Georgia Probation Revocation Hearing

How to Beat a Probation Revocation

If you are on probation and commit a new crime, you will face a probation revocation hearing. Depending on the crime you have committed (or the technical issue of your probation that you have violated, such as not paying your probation fees), your probation officer will recommend a specific period of time to be revoked to the court. Whatever period of time the judge decides to revoke of your probation you will serve in jail. For example, if you have two years left on probation and the judge decides to revoke six months of that probation, you will have to serve six months in jail (and you will still have to finish the remaining one-and-a-half years of probation).

Facing a probation revocation is a serious matter, and you need serious help. Many people will just consent to whatever time the probation officer seeks to revoke in the hopes that their cooperation will cause the judge to be lenient. It does not work that way. You need to fight your probation revocation, and an aggressive attorney will do just that.

The following are some steps that I always take in a probation revocation matter:

I always talk to the probation officer first and point out the good things that my client has been doing while on probation (always reporting, maintaining employment, etc.). If I am retained early enough, I can often convince the probation officer to request less time revoked. This is crucial to getting the court to revoke less time, which equals less time in jail for my clients.

I never allow my client to concede to a new criminal charge. There is less of a burden to meet in order to show that a probationer’s conduct violated their probation than there is to convict them of a new crime. For example, just being with another individual that has marijuana is enough to revoke your probation, but it is certainly not enough to sustain a conviction against you for the crime of possession of marijuana. Therefore, you should never concede in court that you have committed a new crime—that will certainly be held against you later in any criminal proceedings.

I never accept the probation officer’s proposal of revoked time, unless it happens to be “credit for time served.” Shortly after you are detained for a probation violation, your probation officer will likely present you with a consent form that states that you agree that you have violated your probation and that you consent to whatever term of imprisonment your probation officer has recommended to the court. That is never a good idea; if you do that, you waive the chance to present any evidence to the judge about your prior good behavior, your employment/school enrollment, or any other mitigating factors that may result in less time revoked.

Probation revocations have serious consequences. Don’t consent to a probation revocation!Talk to an aggressive attorney and fight it every step of the way.

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