Skilled Probation Violation Attorney in Morgan County, Georgia

Probation allows you to serve a sentence outside of confinement under supervision. It is intended to encourage healthy and legal behaviors as ex-offenders reenter society; keep former offenders away from harmful influences, such as certain other people as well as illegal drugs and excessive use of alcohol; maintain continuous employment; and to keep the offender within a particular geographic region.

The terms of probation might include attending a risk reduction course, such as DUI school or defensive driving; attending a victim impact panel; and being evaluated for substance abuse, anger and violence, or deviant behaviors. On top of this might be mandatory community service hours, payment of monthly probation supervision fees, and restitution or fines.

With so much supervision, it’s difficult to observe all the rules, all of the time.

Any probation violation might mean a return to jail or prison immediately, an extension of your prison sentence, or even a new criminal charge. A violation might be as ordinary as failing to meet regularly with your probation officer, hanging out with old companions, using drugs or alcohol, and missing curfew.

What we know is the longer the probation period, the more likely it is that you will violate some rule, placing your freedom in jeopardy. One 2018 study found that 55% of all Georgia prison admissions were for some form of probation violation. Actually, Georgia has the largest number of residents under probation for misdemeanor and felony convictions in the country—420,000. The likelihood of even a minor probation violation occurring within such a large population is enormous.

A simple probation violation can turn your life upside down. In addition to having to return to jail or prison, you might lose your job, and your family might lose your financial support. Even a simple probation violation can haunt you for the rest of your life when applying for a job, a loan, housing, or schooling.

When charged with a probation violation, we know how to defend your freedom. Michael Fulcher Law has over 17 years of experience as a prosecutor, public defender, and privately retained probation violation lawyer in Morgan County and the surrounding areas of Jasper County, Putnam County, Greene County, and Taliaferro Counties. Our primary office is in Madison, Georgia, with a secondary office in Monroe, Georgia. We can guide you through the probation violation procedure, offer the best defense, and resolve the case in a way that protects your liberty and continued rehabilitation.

What Are the Ordinary Conditions of Probation? Typically, the conditions of probation require that the offender promise:

  • Not to violate any laws of any governmental unit
  • Avoid intoxication with alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs improperly used
  • Stay away from disreputable places and people
  • Report to the probation supervisor on a regular schedule, or permit the probation supervisor to visit you at home or work
  • Maintain suitable employment
  • Maintain a stable home in a specific locality
  • Stay within the jurisdiction unless specific permission is granted to travel outside the county or immediate area

What Are Special Conditions of Probation? In addition to ordinary conditions, the court might impose special conditions of probation. These special conditions might require the payment of special fees, in addition to the monthly fees for probation supervision.

  • Attend a risk reduction course, such as DUI school
  • Attend a defensive driving course
  • Attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel
  • Submit to a substance abuse evaluation and agree to treatment
  • Be evaluated for anger and violence, deviant behavior, sexual deviancy and/or other special needs counseling and agree to treatment
  • Pay any fines and/or restitution as ordered by the court
  • Perform community service hours
  • Pay monthly probation supervision fees
  • Avoid contact or violence with certain named people or entry into certain prohibited places
  • Do not drink any alcohol or take any drugs without a prescription
  • Submit to random drug and alcohol tests at your own expense as directed by probation

How a Probation Violation Defense Attorney Can Help

There are three types of probation violations: technical, special, and substantive.

A technical violation might include: failing to pay required fines, fees, or restitution, not making it to a scheduled appointment with your probation officer, or leaving the jurisdiction without securing permission.

A special violation might include any failure to comply with a special condition imposed on you during a term of probation. This might mean that you didn’t go to a mandatory counseling session or submit to alcohol or drug testing.

A substantive violation is the commission of another crime, whether a misdemeanor or felony while serving a term of probation.

There are defenses to a charge of probation violation. Here is where you need an experienced probation violation defense lawyer to help you. The penalties for probation violation can be severe:

  • County Jail time and continued probation
  • Revoking up to the balance of your sentence remaining to prison
  • Counseling, Classes, Curfews and Community Service
  • If under a First Offender or Conditional Discharge, resentencing to the max term

There is a formal probation hearing at which time you should be represented by a skilled and experienced probation violation lawyer. Your freedom is at stake. To prepare for this hearing, your defense lawyer will develop a strategy to disprove the allegations charged by the prosecutor and to paint a fuller picture of who you are as an individual. We will humanize you. We will advocate to keep you “outside” and on the road to full rehabilitation and reentry back into society.

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When you need a lawyer after being charged with a DUI or criminal offense or as you explore your options for filing a personal injury claim, look no further than Michael Fulcher Law’s impressive background, and ultra-attentive client service. To learn more about how we can help you achieve the best legal solution possible for your circumstances, call our criminal defense law firm at (706) 438-1555 or contact us online, and schedule your free consultation today.

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Facing a probation violation might mean more jail or prison time, an extension of probation, and additional fines and fees. As you are trying to reestablish yourself “outside,” these additional penalties can be devastating. Hiring the right probation violation lawyer in Morgan County can ease the stress and protect your freedom. You want experience, skill, and competence. That’s what Michael Fulcher Law offers! Call or contact us online now for a free consultation at our Morgan County office.

Frequently Asked Questions

An arrest warrant can be issued if you fail to appear for a scheduled appointment with your probation officer, are missing from work, alcohol or drug treatment programs, or failed to take an alcohol or drug test. These are technical violations. The maximum punishment for a technical violation is a revocation of up to 2 years of your probation term to serve in jail. There is also a charge of violating one of the special conditions of probation, such as attending a DUI school or performing community service. The maximum penalty for violating a special condition is revocation of the full balance of the probation term, and returning to jail or prison.

A warrant can be issued if you commit a misdemeanor or felony during your probation term. The penalties include revocation of probation, requiring that you serve your entire sentence in jail.

You can check with your probation officer or contact the clerk of the court in the county where you reside to find out if you have an outstanding warrant. If you do have an outstanding warrant, you should call or email Michael Fulcher Law immediately to arrange for a fee consultation to understand what you need to do to protect your freedom.

You can be immediately arrested, and temporarily jailed. If you have committed a misdemeanor or felony, you can be jailed while awaiting trial on this new charge.

For technical violations, your probation supervisor has the power to determine what sanctions, if any, will be imposed for a first probation violation. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, a first offense might mean a written warning or more supervision. More serious first offenses might result in additional probation time, additional fines, and a return to jail or prison.

If your probation is revoked, the judge will determine what penalties to apply. With probation revoked, you might have to serve the rest of your sentence in jail or prison, minus the time you have already spent on probation. Violating probation is not itself an independent crime, but can still carry with it serious penalties. If the probation violation involved another misdemeanor or felony charge, then the probation violation will bring with it the rest of your sentence plus any new penalties resulting from the new offenses.

You have rights at a probation violation hearing. Probation cannot be revoked by a judge unless the state established by a preponderance of the evidence that the alleged violations occurred. This standard is not as high as beyond a reasonable doubt, so the burden on the state is considerably less. Once the court determines that probation has been violated, the court can impose additional community service, more intensive probation supervision (with attendant increase in fees), or alternatives to incarceration. However, the court can also revoke probation, requiring that you return to jail or prison to serve the rest of your term behind bars.

If you are on probation for commission of a misdemeanor, your right to vote is not affected. However, upon conviction of a felony in Georgia, you are disqualified as a voter. Once your sentence has been served, your fine paid, and your probation or parole completed, your right to vote will be automatically restored. However, you must re-register to vote in order to actually vote.

Under new legislation, passed May 2021, once you have served at least 3 years of your probation, you might be eligible to early termination of probation, and reinstatement as a voter. To qualify, you must have:

  1. No new arrests other than non-serious traffic offenses
  2. No probation revocations in the past 24 months
  3. No restitution owed

If you qualify, your probation officer submits a probation termination order to the court that sentenced you. Within 30 days, the Court can grant the order to terminate your probation unless the prosecutor or the judge requests a hearing. That hearing must be scheduled within 90 days, at which time you will have a chance to explain why you should no longer be on probation. Once heard, the judge will rule to either terminate your probation early, or have you serve the full term.

If your probation is terminated early, you are eligible to vote again. However, you must re-register in order to actually vote.

AMAZING WORK

“Mr. Fulcher has been tremendously helpful with my case. Since hiring him he has consistently returned my calls as quickly as he can. We discussed an ideal outcome, and I set about doing exactly as he said. Following his advice we were able to get a very favorable outcome. He is always quick to answer any questions, and has stayed very engaged with me throughout this ordeal. Michael provides excellent counsel, and I would recommend him to anyone!”

— TOM

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