Georgia Probation Modification Attorney
Every day, thousand of people across Georgia get placed on probation. Probation costs people money, time and the hassle of having to report to a probation officer. Most probationary sentences include certain conditions. These include payment of a fine, community service, an alcohol and drug evaluation and random drug screens, among others. In fact, judges have very broad discretion in imposing just about any condition of probation that is reasonable under the circumstances.
Sometimes, probation conditions are imposed that really have no applicability to the type of offense a person is convicted of. Other times, people on probation have proven their rehabilitation and no longer need the conditions imposed upon them. Under certain circumstances, a probationer can move the sentencing court to modify the conditions of their sentence.
Types of Modifications
There are just as many types of modifications as there are possible conditions of a sentence. Some common ones are:
- no contact provisions where the defendant and the other party wish to have contact with each other
- prohibitions against contact with minors where the defendant and his or her spouse want to start a family
- prohibitions against out-of-state travel where the defendant has a new job and needs to be able to travel
- fines that the defendant cannot afford to pay and wants to work off by performing community service
Motions to Modify Probation
The process begins by hiring an attorney to file a motion to modify whatever condition you are seeking an adjustment to. A lawyer like Ben makes sure that all the bases are covered before arguing the motion before the judge that sentenced you. For example, if the defendant was convicted of domestic violence and has a no contact provision with the victim, the likelihood of that condition being modified will depend on whether the victim also desires a modification and whether the defendant has successfully completed counseling relating to the underlying issues. The bottom line is that in order to succeed on modifying, or eradicating, a particular condition of probation, the defendant must be able to show that he or she has successfully dealt with whatever caused that condition to be imposed on the first place.
After the motion is filed, a court date will be scheduled before the sentencing judge or, if that judge is no longer on the bench, whatever judge replaced him or her. The judge retains, during the probationary period, the ability to modify the sentence. However, the defendant will need a lawyer's help to persuade the judge that the change is appropriate under the circumstances.
If you are under a probation sentence and wish to modify a condition of the sentence, contact Ben to discuss your options.