Posted by Jim Yeargan in on October 22, 2014
Georgia Probation Revocation
Someone is placed on probation instead of serving jail time. When someone is placed on probation they must adhere to certain conditions and requirements. If they fail to do so they may have their probation revoked, and be sent back to jail. When their probation is revoked their probation officer may issue a warrant for their arrest, or he may schedule a probation revocation hearing before a judge. Your probation officer has a great deal of discretion and power in deciding whether to issue a warrant for your arrest, or simply scheduling a hearing before a judge.
Someone can violate their probation either through a technical violation, or by violating a special condition. A technical violation is when someone violates a basic rule of probation such as failure to report, or failure to pay. The maximum punishment for a technical violation is 2 years. This means you could spend up to 2 years in jail if you have that much time left on probation.
Violating a special condition means violating a rule of probation the court highlighted and made special because your case requires it. Special condition violations may include failure to complete DUI School, community service, drug and alcohol counseling, or failing a drug screen. The maximum punishment for violating a special condition of probation is having the remainder of your time on probation revoked, no matter how long, and serving that time in jail.
Your probation may also be violated if you are arrested on new charges. The arrest is enough to violate your probation; even if the new charges are later dropped, or you are found not guilty. Even if you are not arrested, but are merely cited for a violation, like speeding, this is enough to violate your probation even if the ticket is later dismissed.
If you are arrested on a probation warrant you do not have the right to bond, and most judges will not give you a bond on a probation warrant. You can expect to sit in jail for days, weeks, or even months waiting to see a judge regarding the probation violation. Hiring an attorney can get you seen by a judge, and released, much faster than waiting in jail.
At the probation revocation hearing the State merely has to prove you violated your probation by a preponderance of the evidence, and not beyond a reasonable doubt. The State only has to prove the elements necessary to establish that you violated your probation; they do not have to prove any of the facts from your original case. The State will be represented either by a prosecutor, or your probation officer. The probation revocation hearing is determined by a judge, and you do not have the right to a trial by jury.
If the judge determines you violated your probation you may face increased jail time, fines, community service, counseling, or other conditions.
A Georgia probation revocation is not necessary in every case. Many times an attorney can negotiate a settlement to reinstate your probation so you do not have to go back to jail, or face increased fines and conditions.
Just as with any criminal offense you may have several defenses available to you. Hiring an attorney will demonstrate to the court that you are taking the charge seriously, and may help you avoid jail time and increased fines and conditions.
To learn how we can help you fight your Georgia probation revocation contact us today.