FIRST OFFENDER PROBATION IN GEORGIA
Unless you commit a violent crime, you might qualify for First
Offender probation. The big advantage of First offender probation is
that if you successfully complete First Offender probation, for most
eventualities, you do not have a conviction on your record.
OCGA § 42-8-60
receive First Offender probation on a drug offense, the Clerk of
Court is not supposed to notify the Department of Driver's Services
of such conviction. If the Clerk follows the law, you will not
suffer a suspension of your driver's license.
To qualify for First Offender probation, you must not have a prior
felony conviction, you cannot be charged with a violent felony, you
must be advised of the advantages and disadvantages of First
Offender treatment, you must ask the judge for it. The judge must
review your record and consider all circumstances before allowing
you to be placed on First Offender probation.
However, there is a potential downside to First Offender Probation.
Let us assume that your offense has a potential sentence
of 15 years. You receive a sentence of 8 years First Offender
Probation. If you violate any of the terms and conditions of your
probation, the judge can revoke, modify, or continue the probation.
Here's the bad part: The judge can enter an adjudication of guilt.
If he does so, he can not only revoke your probation, he can
sentence you up to the full sentence allowed by law. In this
example, that would be a sentence of 15 years less credit for any
amount of time served on probation.
mind that if you were sentenced to
probation of 8 years, and if you violated your
probation, the most the judge could revoke is the balance you have
IMPORTANT: Please note that
if you are convicted of another offense while on first offender
probation, Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 42-8-65(b)) requires the Georgia
Crime Information Center (GCIC) to change the first offender
sentence to a conviction.
treatment is specifically prohibited by law for DUI cases.
Can Your First
Offender Records Ever Be Released?
Yes. Under certain
circumstances they can.
Click Here to see under
which circumstances your First Offender records can be released.
to our online questionnaire.