As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I hear the confusion most people have regarding being placed on probation as well as to what happens if they violate the terms of their probation. In today's post, I'd like to clear up that confusion by discussing the conditions of probation as well as the different types of violations, and how our firm is here to help.
Probation in Georgia
So what is probation in Georgia? Probation is best explained as an alternative for convicted people to satisfy a jail or prison sentence out of custody meaning outside of jail or prison. Probation can be an alternative to jail or prison time with both misdemeanor and felony convictions. Probation sentences can last anywhere from a few months to several years.
Probation sentences are specific to the defendant and the conviction, and therefore, there are many different types of conditions that can be apart of someone's probation sentence.
General conditions include:
- Do not violate the laws of any governmental unit,
- Avoid injurious and vicious habits – especially alcoholic intoxication and 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.
Special conditions include:
- Attend risk reduction or DUI school,
- Attend a defensive driving school,
- Be evaluated for drugs and/or alcohol and follow any treatment that is recommended pursuant to the evaluation,
- 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 ordered by probation or as directed by the court,
- Provide a certain number of community service hours within a prescribed period of time,
- 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.
Violation of Probation in Georgia
As you can see, there are a plethora of probably conditions that can apply to someone's probation sentence. If you disobey any of the conditions, you will most likely be charged with violation of probation in Georgia. There are three different categories of probation violations. Each different category comes with a different penalty, so it is important to understand what type of violation you committed or have been accused of committing.
1. Technical Condition Violation: failure to meet one of the technical conditions of your probation. This means that you've failed to pay certain fees or fines or to pay restitution. Or possibly you've failed to report to your probation officer, or you've left the jurisdiction.
2. Special Condition Violation: failure to meet one of the special conditions of your probation. This means that you've failed to attend one of the courses assigned to you or any of the programs assigned to you.
3. Substantive Violation: failure to refrain from violating a law. This means that you've committed another crime while on probation.
Penalties for violating probation vary, but can include an extension of your probation term, hefty fines, more community service, more special conditions, and mandatory counseling. A substantive violation of probation is absolutely the most serious of the categories of probation violation. A misdemeanor charge while you're on probation could mean 2 years of the probation sentence being revoked - meaning you'll have to serve those years in jail. A felony charge while you're on probation will result in full revocation of your probation sentence, and you will serve the rest of the term in jail or prison.
If you have been charged with Georgia probation violation, you need to equip yourself with a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney. We can provide the best possible defense. All of our lawyers are well-experienced in practicing Georgia Criminal Defense or even negotiating deals before a violation of probation hearings. We help our clients to avoid being taken into custody.