Probation in Georgia
Probation is a common mechanism that courts use as an alternative to a person having to spend time in jail or prison. While this sounds great to most people, it is important to understand that there are conditions you must follow while on probation or else you could end up serving your time in jail. A judge in Georgia described probation as “a jail sentence you are allowed to serve outside of jail, as long as you follow the rules.” It is best to discuss your case with an attorney that is familiar with probation in Georgia that can help you weigh your options.
Why Should I Be Careful When Agreeing to Probation?
As stated previously, most people think probation is the easy way out. However, that is not the case. While on probation, you are in a precarious position. There are general and specific conditions you must adhere to while on probation in Georgia. While most people want to avoid jail, sometimes it is easier for them to spend time in jail than to satisfy all of the requirements of probation. That is why you should discuss your case with a Georgia Probation Attorney before making any decisions that will affect your future.
General conditions typically include:
- Avoiding alcohol consumption (this is especially true in DUI cases, and it prohibits all alcohol consumption)
- Reporting to a probation officer as needed
- Avoiding people or places of disreputable or harmful character
- Maintaining work at a suitable employment
- Remaining in good behavior and not violating any state, local, or federal laws
- Avoiding injurious and harmful habits
- Not moving from your residence or outside the Court's jurisdiction without permission from a probation officer
Special Probation Conditions
Special conditions of probation generally include:
- Pay restitution to the victim
- Community service
- Attend a defensive driving course
- Participate in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact panel
- Submit to a Substance Abuse Treatment Program and adhere to the treatment that is recommended
- Pay monthly probation supervision fees
- Submit to random drug and alcohol screenings
- Limited contact with a person or entry onto certain premises
- Attend AA meetings or anger management classes
What Happens If I Violate Probation in Georgia?
Violating probation is a serious offense in Georgia. The punishment for breaking a general condition of probation will be different than violating a special condition. An example of violating the general rules is when a person fails to report to their probation officer. This is called a technical violation, and the maximum punishment is a revocation of up to 2 years of your probation term to serve in jail.
A person violates one of the special conditions when they do not attend the required defensive driving course or fail to pass a drug screening. A judge can revoke the entire probation term for a special condition violation and force the offender to spend the rest of the period in jail.
What Happens if I Commit Another Crime While on Probation?
Even if you commit a misdemeanor, that will constitute a probation violation in Georgia. The punishment could include up to 2 years of the probation term being revoked and the time required to be spent in jail.
If charged with a felony while on probation in Georgia, the rest of your probation term will be served in jail.
What are the Benefits of Probation?
Even though probation has a lot of conditions, you get to live your life outside of jail! That means you can keep your job, stay with your family, and maintain a normal life except for the requirements.
Probation is an excellent alternative if you are ready to commit It will require you to be organized to keep up with your responsibilities.
Because probation is a considerable time commitment and requires a lot from you, you need to consult with a Georgia Attorney before choosing probation over jail time. No matter which choice you make, it will have a substantial impact on your future! No matter when you are considered probation, call us to talk it through. We are here for you nights, weekends, and holidays. Find out why we are Georgia’s premier criminal defense firm.