Empty jail. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

In Georgia, those convicted of a misdemeanor or felony may have an opportunity to satisfy
their sentence out of custody if the judge issues a probation order. Probation allows a person
under a first offender agreement or a convicted individual a chance to avoid incarceration
under the supervision of a probation officer. If the probationer violates the terms and
conditions of his probation, that “freedom” can be revoked, and the probationer faces jail time.

The judge that sentenced the probationer to probation will hold the revocation hearing. The
prosecution officer and/or the District Attorney only have to prove that a violation occurred by
preponderance of the evidence. If under a first offender plea, the probation may be
adjudicated guilty of the original offense and face additional consequences for the alleged
violation. Unfortunately, probation requirements can sometimes be difficult to comply with or
unintentionally violated.

Here is everything you need to know about probation violations in
Georgia.

Terms and Conditions of Probation

Common probation terms and conditions include:

  • regularly reporting to the probationer office
  • maintaining employment
  • performing community service
  • abiding by local, state, and federal laws

Other types of special conditions may include:

  • drug or alcohol testing and / or treatment
  • submitting to random home searches
  • paying restitution
  • wearing a tracking device
  • avoiding contact with specified individuals

In addition to the common probation requirements that the probationer must comply with, the
presiding judge can also impose additional terms and conditions depending on the particular
crime. For those convicted of crimes against a minor or convicted of sexual offenses, additional
probation requirements could include avoiding the victim’s home, school, or workplace,
avoiding any place where minors congregate, allowing review of email correspondences and
internet activity, and allowing inspection of computers and other devices with internet access.

Types of Probation Violations
Probation violations can fall within two main categories, a technical violation and a substantive
violation. A technical violation refers to violating or failing to meet the terms and conditions of
a probation sentence. For example, failing to report, missing a restitution payment, and loss of
employment are all considered technical violations. A substantive violation refers to when a
probationer commits a new misdemeanor or felony offense. Not only can the new offense be
used to revoke probation, but it must also be addressed in a separate case.

What Happens After a Probation Violation?
Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of probation could result in the probation
officer requesting the probationer to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. During
the hearing, a judge will hear the case and the probation officer will request some form of
penalty, which could include incarceration. When determining whether a probation violation
did occur, a judge might consider the type, seriousness, and nature of the violation. If the
probationer is found guilty of violating his probation, sentencing could include extending the
probation period, imposing additional probation terms, or revoking probation and ordering the
probationer to serve time in jail.

While staying out of trouble is the probationer’s responsibility, it is feasible that a probation
violation could occur due to circumstances that were out of his control. For example, getting
laid off and becoming financially unable to make restitution payments could each result in
probation revocation.

If you’re facing probation violation charges in Georgia, don’t wait to talk to an experienced
criminal defense attorney. The penalties for violating your probation can be quite severe and
could change your quality of life drastically. Criminal Defense Attorneys Patrick McDonough and
Trinity Hundredmark at Andersen, Tate & Carr have combined experience of more than 30
years representing clients in criminal cases. For more information, or to request a case
evaluation, call our law office at (770) 822-0900.