Atlanta Probation Violation Attorney

Accused of violating your parole? Call The Law Office of Matthew T. McNally!

Georgia, like all other states, institutes probation for some criminal offenders. According to §42-8-35 of the Georgia Code, probation aims to accomplish various things, such as[1]:

  • Prevent the probationer from injurious habits and unlawful behavior
  • Prevent the probationer from people and situations who would be bad influences
  • Cause the probationer to work in suitable employment
  • Prevent the probationer from leaving a specified area
  • Require the probationer to submit to testing relating to rehabilitation, such as drug testing

If the court imposes probation on someone and that individual violates any of the terms of his or her probation, the court could increase their probationary period, revoke their probation, or impose charges if probation was violated by the commission of a new crime[2].

Violations of Probation

It is standard for anyone placed on probation in Georgia to have to abide by certain standards, including abiding by all local, state, and federal laws, reporting to their probation officer, going to all required classes, testing, community service, and the like, retain gainful employment, and possibly pay related fines and fees. Additional criteria are enforced for certain defendants, such as those convicted of sex offenses[3].

What Happens on Your First Probation Violation

Your probation supervisor will determine which types of violations warrant which actions. Serious or multiple violations may warrant probation revocation, while minor or first-time violations may warrant a warning, extension of probation length, or additional terms of probation.

Probation Violation Warrants

Some probation violations may result in a warrant for the offender to appear for a hearing. The court may also issue an arrest warrant if the probationer failed to appear for probationary reporting or is MIA. If you want to check if there is a warrant out for you, speak with your probation supervisor or contact the clerk of court for the county in which you reside (or the county in which you believe you might have a warrant).

Felony Probation Violations

In Georgia, adult felony offenders can be sentenced by the Superior Court Judge presiding over their case to either probation, called a “probated sentence,” or they could be sentenced to a split sentence, which is partial time in prison and partial time on probation[4]. There are three types of supervision[5]:

  1. General Supervision
  2. Specialized Probation Supervision
  3. Mental Health Supervision

The Superior Court Judge will decide which type of sentence is most appropriate based on the defendant’s risk level. That risk level is determined the same way for each defendant, via an automated classification tool.

How Long Is Jail Time for a Probation Violation?

If an offender’s probation is revoked, then a judge will decide how to proceed. What could happen is that the judge takes away probation and has the defendant serve out the rest of his or her sentence in jail or prison, the length of which depends on how long the original sentence was and how much of their probation they successfully completed. Violating probation is not a crime in itself, but rather a violation of a court-imposed penalty for a criminal conviction. However, it is possible to violate probation by committing a new crime, in which case jail and prison time can be imposed if the defendant is convicted of that new crime.

Probation Violation Hearings

Probation officers can initiate probation violation hearings if they determine the probationer has violated his or her probation. An individual’s probation may not be revoked by the court unless the state establishes by preponderance of the evidence the alleged violations[6]. If the court determines that the probationer has violated one or some of the terms of his or her probation, they can consider all of the following options:

  • Imposing additional community service, intensive probation, diversion centers, special alternative incarceration, and related alternatives to jail or prison.
  • Revocation of probation, if the aforementioned options are deemed unsuitable by the court as a response to the violation.

For more information on probation violations in Georgia, we encourage you to get in touch with an Atlanta probation violation lawyer at the Law Office of Matthew T. McNally.

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