Probation Violations and Revocation in Georgia
If you have been sentenced to a period of probation in Georgia, you have actually been sentenced to a jail sentence that is being allowed to be served out of custody. Many times people forget that if your violate probation in Georgia, you can be sent to serve the remainder of your sentence in jail. This is serious business. Probation revocations in Georgia need serious attention and serious representation. Georgia probation violations need the attention of expert Georgia Probation Violation Lawyers. Only Georgia Probation Violation Attorneys know the ins and outs of Georgia probation violations.
Explaining Probation Terms in Georgia:
Probation is an alternative to serving a criminal sentence in jail provided that the probationer follows certain conditions. If you violate the terms of your probation, the consequences can be severe. The judge in your case may be able to revoke all or part of the remaining term of your probation.
The following are the typical General Conditions of Probation imposed in most criminal cases in Georgia:
- Do not violation the laws of any governmental unit;
- Avoid injurious and vicious habits especially alcoholic intoxication and narcotics and other dangerous drugs unless prescribed lawfully;
- Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character;
- Report to the probation supervisor as directed and permit such supervisor to visit you at home or elsewhere;
- Work faithfully at suitable employment insofar as may be possible;
- Do not change your present place of abode, move outside the jurisdiction of the Court, or leave the State for any period of time without prior permission of the probation supervisor; Support your legal dependents to the best of you ability.
In addition to the General Conditions of Probation, a typical criminal sentence will have Special Conditions of Probation that may have to be followed depending on the facts and circumstances of that particular case. Examples of Special Conditions of Probation include:
- Attend risk reduction course (DUI school);
- Attend a defensive driving school;
- Attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel;
- Submit to a substance abuse evaluation and follow any treatment that is recommended;
- Be evaluated for anger and violence, deviant behavior, sexual deviancy and/or other special needs counseling and following any treatment that is recommended pursuant to the evaluation;
- Pay any fines and/or restitution as directed by the court or your probation officer;
- Perform a certain number of hours of community service hours;
- Pay monthly probation supervision fees;
- Avoid contact or violence with certain named people or entry into certain prohibited places;
- Do not drink any alcohol or take any drugs without a prescription;
- Submit to random drug and alcohol tests at your own expense as directed by probation.
A technical violation is when a probationer fails to follow one of the basic rules of probation. These generally include failures to report and failures to pay. The maximum punishment for a technical violation is a revocation of up to 2 years of your probation term to serve in jail.
A special condition violation generally includes failures to perform community service hours in a timely manner or failing to complete courses within the time period ordered by the court. The maximum punishment for a special condition violation is to revoke the full balance of the probation term to be served in confinement.
If you commit a misdemeanor offense while on probation, the maximum punishment is to revoke up to 2 years of your probation term to serve in confinement.
If you commit a felony offense while on probation, the maximum punishment is to revoke the full balance of the probation term or the maximum that could be received on the felony charge to confinement, whichever is lesser.
If your probation officer or supervisor believes that you have violated the terms of your probation, the probation officer will file a Petition for Probation Revocation detailing their allegations and will likely seek out a warrant for your arrest before a hearing is scheduled. It may be possible to negotiate a walk-in hearing so that you can avoid being taken into custody before having a hearing. If you are arrested on a probation warrant, you will likely remain in jail until the scheduled hearing date.
At the Probation Revocation Hearing, the probation officer will have to prove the allegations as to how you violated the terms of your probation by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a significantly lower standard than “beyond a reasonable doubt” in a criminal trial.
You are not entitled to a jury trial on a probation revocation. The judge has sole discretion in determining whether you violated your probation conditions and in determining what, if any, punishment to impose. The court may order you to continue with probation, or the court may require additional community service, intensive probation, alternatives to confinement such as work-release and/or house arrest, ankle monitoring, or additional counseling. The court is not limited to jail time.
In addition to violating the terms of your probation, any new arrest must also be addressed as a separate case. It is likely, though, that the new offense will be used to revoke or modify your probation long before you have resolved the offense itself which means that you will likely face consequences from the new charge even if that case is ultimately dismissed or you are found “not guilty” simply because you were on probation when you were accused of the new charge.
What Can Be Done If You Violate Probation in Georgia?
Richard Lawson has been a Georgia probation violation lawyer for almost 20 years. As a Georgia probation violation attorney, he uses his experience as a former Georgia Prosecutor to help you with your probation violation in Georgia. Contact a Georgia probation violation in Georgia today. We are here 24/7, 365 days a year. This included nights and weekends.