New GA Law Helps End Probation Early
People who have served three years of a probation sentence without new arrests or probation violations and kept up with fees will be eligible to have the court review their cases for termination of probation.
According to the Georgia Justice Project, the number of people serving probation sentences in Georgia is three times the national average. While it might be a relief to hear a judge hand down a probation sentence for a conviction where jail or prison time is a possibility, probation is not exactly a walk in the park. It is costly for taxpayers and even more costly for people who are serving probation sentences. Worst of all, as long as you are on probation, you are at risk of getting sent to prison for a minor mistake or even for hardships that are outside your control. Probation is just one aspect of the criminal justice system that is in need of reform, but the good news is that a new law in Georgia will help protect defendants from endless probation sentences. If you are currently on probation or are facing criminal charges for an offense where probation is a possible sentence, contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.
A More Straightforward Way to Complete a Probation Sentence Early
In March 2021, Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that would reduce the number of people who must serve probation sentences longer than three years. Under the new law, defendants who meet the following requirements are eligible to have their cases reviewed for possible early termination of probation:
- They have served at least three years of their probation sentence
- They have not had any new arrests since beginning their probation term
- They have not had their probation revoked in the past 24 months
- They have paid all court fees associated with their probation
If you meet all those requirements, it does not automatically mean that your probation is over. Judges must review each case and decide individually whether to terminate the defendant’s probation early. Working with a criminal defense lawyer can increase your chances of having your probation terminated early.
Hope: The Missing Ingredient
The worst part of probation is not just that it is expensive; the worst part is that it is demoralizing. You have to pay your own hard-earned money to have a probation officer remind you that you had better not get fired from your job, lest you go to prison. Even worse, you are at the mercy of your probation officer and judge, who can decide send you to prison for the most trivial of reasons, just because they feel like it. Freedom does not seem so elusive when you know that you only have to endure the financial burden and the micromanagement of probation for three years.
Contact Zimmerman & Associates About Early Termination of Probation
A criminal defense lawyer can help you even if you have already been sentenced to probation. Contact Zimmerman & Associates in Norcross, Georgia to set up a consultation.