Conditional Discharge in Georgia

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You have probably heard about Georgia’s pretrial diversion and first offender laws. However, many people don’t know much about a program under Georgia law known as Conditional Discharge. Much like a pretrial diversion or first offender program, Georgia’s Conditional Discharge program allows for an alternative sentence to jail time and—upon completion—allows the Court to dismiss a drug conviction or a property crime caused by an offender’s drug use/abuse.

More About Conditional Discharge in Georgia…

The Conditional Discharge program is a legal process that can only be used once and it can only be used for drug-related crimes. Under Georgia law, whenever a person who has not previously been convicted of any offense relating to a narcotic drug, marijuana, stimulant, depressant or hallucinogenic drug and who pleads guilty or is found guilty of possession of such drugs may be placed on probation at the Court’s discretion. The Court may also require the person to undergo a comprehensive rehabilitation program, including medical treatment. Further, the probation period is not to exceed three years for a drug crime and no longer than five years for a property crime caused by an offender’s substance abuse addiction. O.C.G.A. §16-3-2.

Aim of a Conditional Discharge Program & Failure to Complete…

The goal of programs such as the Conditional Discharge program is to provide an alternative option to sentencing and sending a first-time offender directly to jail. And, to help prevent first-time offenders from having a conviction on their criminal history record, which can have a devastating impact on a person’s future. Although “tough on crime” proponents may disagree, sending an individual to jail or prison for minor-nonviolent crimes is not always in that person’s best interest or in the interest of justice.

Moreover, if an attorney negotiates with the State for his or her client to enter into a Conditional Discharge program and that client does not complete the program then the Court may enter an adjudication of guilt and sentence the client to the maximum sentence allowed under the law for the underlying crime.

Contact Bixon Law…

Before you enter into a plea agreement and if you are a first-time drug offender, call Bixon Law today. With our expertise in Georgia’s first-offender laws, we can work to help you stay out of jail and from obtaining a conviction on your criminal record. Once we know the facts of your case, we can advocate on your behalf. And, we will do so tirelessly. Maybe you’re young and simply made a bad mistake as lots of young people do. Maybe you are dealing with a serious substance abuse problem and would not have committed any crime if you were not under the influence of drugs. Or, maybe your behavior was triggered by family problems. Whatever the case may be, give us a call today at 404-551-5684 for a free consultation today. We’ll do all we can to help.

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