In Georgia, you can be placed on probation for any local or state law sentence. This includes ordinance, misdemeanor and felony crimes under our laws. Typically, instead of sentencing you to the maximum allowed time in to be spent in custody on a crime, the judge will sentence you to a lesser period of jail time, and probate the rest of the sentence. For example, on a DUI misdemeanor, the maximum jail time on a single count of DUI is 12 months. However, rather than put you in jail for 12 months to serve the time, you will typically sit in jail much less time have the remainder of the period probated. This means if you are in violation of your probation, you could be facing going into custody for however much time is remaining on your probated sentence.
In order for your probation officer, or PO, to revoke you, they will need to draw a warrant out and take you in front of a judge. Usually, this will be your original sentencing judge. You are entitled to a hearing and entitled to notice of the hearing in advance. Both of these requirements may be waived by you in certain situations.
Usually, the probation officer's revocation alleges some sort of non-compliance with the general or special conditions of probation. In addition, new arrests or new trouble, even if you were not arrested, are a violation of your general conditions and can have your probation revoked.
At these hearings, the judge will hear from both your PO and your defense attorney and will decide what the proper punishment to impose is, if you are in violation. Often, the probation officer wants you to spend a substantial portion of any remaining time in jail, while of course; your defense attorney should be negotiating for alternatives.
For example, in a recent case, I was able to negotiate for the release of my client, with a SCRAM (alcohol monitoring bracelet) for 90 days, instead of him sitting in jail for that time or longer. This allowed him to work and provide for his family, while still satisfying the court that he was under sufficient supervision to deter any further problems.
If you are on probation and have received notice that a warrant has been issued, or that you are in violation of your probation, contact my office today to discuss your case. I will talk about your situation with you and advise you of likely outcomes and strategies for your defense.