Everyone, in general terms, has an idea of what probation is—a mechanism within the criminal justice system that allows a person convicted of a crime to avoid jail time or a prison sentence. Which includes convictions for misdemeanor and felony offenses. No one wants to spend time behind bars and, thus, many people accept probation over jailtime without taking into consideration all the conditions of probation. It is a decision that should he heavily weighed.
For one, a person can be on probation from months to years. The longer the probation, sometimes the harder it is to comply with the conditions. Probation is still a jail sentence. Your time is just served on the outside and a probation violation can land inside to serve the time on your sentence. All it takes is for your probation officer who oversees your case to make a recommendation to the Court to revoke your probation if he or she determines that you failed to meet and/or violated the conditions of your probation.
WHAT ARE SOME GENERAL CONDITIONS OF PROBATION IN GEORGIA?
Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §42-8-35(a), the court will determine the terms and conditions of probation and may provide that the probationer:
(1) Avoid injurious and vicious habits;
(2) Avoid persons or places of disreputable or harmful character;
(3) Report to the probation supervisor as directed;
(4) Permit the supervisor to visit the probationer at the probationer’s home or elsewhere;
(5) Work faithfully at suitable employment insofar as may be possible;
(6) Remain within a specified location; provided, however, that the court shall not banish a probationer to any area within the state.
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIAL CONDITIONS OF PROBATION IN GEORGIA?
Under Georgia law, O.C.G.A. §42-8-35, there are additional special conditions that are included in some probation sentences:
(1) Make reparation or restitution to any aggrieved person for the damage or loss caused by the probationer’s offense, in an amount to be determined by the court;
(2) Make reparation or restitution as reimbursement to a municipality or county for the payment for medical care furnished the person while incarcerated;
(3) Support the probationer’s legal dependents to the best of the probationer’s ability;
(4) Violate no local, state, or federal laws and be of general good behavior;
(5) Submit to evaluations and testing relating to rehabilitation and participate in and successfully complete rehabilitative programming as directed by the department.
CONDITIONS FOR A PROBATIONER CONVICTED OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE AGAINST A MINOR
In determining the terms and conditions of probation for a probationer who has been convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or dangerous sexual offense, the court may provide that the probationer be:
(1) Prohibited from entering or remaining present at a victim’s school, place of employment, place of residence, or other specified place at times when a victim is present or from loitering in areas where minors congregate, child care facilities, churches, or schools;
(2) Required to wear a device capable of tracking the location of the probationer by means including electronic surveillance or global positioning systems. The department will assess and collect fees from the probationer for such monitoring at levels set by regulation by the department;
(3) Required, either in person or through remote monitoring, to allow viewing and recording of the probationer’s incoming and outgoing e-mail, history of websites visited and content accessed, and other Internet based communication;
(4) Required to have periodic unannounced inspections of the contents of the probationer’s computer or any other device with Internet access including the retrieval and copying of all data from the computer or device and any internal or external storage or portable media and the removal of such information, computer, device, or medium; and,
(5) Prohibited from seeking election to a local board of education.
THE THREE WAYS TO VIOLATE PROBATION IN GEORGIA
In the state of Georgia, there are basically three ways to violate your probation: technical violations, special condition violations and substantive violations.
Technical Violation: A technical violation of your probation means that you have failed to meet a technical condition of your probation such as failing to pay any fines, fees or restitution. Or, failing to report to your probation officer or leaving the jurisdiction.
Special Condition Violation: A special condition violation of your probation means that you have failed to fulfill a special condition of your probation such as failing to comply with drug testing or programming conditions.
Substantive Violation: A substantive violation of your probation means that you have committed another criminal offense while on probation and was arrested. It is the most serious of the violations and could result in the revocation of your probation and you serving the remainder of your sentence in jail or prison. Other consequences of violating your probation can include:
- Extension of your probation
- Heavy fines
- Additional community service
- Additional special conditions
- Additional rehabilitation counseling
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU VIOLATE YOUR PROBATION?
Usually, when a person violates their probation, a warrant is issued for their arrest. The person will then be required to attend a court hearing, in which, a judge will determine whether a violation occurred. At the hearing, the person’s probation officer may be questioned by the judge as to his or her recommendation to revoke the probationer’s probation. If the judge determines that a violation has occurred, he or she will then determine the penalty.
CONTACT BIXON LAW TODAY
If you are considering probation over jailtime or have been charged with violating your probation, give Bixon Law a call today to speak to one of our experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyers. We will vigorously defend your legal rights and advocate on your behalf to have your case dismissed or the charges against you reduced. As experienced trial attorneys, we are also not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. We represent clients in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. We are lawyers who are committed to helping people in difficult situations and we invite you to call us at 404-551-5684 for a free consultation today.