory University School of Law with the desire of becoming a prosecutor, Chris served as the director of Moot Court program and interned at the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office.
After graduating from law school, Chris became an Assistant District Attorney in 1992 in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit. He was hired by Judge Ralph Van Pelt, who was the District Attorney at the time. He has handled every type of case from speeding and sexual assault cases to violent homicides. Chris was promoted to Chief Assistant in 2008 for District Attorney Buzz Franklin, making him responsible for overseeing all of the prosecutors in the office. When Buzz retired, Chris assumed leadership of the office with the support of his fellow lawyers and staff. Soon thereafter, he ran for District Attorney and was elected in November 2020.
Even with the demands of office stewardship and policy responsibilities, Chris remains active in the courtroom and still handles some of the most serious and high-profile cases that come into the office.
Sharing his courtroom and legal experience to help other prosecutors learn and grow has been a priority to Chris. For more than 25 years, Chris has served as a faculty member for a week-long Basic Litigation program for prosecutors throughout the state of Georgia, in addition to supporting and mentoring prosecutors within the office.
In addition to his 30 years as a state prosecutor, Chris is very active in his community. He is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Chattanooga, TN and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dalton, GA. He and his wife Tracy serve as lectors and Eucharistic Ministers and participate in the engaged couple’s marriage preparation ministry. Chris is also the past chair of the Catoosa County Republican Party.
Chris and Tracy have been married for 28 years and live in Ringgold, GA. Tracy is a teacher in Whitfield County, GA. They have two children. Logan is a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and his daughter Madison is a recent graduate of Bryan College.
As a dog lover, Chris and Tracy have adopted four rescue dogs over last 20 years. Their last beloved dog died in 2020, and just adopted Doji.