PROBATION IN GEORGIA
Sentencing for many criminal offenses, both
often involves probation. Once convicted, a sentence can include
straight jail time, straight probation, or a combination of jail and
Straight Jail Time
Straight jail time means you are sentenced to a term of jail time
without any probation following. For example, in a plea to a felony
drug offense with a possible sentence of 2 to 15 years, assume the
judge imposes a 4 year jail sentence. This is straight jail time. No
probation is involved. Once your 4 year term is up, you are no
longer under any court ordered supervision.
Straight probation means you are sentenced to a term of probation
that includes no jail time. For example, in a plea to a felony drug
offense with a possible sentence of 2 to 15 years, assume the judge
allows you to serve your entire sentence on probation. If you never violate
the terms of your probation, you will never spend one day in jail.
One caveat, it is possible to be placed in a State Detention Center
as a condition of probation. This confinement usually lasts only a
few months. Although technically this is probation and not jail, you
are in a State Institution and cannot leave.
Combination of Jail and Probation
A combination of jail and probation is just as it sounds. Using the
above example, assume the judge imposes a 4 year sentence with the
first 2 years to be served in confinement (jail) and the last 2
years served on probation. Once your jail sentence is up, you will
report to your probation officer and serve the remainder of the
sentence on probation.
THREE TYPES OF PROBATION
Generally speaking, three types of probation exist. These are
are charged with a felony, consult with your attorney to determine
if First Offender Probation or Deferred Adjudication is available.
If you have a prior felony or if you have already been sentenced as
a first time offender, First Offender Probation will not be
However, even if you have a prior felony or used first offender,
Deferred Adjudication could be available if you are now charged with
a drug offense. This is a complicated area and you need to check
with your attorney.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF PROBATION
The Georgia Code provides for certain
terms and conditions of probation.
Judges often add other terms and conditions. Some commons ones are:
Banishment from the judicial circuit;
away from certain persons or places;
Ignition interlock device required on you vehicle;
testing and/or treatment
mind that this is not a complete list. Judges often have fertile and
creative minds when it comes to imposition of terms and conditions.
commit a new offense or fail to do something that is required of
you, your probation officer will probably issue a warrant to
to our online questionnaire.