Georgia courts often place a defendant convicted of driving while under the influence (DUI) on probation as part of their sentencing. Individuals who violate their DUI probation can face extensive consequences. Unfortunately, many defendants don’t fully understand the requirements of their probation and the consequences of violating their DUI probation. If you have been charged with DUI while on probation, it takes a skilled DUI defense attorney to protect your rights.
At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, Attorneys at Law, we have successfully handled many DUIs during probation. Our Atlanta law firm focuses heavily on the Georgia DUI defense. We understand the stakes when a DUI occurs while a client is on probation. Our experienced DUI attorneys will fight to protect your rights and your freedom.
Understanding Georgia Probation Requirements
Georgia law offers certain convicted defendants the ability to satisfy a prison or jail sentence outside of jail or prison. DUI probation offers defendants a chance to avoid serving a prison sentence as long as they follow certain guidelines. Depending on the circumstances, a Georgia judge may send a convicted individual to jail for part of the sentence then allow him or her to serve the rest of the sentence at home, while on probation.
Probation sentences vary depending on the crime committed. Probation periods can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Georgia criminal court judges place conditions on the defendant’s probation. General probation conditions include the following:
- Do not violate local, state, or federal laws
- Avoid people with harmful or disreputable characters
- Work consistently at a suitable place of employment as may be possible
- Support his or her legal dependents to the best of his or her ability
- Avoid vicious or damaging habits such as alcohol intoxication and non-prescription drugs
- The defendant cannot change his or her residence
- The defendant cannot move outside of the sentencing Court’s jurisdiction
- The defendant cannot leave the State without permission from the probation supervisor
Special probation conditions in Georgia include the following:
- Attend a defensive driving course
- Attend DUI classes or risk reduction classes
- Submit to random alcohol and drug tests as directed by the probation supervisor
- Pay any restitution or fines required by the probation supervisor or directed by the court
- Avoid entering certain prohibited places
- Pay monthly fees for probation supervision
- Complete the proscribed number of community service hours
- Complete evaluation for deviant behavior, violence, or sexual deviancy
- If recommended, attend counseling for deviant behavior, anger, or violence
Revocation of Probation for a DUI
When defendants violate any of their probation terms, a Georgia criminal court judge can revoke the defendant’s probation. Upon revocation of probation, the defendant must serve the rest of his or her sentence in jail. When defendants drink alcohol or take non-prescribed drugs, they violate their probation conditions. Before revoking the defendant’s probation, the judge who sentenced the defendant typically holds a probation revocation hearing.
At the hearing, prosecutors present evidence or testimony. If the defendant is facing a DUI charge, prosecutors will submit proof of the DUI probation violation. The defendant will have the opportunity to dispute the charge by presenting testimony or evidence that refutes the alleged probation violation. If the judge determines that enough evidence exists to revoke probation, the defendant will serve the rest of his or her sentence in a jail or prison.
Defenses Against Probation Revocation for a DUI
Individuals facing DUI charges during probation face serious consequences. If they do not succeed at their probation revocation hearing, they will be transported to jail to serve out their remaining probation. Serving time in jail can negatively affect nearly every aspect of an individual’s life. Individuals who are serving jail sentences face stigma after serving their time. Finding employment, housing, and other necessities is often more challenging for individuals who have served time in jail. This is why having proper legal representation during probation revocation hearings is crucial.
In addition, prosecutors enjoy a less stringent burden of proof at probation revocation hearings. It is easier for them to prove that an individual violated the terms of his or her probation than to prove that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, as required at a criminal trial. At Carter Pilgrim Stroud, our skilled attorneys know how to argue effectively and persuasively during probation revocation hearings.
For example, we may be able to argue that the crime for which the individual is serving time is not related to the DUI or alcohol consumption allegations. We can also challenge the evidence submitted against our clients in probation hearings. In many instances, Georgia law enforcement officers do not correctly administer roadside DUI tests. Perhaps they did not properly calibrate the DUI testing equipment or violated the legal rights of the suspect.
Contact Our Skilled Atlanta DUI Probation Defense Attorneys
If you’re facing a DUI charge during probation, the skilled DUI defense attorneys at Carter Pilgrim Stroud can help. Presenting a solid defense during your probation revocation hearing is essential. Losing a probation revocation hearing will likely result in your serving jail time for the remainder of your original sentence. Our attorneys will fight hard on your behalf during the hearing. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.