DeKalb County Probation Revocation Lawyer
In Georgia, many cases end with the placement of a criminal defendant on probation. Probation is often used by Georgia court judges to allow for defendants convicted of a crime to continue with their lives without confinement while remaining under observation. However, this alternative to imprisonment comes with strict conditions and requirements that are enforceable under any extraneous conditions. Any suspected violation of these requirements may land you right back in jail for the duration of your original sentence.
Given the devastating consequences that losing your right to probation can have, it is important to have representation from a skilled attorney when contesting allegations of a probation violation. A DeKalb County probation revocation lawyer could help you understand what to expect from the revocation process, negotiate with the court on your behalf, and work tirelessly to seek a positive outcome in your case.
Typical Terms of Probation in DeKalb County
Official Code of Georgia §42-8-35 outlines typical conditions of probation for most offenses in DeKalb County. Among other things, requirements of people put on probation in Georgia usually include the following:
- Regular reports to an assigned probation officer,
- Avoiding disreputable people, places, and habits,
- Continuing work at their normal place of employment,
- Staying in a specified place or within a specified area, usually enforced by a mandatory ankle monitor,
- Repayment of court fees, jail costs, and damages from their offense if applicable and;
- Drug screening and rehabilitation, depending on the offense.
Certain offenses may be accompanied by stricter requirements. For example, someone on probation for a sexual offense or an offense against a minor may also have to maintain a certain distance from the person they harmed, as well as submit to monitoring and inspection of their electronic communications.
Many counties, including Dekalb County, require criminal defendants on probation to reframe from the use of alcohol and/or illegal narcotics. To ensure they comply with this order, judges often require random screens and/or testing of a probationer’s urine. Should the probationer test positive for alcohol or illegal drugs, a probation officer may attempt to revoke his or her probation.
If a probation officer suspects a violation of any such terms, or if someone on probation commits any additional criminal offense during their probationary period, the officer may seek a warrant to bring that defendant before a judge and have their probation revoked. Without representation from a probation revocation attorney, defendants accused of probation violations in DeKalb County may have slim odds of avoiding jail time.
Consequences of Probation Revocation
According to the Official Code of Georgia §42-8-34.1, a defendant must either acknowledge they violated the terms or their probation or have the State prove a violation based on a preponderance of the evidence for a court to revoke their probation. The judge as a bevy of options available should he or she find the probationer violated the terms of probation, which vary depending on whether the instigating offense for the defendant’s probation was a misdemeanor or a felony.
If the offense was a misdemeanor, a judge may mandate imprisonment for the remainder of the probationary period. Depending on the circumstances, a probation revocation lawyer in DeKalb County may be able to negotiate for alternative sentencing options, such as community service, time in a probation detention center, work release, house-arrest, a reduced jail sentence, or a diversionary program to discourage future offenses.
If the offense was a felony, though, these options are usually not available. Instead, a judge may require a defendant to serve the lesser of the maximum available jail sentence for their offense or the remainder of their probationary period. Likewise, if a defendant violates a special condition of probation or was granted probation as a negotiated alternative to jail time, revocation of their probation may result in them serving the rest of their probationary period in jail.
Seek Assistance from a DeKalb County Probation Revocation Attorney
Any allegation of probation violation should be strongly contested, especially if your original offense was a felony. Revocation of probation can have significant consequences, and it may even result in you spending more time in jail than your original offense would have justified.
A DeKalb County probation revocation lawyer could be a knowledgeable and steadfast ally in your fight to preserve your rights and protect your best interests. If you were accused of violating your probation, call today to start discussing your next move.