A Behavioral incentive date in Georgia can be a powerful tool for citizens to use to get off of probation and out from under court and probation supervision. As written in 2017, a behavioral incentive date or "BID" allows a method for someone on probation to have their case closed early, assuming certain conditions are met. In effect, it lessens the sting of a long probation sentence on a felony case, since it allows for early termination, no matter the length of the original probation sentence.
Here are the top bullet points to know about a BID:
- You can only get a BID for a first felony conviction. It does not matter, though, if you have one or more felony charges that you are pleading guilty to; it would apply to them all.
- You cannot get a BID on a split sentence. This means if you are sentenced to both some in-custody time and probation time, you are not eligible for a BID.
- The Court must include your BID at the time of sentencing, and it cannot be more than 3 years out.
- You cannot have any new arrests (other than minor traffic offenses) and must be compliant with all conditions of probation to qualify for your BID.
- Within 60 days of your BID, it is probation's responsibility to forward a proposed order to your judge to release you from the case.
- The judge or the prosecutor may request a hearing within 30 days of probation providing their order to close your case if they wish.
- The judge can make a decision about your BID taking into consideration the "best interest of justice" and "welfare of society."
If you are serving out a probation sentence that was started prior to this new law taking effect in 2017, you may still apply for a modification or termination of your probation, and the judge has ultimate discretion to terminate probation early. Additionally, current law mandates a non-reporting status, usually after 2 years, unless your case is specifically not eligible under the laws or you still have outstanding conditions of probation to complete.
How Zeliff | Watson Can Help w/ Your BID or Case
At Zeliff | Watson, both Peter and Evan have extensive experience in representing accused of felony crimes, including those that may qualify for a behavioral incentive date. Every case is different, so do not assume that because something happened to a friend or acquaintance in the court that it is exactly what will happen in your case. Your good name is your livelihood and probation can severely restrict your ability to pursue your goals to the fullest. Make sure you understand the obligations you have before entering a plea and giving up your right to trial.
To discuss your situation, our team can be reached via our secure contact form on the site, or by phone at: (770) 676-1340.
Senate Bill 174, which created Georgia Behavioral Incentive Dates can be found here.