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Understanding Probation Violation GA
In Georgia, those found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony might have a chance to fulfill their sentence out of custody if the court issues a probation order. Established under O.C.G.A. §42-8-35, probation allows a convicted person or an individual sentenced under a first offender arrangement to avoid incarceration by living freely under the supervision of a probation officer. If the probationer violates the terms and special conditions of his or her probation, the probational privileges awarded to them can be withdrawn, and the probationer may face prison time.
If you or somebody you love has been accused of a probation violation in GA, seeking representation from a trusted criminal defense attorney can help you protect your freedom. Read on to learn more about potential penalties and your rights and options under Georgia law from the experts at The Law Ladies.
Georgia Probation Rules
While probation is preferable to prison time, its relative flexibility does come at a cost. When a judge issues a probation order, they usually outline a series of rules regarding the offender’s conduct.
Common terms and conditions of probation in Georgia include:
- Regularly reporting with your probation officer.
- Loss of gun rights.
- Drug or alcohol testing, counseling, or treatment.
- Participating in community service.
- Maintaining steady employment.
- Submitting to randomly scheduled home searches.
- Refraining from contact with certain individuals or places.
- Paying restitution to the victim(s).
- Following all areas of the law.
As a probationer, it’s always in your best interest to follow these requirements, but mistakes or lapses in judgment can and do happen. Unfortunately, many people find their probation requirements extremely difficult to fulfill — sometimes at no fault of their own. When this happens, having a skilled defense lawyer on your side is essential.
Georgia Probation Management
As a probationer, you will likely receive frequent visitations by a probation officer or supervisor from Georgia Probation Management or the Georgia Department of Corrections.
Your probation officer’s primary duty is supporting you and offering practical advice and information throughout your period of probation. While they may have your best interest at heart, however, this individual will also be responsible for ensuring that you follow the terms of your probation agreement. As such, they can and will report you if you violate probation.
Can GA Probation Management Report a Probation Violation?
Most probation violation accusations begin with the probation officer. It’s always best to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible if you suspect that your probation officer may have witnessed a probation violation.
If a PO thinks the probationer has violated probation, they can have them arrested without a warrant. Alternatively, a probation warrant may be issued for their arrest.
Probation Violation Warrant GA
A probation violation warrant is a court order authorizing authorities to locate and arrest a person. The order is signed by a judge based upon the belief that the individual committed some kind of probation violation offense.
Some individuals are informed by their probation officer that a warrant will be issued. The majority of the time, however, a probationer is caught off guard and unexpectedly arrested.
Unlike with other types of Georgia warrants, a person who is arrested on a probation violation warrant in GA does not have the opportunity to bail out of jail or be released without seeing a judge. Unfortunately, it can sometimes take weeks to get out of jail following an arrest under a Georgia warrant for violation of probation, but having a criminal attorney in Atlanta fighting for your rights may help you resolve your case more quickly.
GA Probation Violation Laws
Under GA probation violation laws, there are two main categories of probation violation offenses:
- A technical violation occurs when a probationer violates a term or special condition of their probation.
- A substantive violation occurs when a probationer commits another crime while on probation.
If the court believes that you committed a probation violation, you may face legal penalties. These are determined by a range of factors, including the type, seriousness, and nature of the violation, with potential penalties ranging from a simple warning to fines and added probation time.
Incarceration may also be possible in some circumstances, especially when the offender lacks adequate representation. Anyone accused of violating probation may be arrested and temporarily jailed while awaiting trial, but the court can also revoke probation and sentence the offender to jail or prison.
Probation Revocation in Georgia
Probation revocation is among the most devastating consequences of serious or subsequent probation violations. If your probation officer has reason to believe that you have violated the conditions of probation, the probation officer may initiate a revocation hearing.
At a revocation hearing, a judge will examine your alleged Georgia probation offense and choose whether to enforce additional penalties or revoke your probation and sentence you to jail time.
Unlike at a criminal trial, the prosecutor’s burden of proof at a probation revocation hearing is fairly low. The authorities do not need to prove that you broke your probation beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, the court may permanently revoke your probation as long as the majority of the evidence suggests that a probation infraction occurred. For this reason, it’s important that you hire a knowledgeable and aggressive Georgia probation violation attorney.
Accused of a Probation Violation in Georgia?
If you are facing accusations of probation violation in Georgia, time is of the essence. In order to protect your rights, freedom, and future, you must act with a sense of urgency by getting in touch with a reputable criminal defense lawyer who specializes in litigating probation violation cases.
When you work with The Law Ladies, we’ll build a strong defense strategy that is tailored to your unique goals and needs. Depending upon your situation, this may include negotiating with your probation officer and the prosecutor to ensure your continued freedom.
Our top-rated Atlanta, GA criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to reaching the best possible result for our clients. Attorneys Jasmine Barber and Ashley McMahan have successfully helped thousands of people throughout Georgia fight their criminal charges, and they’re ready to help you, too. If you’re ready to begin fighting for your freedom, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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