Community Service in Georgia
A common consequence in traffic ticket cases, DUI cases, and other offenses is court ordered community service. Judges often order offenders to perform community service in addition to or instead of other forms of punishment, such as jail time, fines, or probation.
Community service can be ordered as a stand-alone sentence or as a condition of probation for many types of crimes. Non-violent offenders and people with little or no criminal history are typically selected as candidates for court ordered community service. However, community service is typically unavailable for serious offenses.
Where To Perform Community Service in Georgia
The main requirement of community service is that it benefits the community. Sometimes courts assign the organization, but the majority of the time, the judge allows the offender to choose the type of community service they want to do. However, the community service must be done at a non-profit organization. In addition, courts prefer that the hours are performed at an organization in the county or even city you were charged.
Before you start working hours for court ordered community service, you should make sure that your court approves the organization. Most courts do not accept community service hours performed at your school or church. Additionally, certain courts will provide you with a list of approved organizations.
There are numerous organizations that courts accept for community service. However, if you are having a hard time finding acceptable places, Hands On Atlanta provides a way to find court-approved places.
Once you have narrowed down your options, it is critical to contact that organization before you show up. You must notify them that you have court-ordered community services to complete and provide information about the nature of your offense. They may not need additional volunteers or do not have time slots that fit your availability.
Document Community Service Hours
It is critical to document the days, times, and hours you volunteer. Some organizations have a sign in sheet for you to record others. It can be difficult to verify hours later, so it is essential to keep good records and sign in. If they do not have a sign in sheet, make sure the non-profit can provide you with a letter of completion on their official letterhead.
Community Service Can Be Performed Before Court in Georgia
While most people complete community service after a conviction or court appearance, it can be completed before. We frequently recommend our clients do this. Completing community service before court shows that you are taking the charge seriously. It can also show the prosecutor or judge that you are responsible and give your attorney leverage when negotiating on your behalf.
Because of our decades of experience representing people charged with crimes in Georgia, we have a vast knowledge of what organizations courts approve of. We do not want you to spend time volunteering somewhere that a judge will not accept.
If you have been court ordered to perform community service, contact us now. We will help you decide which organization is best for your offense, and we know how to make it work for you when defending you in court. Completing community service is not admitting guilt; instead, it can be a helpful bargaining tool for your case. Contact us now if you have any questions about community service in Georgia or about your case.