When someone faces criminal charges in Georgia, the possibility of incarceration is often their biggest fear. Defendants will sometimes plead guilty to charges despite maintaining their innocence simply because they want to eliminate the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence.
If a Georgia judge sentences someone to probation, they can avoid incarceration provided that they abide by the specific restrictions set by the court. Those who have served part of a prison sentence could qualify for parole, which is a form of supervised release after a criminal conviction. As with probation, parole is associated with numerous requirements and restrictions, and little mistakes could potentially lead to allegations of a violation.
What happens after a parole or probation violation in Georgia?
The defendant faces arrest or may go back to court
When there are claims that someone violated the terms of their probation or parole, they may face arrest. They will very likely have to go back to court to address the claims that they failed the drug test, changed their living arrangements without notifying the courts or otherwise violated the terms of their release or probation.
Unlike a criminal trial, where the prosecutor needs evidence that establishes someone’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard during probation parole violation hearings is much lower. The state only needs to show that a preponderance of the evidence supports the claim that there was a violation. This standard is the same one that applies to civil court proceedings, and it makes it much easier for the state to take action after probation or parole violations as opposed to initial criminal offenses.
The person accused can defend themselves
As in any scenario involving criminal accusations, the person accused has the right to defend themselves in court. Cooperating with a defense attorney might help someone accused of a parole or probation violation prove that they have made every reasonable effort to fulfill and upholds the terms set by the Georgia criminal courts for their release or probation. In some cases, those accused of a violation may end up serving their initial sentence in state custody.
Seeking legal guidance and responding assertively to allegations of a probation or parole violation is often necessary for the protection of those who are hoping to avoid state custody due to allegations of unlawful wrongdoing.