Probation Violation Georgia

Probation Violation Georgia

Probation Violation in Georgia

Violation of probation in Georgia is grounds for the State to incarcerate you. This article helps with understanding probation violations in Georgia including causes, consequences, and punishments.

What is Probation

Probation is a legal arrangement that allows individuals convicted of certain offenses to serve their sentences in the community under the supervision of a probation officer.

While probation offers an alternative to incarceration, it comes with strict conditions that must be adhered to. Violating these conditions can lead to serious consequences. In Georgia, probation violations are treated seriously, and understanding the causes, consequences, and legal recourse is crucial for individuals on probation.

To get an overview of probation in Georgia you can view a Bench Card. What is a Bench Card? The website describes its purpose as, "designed to provide judges with guidance on the relevant legal principles regarding felony probation. It focuses in particular on how to address the situation of indigent defendants and probationers and contains information about changes to Georgia law…" 1

Use the following links to see the official Georgia Misdemeanor Probation Bench Card and the Felony Probation Bench Card

Types of Probation Violations

Probation violations occur when an individual who is on probation fails to comply with the terms and conditions set by the court as a part of their probationary sentence. Probation is a legal alternative to incarceration, allowing individuals to serve their sentence in the community under certain conditions.

In Georgia, probation violations fall into the following categories:

Technical Probation Violation

What is a technical probation violation? These are probation transgressions which do not include commission of other (new) crimes. The nature of the transgression plays a large role in how the court may react.

Common causes of technical probation violations include:

  • Failure to Report. Probation typically requires regular check-ins with a probation officer. Failure to report as instructed is a common cause of violations.
  • Positive Drug Tests. Many probation agreements mandate regular drug testing. A positive drug test result, indicating substance use, is a clear violation.
  • Failure to Pay Fines or Restitution. Probation often involves financial obligations such as fines or restitution. Failing to meet these financial commitments can result in a violation.
  • Associating with Criminals. Probation may include a prohibition on associating with known criminals. Violating this condition can lead to serious consequences.
  • Failure to Attend Required Programs. Completing counseling, rehabilitation, or educational programs might be a part of probation. Failure to attend or complete these programs can be a violation.

Special Probation Violation

What is a special violation? These are conditional requirements which are specific to the terms of your probation. The Georgia Department of Community Supervision refers to it in this manner, "The court may impose any special conditions deemed necessary and appropriate depending on the nature and severity of the crime as well as risks posed by the offender to public safety."2

Substantive Probation Violation

What is a substantive probation violation? Conviction for committing other crimes while you are on probation. This presents a very difficult situation for your lawyer to rectify. If this is the situation you’re in, you need to call a post-conviction defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What Happens If I Violate Probation?

When a probation violation is suspected, the probation officer may file a report with the court, which could lead to a probation violation hearing. During this hearing, the court will determine whether a violation has occurred and may decide to modify the terms of probation, impose additional conditions, or revoke probation, resulting in the individual serving the original sentence in custody. The severity of the consequences depends on the nature and frequency of the violations, as well as the discretion of the court.

What is probation violation for fingerprintable charge?

This refers to someone who has been arrested (booked and fingerprinted), and currently on probation that (allegedly) did something to violate the terms of probation. This charge typically arises from the Parole Officer formally advising the court of alleged violation(s).

Is this a serious violation? Per the Georgia Attorney General, "…Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 42-8-38 provides for the arrest and hearing of a probationer for violating the terms of probation…"3

Felony Probation Violation Georgia

What happens if you violate felony probation in Georgia? The consequences of probation violations in Georgia range from relatively minor hassles to finding yourself incarcerated. If you’re in this situation, to get the best possible outcome, you need to work honestly and closely with your lawyer. Possible consequences are:

  • Probation Revocation. A violation may lead to your probation being revoked, resulting in incarceration. The length of imprisonment depends on the nature and severity of the violation.
  • Additional Conditions. The court may impose additional conditions on the probationer, such as increased supervision, more frequent drug testing, or mandatory counseling.
  • Extended Probation Period. Instead of revocation, the court might choose to extend the probation period, subjecting the individual to a longer period of supervision.
  • New Charges. Probation violations can lead to new criminal charges related to the violation itself, compounding legal troubles for the individual.

First Offender Probation Violation Georgia

Anyone currently bound by The First Offender Act is subject to the particular clause regarding parole violation. As shown on the Justia website, this clause read as follows: "…The court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed to sentence the defendant as otherwise provided by law when the: a) Defendant violates the terms of his or her first offender probation; b) Defendant is convicted for another crime during the period of his or her first offender sentence…"4

This effectively means that violating the terms of your First Offender is very likely to result in incarceration.

Will Georgia Extradite Felony Probation Violation?

Yes. Georgia is serious about probation violations for felony crimes. Georgia will work with other states to seek extrdition for felony probation violations. Any arrest warrant will remain active, meaning you could be arrested years later than it was issued.

Will Georgia Extradite Misdemeanor Probation Violation?

Georgia has the legal justification to pursue extradition for misdemeanor probation violations. However, Georgia will usually not exert the time and effort to do so. This does not mean that any outstanding warrant simply disappears. If there is a warrant for your arrest it can be enforced any time. This includes deciding to request extradition or if the police ever find you in the State of Georgia (traffic stop, etc.)

Legal Help for Probation Violations

  • Legal Representation. Individuals facing probation violations in Georgia should seek legal representation immediately. A defense attorney can advocate for their rights and present a strong defense.
  • Probation Revocation Hearings. Probationers have the right to a hearing before a judge to contest the alleged violations. During this hearing, evidence will be presented, and the probationer’s attorney can present their side of the story.
  • Negotiation for Alternative Consequences. In some cases, negotiations with the prosecutor may lead to alternative consequences, such as increased supervision, community service, or additional counseling, instead of probation revocation.

Can you bail out of jail on a probation violation in Georgia?

It’s possible, but not likely. When it comes to probation violations, judges typically deny bail for a probation violation.

Certainly, a lawyer can advocate for release on bond, but the accused has broken trust with the court. A judge is likely to have the violator remanded into custody until the matter is formally sorted out.

Understanding the causes, consequences, and legal recourse for probation violations in Georgia is essential for individuals navigating the criminal justice system. It highlights the importance of compliance with probation conditions and the need for prompt legal action in the face of alleged violations. Seeking legal advice and representation is crucial to navigating the complex process and safeguarding one’s rights during probation proceedings.


  • 1 Judicial Council of Georgia, "FELONY PROBATION: Georgia and U.S. Constitutional Law", July 7, 2021, Available from Judicial Council of Georgia
  • 2 Staff Writers, "Standard Conditions of Supervision", June 19, 2015, Available from Department of Community Supervision
  • 3 Kyle Pearson, "Official Opinion 96-17", September 4, 1996, Available from Georgia Attorney General
  • 4 Staff Writers, "First Offenders § 42-8-60. Probation Prior to Adjudication of Guilt; Violation of Probation", April 20, 2022, Available from
  • Photo by Kindel Media, available at Pexels
Jimmy Duncan
James Hobson is a marketing professional and author with 40 years of experience in sales, marketing, print and digital advertising. James is a frequent contributor to law firm and business blogs under the nom de plume Jimmy Duncan.