Conditions of Probation in Georgia
When a person is sentenced to a specified amount of probation time, there are certain rules they must adhere to. If those rules are broken, the terms of the probation may be nullified and may result in the offender having to complete jail time. Some of these rules can include:
- Not violating any laws of the government
- Avoiding the consumption of alcohol or use of illicit drugs
- Avoiding people or places of harmful character
- Reporting to their assigned probation officer at whatever specified increments
- Remaining within the specific jurisdiction of probation
- Maintaining stable employment if available and possible
- Taking care of dependants if possible to maintain their care while under probation
If probation is sentenced for a DUI, offenders may also be asked to attend a risk reduction course or DUI school, attending classes at a defensive driving school (DDS), be evaluated for drug or alcohol use, and more.
Types of Probation Violations
There are three different types of violations that may result in increased consequences, such as jail time, extended sentencing of probation term or jail time, increased fine amounts, community service, and mandatory counseling.
Technical Condition Violation
A technical condition violation is defined as a failure to meet one or more of the conditions defined by the offender's specific probation terms. Causes of this type of violation include:
- Failure to pay fines
- Leaving the defined jurisdiction
- Failure to meet with a probation officer
Special Condition Violation
A special condition violation means that the offender has failed to meet one or more of the special conditions that are included in their specific probation sentence. Special conditions are usually placed upon individuals convicted of a DUI. Violation may result if a person fails to attend specific risk reduction or DDS classes, counseling, or evaluations of drug or alcohol use.
A substantive violation, which is the most severe of the probation violations, means that a person has committed a crime or violated the law while on probation. Consequences for committing a crime, even a misdemeanor, while on probation may result in a minimum of 2 years revoked, meaning that the person will need to serve that same amount of time in jail.
What Happens If You Violate Probation in Cobb County?
If you violate your probation for any reason in Cobb County, your parole officer will go to the district attorney and present the violation. The district attorney will schedule a probation revocation hearing where it will be determined whether or not your probation has in fact been violated. If yes, a warrant for your arrest will be issued by the judge. If not, the revocation case will be dismissed and you will continue serving your probation time.
If a warrant for your arrest is issued due to a probation violation, the following consequences may be the result:
- Incarceration for a period of or for the remainder of your original sentence
- Increased period of incarceration
- Increased community service time
- Increased fines
- Addition of special conditions such as counseling or classes
Benefits of an Experienced Attorney
If you or a loved one is currently serving probation time and has violated probation, it is absolutely critical to hire an experienced attorney that specializes in dealing with probation violations. Attorneys with experience in probation violation will have worked with the specialized courts that deal with these situations and may be an invaluable resource for several reasons:
- An experienced attorney will possess significant knowledge of criminal law and the different nuances that make up probation violations.
- Your attorney may also have extensive knowledge about the laws, courts, and judges within your area. Though reputation will not cause these charges to go away, it may help sway opinion if your lawyer is well-liked and reputable.
- An attorney will have expert negotiation skills that can be used to best help you in your specific criminal case. They may be able to negotiate lesser consequences and help a jury sympathize with your individual situation.
- Your lawyer will be your advocate. Because of attorney-client privilege, your lawyer is working in your best interest and is a trusted advisor in all matters pertaining to your case.
In general, the best chance that you have at reducing your sentencing or pleading your case effectively is through an experienced, reputable, trusted attorney. Laws can be difficult to navigate, especially when you are inexperienced and alone in your journey.
Finding Help in Cobb County
Violating probation in Atlanta, Georgia can be a scary experience, especially if this is your first offense or if the violation happened on accident. And because messing with the law is no simple ordeal, the best thing you or a loved one can do is find a trusted attorney that is able to help guide you through this process.
Each county and state has their own specific laws, so finding an experienced Cobb County defense attorney is critical. Lawyers in Marietta like Rick Christian work tirelessly to provide each of their clients with the best criminal defense, especially in cases of probation violation. They work hard to analyze your case and the specific details of the law in order to fight for decreased sentencing that will help you receive the help you need sooner than if you were to go to court without help.
Call today to consult with Rick Christian and find out what options you or your loved ones have when it comes to any criminal charges or probation violations.