What happens when you violate probation in Georgia?

  1. Keep a WRITTEN LOG of all communication with Probation.  They are keeping a LOG on you.  Your only defense is to ACCURATELY summarize any communication you have with them.
  2. If you request permission to DEVIATE from a probation term (seeking permission to miss a counseling session or traveling issues), follow up with a CONFIRMING EMAIL or LETTER that accurately summarizes the issue and what you are allowed to do.
  3. If your REASONABLE request is denied, also CONFIRM the denial, but clearly indicate you will FOLLOW THEIR ORDERS.  However, always ASK WHY.  If they deny your reasonable request, their reasoning may permit a judge to OVERTURN their decision.
  4. Keep DUPLICATE RECORDS for every PAYMENT and every COMPLETION CERTIFICATE you obtain.  Sometimes courts lose documents and responsibility to PROVE past payments will fall on YOU.
  5. At the end of probation, do NOT take the officer’s word that you have COMPLETED PROBATION.  Make sure the COURT formally DISCHARGES you.

I have successfully defended thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases for more than 18 years. When you are the target of an investigation or face criminal charges, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Probation: Babysitter for the Court

After spending months worrying about the outcome of your criminal case, you finally received a plea offer that allows you to serve a term of probation instead of being sentenced to jail or prison.  Unfortunately most attorneys and judges don’t really explain what probation truly requires.

Probation in Georgia can take many forms.  The sentencing documents and /or plea agreement will set forth the written terms of probation.  If you fail to comply with any of the terms of probation you could be sentenced to serve in jail/prison the remainder of the time you have left on probation.  Probation for a misdemeanor offense in Georgia can last for up to 12 months on each charge.   Felony convictions can result in probation terms that last for decades!

When you receive probation it is in lieu of a jail or prison sentence.  There are many terms and conditions of probation that can be ordered by the judge.  You could be ordered to pay fines, perform community service, submit to a search of your person, residence or vehicle at any time, curfew, have no contact with certain individuals, have no alcohol or illegal drugs in your possession, not go to where alcohol is served as the primary source of business income, attend and complete drug/anger/alcohol treatment or counseling, have limited or no internet access, attend school, have a job, etc., etc..  After the standard conditions of probation the additional or special terms of probation are usually specifically tailored for each Defendant’s case.

The more special conditions of probation that the judge requires in your case, the more closely you will be supervised by your probation officer.  Failure to comply with the simplest of probation terms can result in a petition to revoke your probation.  And, if you are found in violation of ANY condition of probation the judge can order your probation to be revoked and you being incarcerated!

In Domestic Violence cases specialized terms of probation can include mandatory and lengthy counseling and NO direct or indirect contact with the victim.  And this can really cause problems with defendants that have child custody issues.  Also, you are responsible for any and all costs of counseling.

Sex Offender terms can limit your travel, curfew hours, computer or internet usage, and precludes any contact with any minors…. including your own children.  The counseling and treatment costs are not only hefty, but they can also continue for years.  The nature of the offense can make you unable to work jobs where children may be present.  Also the computer/internet restrictions can affect your employability and even the electronic devices you can use at work.

In effect, Probation is a professional babysitter.  If you don’t comply with their rules, your probation can be revoked, and you can be incarcerated.  There are ways to defend against a probation revocation and in some cases probation can even be terminated early!  To maximize your chances, please consult with experienced and knowledgeable counsel!

I have successfully defended thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in over 18 years.  When you are the target of an investigation or criminal charges, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Can I just show up at the probation office to meet with my probation officer? She is very difficult and does not want to meet with me


I transferred from another county where the probation officer does not do home visits. You have to make an appointment once a month to see them at their office. My new probation officer keeps telling me that the case has not transferred yet and that the other county has to contact her. I contacted the other county, and they said the case is transferred and shows her as the new probation officer. The new officer did not want to take my case and has had an attitude about it. I called her and wanted to schedule a time to meet with her at her office to discuss me getting a job. She keeps saying that she can’t meet with me, yet due to the transfer issues. I know I have to report every month. Can I just call the office and schedule a time to meet with someone who can see me? Maybe talk to her supervisor? I do not want to violate the terms of my probation.


You are in a difficult situation with neither probation office/officer accepting you as “their” probationer. I would recommend that you document your contact with each probation office/officer with a letter. Additionally, I would schedule a meeting with the supervisor/manager of the new probation office. Explain that there is apparently a bureaucratic problem with your paperwork. Then explain that you want to make sure that you don’t violate the terms and conditions of your probation by not reporting. It is important that you send letters documenting your contact with state probation and keep copies of the letters to both of probation offices/officers. Documentation of your attempts to report and your bringing the problem to their attention is vital in this type of situation. If you don’t document your contact with state probation and keep the proof — then you can’t prove you didn’t willingly violate your probation by not reporting. I hope this
information is helpful to you. Good Luck!!!

I have not paid the fine to my 1 year probation or have talked to my probation officer in over 3 years, what should I do?


This is my first DUI and major traffic offense. I have completed the community service and DUI school, I only have the fine to pay. I have not checked in with my probation officer in over 3 years nor has he tried to contact me. I stopped contacting him because I was unemployed and would not be able to pay the $1600 fine but I finally have a job and with to start making payments again. I am very afraid that their may be a bench warrant for me and if so how would I go about handling that?


Based on your information in the question 1 of 2 things has happened.

  1. When you stopped reporting and did not pay the fine your Probation Officer “Tolled” your probation. That means that your probation clock stopped running and you will still be on probation for the remainder of the time that you had on your original probation when it was Tolled. Then the Probation Officer issued a Violation of Probation warrant for your arrest.
  2. The Probation Officer simply missed the fact that you didn’t report and didn’t pay the fine and your term on probation expired pursuant to its original terms. That would mean that your probation is over and you don’t owe any fines.

In my opinion the chances that option 2 occurred is very slim! Most likely the Probation officer “tolled” your probation and issued a Violation of Probation warrant. I would advise you to check with the court that sentenced you originally to determine if there is a Warrant for your arrest. If not – GREAT! If there is you need to contact an experienced local criminal defense attorney – ASAP!!! The attorney can then help you resolve the probation violation and lessen your chances of going to jail! I hope this information is helpful to you.
Good Luck!!!

Probation Question


Ok I’ve been on probation for a while, I have 2 years left. I’m unsupervised and I call in every month, but I haven’t sent money in a while because I haven’t had any money. I haven’t been in trouble, but today my parole officer called and said you haven’t made a payment I want you in my office Tuesday morning at 9:00. Is my probation going to be revoked?


The answer to your question is: it’s hard to tell. Each probation officer is different and is free to make decisions based on the specifics of every probationer’s case. If you have been ordered to pay restitution or fines/fees, then you should keep making your payments and if you fail to do so it is a violation of your probationary terms and conditions.

In this type of situation, the relationship you have with your probation officer is very important. If the officer knows you and understands that you are doing your absolute best to comply with probation, they can exercise discretion and work with you to get back on track. If you have a poor relationship they can hold you to the specifics of your probation and seek to Violate your probation and have it Revoked. Based on the info in your question I would recommend that you attend the meeting because if you don’t it’s a sure-fire way to Violate your probation. Hopefully you will be able to show your officer that you simply could not make the payments, but you will now make every effort to pay and if you cannot pay the full payment you will at least make a partial payment.

I would also highly recommend that you talk with the best Criminal Defense attorney that is available to you, ASAP. Remember, it is possible that you could be arrested at the meeting so do everything you can to protect yourself BEFORE you go. I hope this information is helpful to you!

I am currently on probation for a felony charge


I am currently on probation for a felony charge. When I was released I was only 17 they gave me first offenders and I was put on probation for 10 years with fines, community service, and classes that I had to take. After a week of being out I made a dumb decision and was rearrested for underage drinking it was to my knowledge that if i completed everything under my misdemeanor probation in a certain time they would drop the charge apparently that did not happen like I was told. I completed everything for my felony probation as well except for the fines which I only had to pay 32 dollars every month and call in. Just to make it short life has gotten in the way and I have not been paying it and I believe I have a warrant what should I do? Being broke kind of makes it hard to hire an attorney.


Based on your situation you may need to file an application for a Public Defender. Unfortunately, you may not qualify for a Public Defender until you are served (Arrested) for the violation. Whatever you do, try your best to make sure you have hired an experienced criminal defense attorney or gotten a Public Defender before your case is heard. Otherwise, if you represent yourself, you face the very real possibility of an unsatisfactory ruling in you case. First Offender is a very technical area of the law and you need to be represented by an experienced attorney. To learn more about what happens when you violate probation, speak to a lawyer. I hope this information is helpful to you.

My boyfriend is to turn himself in on Monday. He plans to not do so and be on the run. What happens when you violate probation?


My boyfriend is to turn his self in on Monday.  He plans to not do so and be on the run.  What are the consequences?  Out waiting on bed.  Probation officer called and told him to report on Monday a bed is opening up for him.


I would not advise your boyfriend to go on the run.  Based on your question, I surmise that he has been sentenced to a probation detention center (PDC) and a spot has opened for him.  If he does not turn himself in it will only make his situation worse and could result in a longer period of incarceration than he is facing now. To learn more about what happens when you violate probation, speak to a criminal defense attorney.

I got charged with my second CUA plus a DOC, what will happen?


I got charged with my second CUA plus a DOC, what will happen? My first CUA was when I was 17, now I’m 18 and still on probation and I got charged with CUA and DOC. What will happen?


If you are currently on probation and you get charged with a new offense your probation could be REVOKED! If your probation officer files a revocation of probation action I would advise you to retain a qualified and competent attorney to represent you. In a probation revocation the standard of proof is not “beyond a reasonable doubt”, as it is in the underlying criminal charge. The standard of proof is less and it is only required that the government prove it is more likely than not that you could have committed the new offense. If the government does this, the Judge could revoke your probation and you could be incarcerated.

To Learn More About Probation and What Happens When You Violate Probation, Contact Us Today

George McCranie Law Firm can handle your probation violation defense. If you have questions about what happens when you violate probation and what you can do to protect yourself, contact us today.