What to Know if You're Facing a Probation Violation GA

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Blake Ledbetter Atlanta AttorneyAuthor: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter

Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on November 14, 2020, last updated on November 21, 2020.

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What is a Probation Violation GA?

When a person commits a crime, they are sometimes ordered to adhere to restrictions and complete their sentence or punishment out in the community rather than go to prison. The point of probation is to be an alternative way of rehabilitating offenders instead of incarcerating them in an already overcrowded prison system. Sometimes, the court will mandate the probation to be completed in a rehabilitation center, but it is often done at home.

Before probation is ordered, the judge will determine if the offender can be rehabilitated with probation or if they should serve a prison sentence. The individuals most likely to receive probation are minors, those who committed misdemeanors, or first-time offenders. These are the people who are most likely to be deemed non-threatening to those around them.

When probation is ordered, the offender must agree to follow a specific set of rules for the duration of the probationary period. Failure to do so will result in a probation violation, and they will be required to complete their sentence in jail or continue probation with further restrictions. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a strong defense team on your side. If you or someone you love has been charged with a probation violation in GA, please contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Conoscienti & Ledbetter for a free consultation.

Understanding Probation Violation Georgia

No one is entitled to probation. This is especially true when a felony is committed that requires the offender to serve a jail sentence. While it is likely that first-time offenders or minors will receive probation, this is not always the case. Unless otherwise stated, offenders can file an appeal to change their sentence to probation.

To avoid imprisonment, the offender must follow all rules set forth by the court, and they must avoid committing any crimes. If they can do this, they should not have an issue completing their sentence without further sanctions. However, unjust probation violation arrests can and do happen. If you find yourself in this situation, a trusted attorney in Decatur, GA can defend you.

The number of conditions the offender must follow largely depends on the specific crime that was committed, with a felony generally carrying heavier probation conditions than a misdemeanor. The hope is that this will prevent them from committing the same offense again. It also ensures that other felons will not implicate the offender when a crime is committed in the community.

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Who Manages Georgia Probation Records?

The state or federal government can monitor an offender’s probation in the state of Georgia. When an offender breaks laws, they may be subject to supervision by the state in which they committed the crimes. The offender can move to another state during probation both states approve of the transfer. If not, they will not be allowed to move. If the offender has committed one or more federal offenses, they will be supervised by the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services.

Some offenders have reported that state probation is less strict than federal probation. The probation officers at the federal level have more resources available to them, making them able to do more when it comes to ensuring offenders are following all rules.

No matter if you – the offender – are on federal probation or state probation, you should follow all conditions set forth by the judge, court, and probation officer. Any violations of your probationary terms mean you will face penalties up to jail time, but a criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta can help defend you against this. If you’ve been charged with violating probation in Georgia, please call us at (404)-373-5800.

How is a First Probation Violation Reported?

Most probation violations are discovered and reported by the offender’s probation officer. All officers have a duty to supervise the offenders, to make sure they follow all the rules for their individual case, and to report all violations. They are an integral part of the rehabilitation of offenders and help provide an alternative to jail or prison time to ensure that they won’t re-offend.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that the offender has given them accurate personal, employment, and residential information.
  • Assisting the offender in job hunting.
  • Giving the courts progress reports on the offender.
  • Supervising the testing of alcohol and drugs.
  • Ensuring that the offender is attending all court-mandated programs.
  • Helping the offender utilize community resources.
  • Monitoring the offender’s activities.
  • Assessing the home life of minor offenders and removing them if necessary.

What happens when you violate probation is up to the officer’s discretion as well as local law, but they will usually issue a warrant for your arrest. If you’ve been charged with violating probation in Georgia, a skilled legal professional can analyze the officer’s claims against you and build a strong argument in your favor.

    Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free criminal defense consultation today, for free.

    Offenses that Can Lead to a Probation Violation Hearing

    Here are the terms you will likely have to adhere to when awarded probation:

    • No leaving the country.
    • No leaving the state without permission. You must also inform your probation officer if you move within the state.
    • Attend all meetings with your probation officer.
    • Pay all your monthly fees including those for drug tests.
    • Pay restitution if ordered.
    • Avoid contact and communication with other felons.
    • Maintain suitable employment.
    • Attend counseling, rehab, and all other court-ordered programs such as community service.
    • Tell your probation officer if you are arrested again.
    • Do not keep drugs or paraphernalia in your home.
    • Obey curfew orders.
    • Cooperate with random searches of your home.
    • Do not possess firearms.

    If the crime committed is more serious, more restrictions can be placed. The probationer may also have to follow special conditions unique to them, such as:

    • No alcohol can be kept in the house.
    • An ankle monitor must be worn at all times.
    • Must register under the Georgia sex offender registry.
    • No possessing pornographic material.
    • Must see a therapist weekly.
    • Must perform frequent check-ins.

    If a probationer violates any terms and conditions of probation, they may face a probation violation hearing, which can lead to probation revocation and jail or prison time. This is why hiring an Atlanta, GA criminal defense lawyer as soon as the violation occurred is essential.

    There are three types of probation violations in Georgia: a technical violation, a substantive violation, and a special condition violation of probation. Special condition violations and technical violations occur when a probationer fails to meet one or more of the conditions of probation, such as failing to report to the probation officer, while substantive violations occur when a new crime is committed. However, each method of violating your probation is equally serious, with each bringing the potential for incarceration if convicted of the violation.

    How Long Do You Have to Go to Jail for Probation Violation?

    If you violate your probation and go through the court system again, you will be given a new sentence while receiving credit for the time you have already served on probation. If it is mandated that you be incarcerated, you will be given time served. This will lessen your sentence, but be aware that probation and jail sentences are not overlapping.

    If you are sentenced for a crime that carries a maximum of five years in jail, for example, but you are ordered to complete three years of probation, this means you may have to serve five years in jail for a probation violation.

    While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to how long you will go to jail, know that you could serve your max sentence. While many courts in the United States have upheld this as fair, an experienced attorney may be able to fight to have your sentence lowered. If you’re ready to work with Conoscienti & Ledbetter’s award-winning legal team, we invite you to contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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    Decatur, GA 30030

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