Atlanta Probation Violation Attorney
Georgia Probation Violation Laws
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:
- 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.
Violating Probation in Georgia
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.
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 in GA
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. There are three types of supervision:
- General Supervision
- Specialized Probation Supervision
- 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 Much Jail Time for 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.
What Happens at a Probation Violation Hearing?
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. 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.