LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Seth Joel Meyerson | Aug 14, 2018

Supervised Probation Shall Not Lawfully Last More Than 2 Years in Georgia

Active probation supervision shall be lawful for no longer than two years in GA. Included herein is the applicable statute and case law to support a motion to terminate supervised probation that has unlawfully exceeded two years in GA. Sadly, unlawfully lengthy supervised probation is common in GA.

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A couple of cases drive this point home: The Court of Appeals of Georgia in Humphrey v. State, 301 Ga. App. 877, 879 (2009) interpreted O.C.G.A. § 17-10-1 (a)(2) stating that "As is made plain by the statute's specific language, supervision of probation ... terminates after two years unless otherwise extended or reinstated." As a practical matter, most Defendant's supervised probation will have been neither extended nor reinstated. Most Defendants' cases are distinguishable from Darby v. State, 230 Ga. App. 32 (1997) in which the Court of Appeals held that the terms of the petitioner's probation that placed him on reporting probation for longer than two years did not violate O.C.G.A. § 17-10-1 (a)(2) because petitioner knowingly and voluntarily accepted the conditions of his plea agreement, one of which required him to be under the court's order for his full ten-year probation term. Unlike the petitioner in Darby, most Defendants' probation conditions do not explicitly require that the Defendant remains on active supervised probation for longer than the two-year maximum as set forth in O.C.G.A. § 17-10-l(a)(2). Setting such a probation condition in a non-Street Gang context would likely violate GA sentencing law on its face. So, in short, if your probation supervision has dragged on longer than 2 years, you are entitled to have your probation supervision terminated. The state of GA does not favor extended probation or extended supervised probation in General -- see https://gov.georgia.gov/sites/gov.georgia.gov/files/related_files/press_release/2017-2018%20Report%20of%20the%20GA%20Council%20on%20Criminal%20Justice%20Reform.pdf The legislature of the State of Georgia has been steadily attempting to reign in overzealous prosecutors for several years. See- https://csgjusticecenter.org/jr/georgia/posts/georgia-governor-signs-bill-to-strengthen-probation-and-increase-public/ So go and retain a good attorney, and get the troublesome burden of extended supervised probation lifted - making your life easier, and according to the State of Georgia, reducing wasted resources. After all, most probationers re-offend within their first year or not at all. The state of Georgia is attempting to prioritize more resources to the beginning of probation sentences but has been stymied by well-meaning, zealous, but ignorant prosecutors who prefer to have gigantic roles of supervised citizens.

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