Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
My name is ***** ***** I would be more than happy to answer your legal question. Before I begin, this revocation notice or the violation of probation should have a date where you allegedly "committed" the violation. Does any document you received contain the date you committed the violation and, if so what is it? ( I understand you have court on Dec. 21, but is there any other date listed?)
Ok. Do you know or have an idea as to why there is a violation? Is it just the $600 that is owed? Or did you pick up a new case or test positive for any substance (if you were required to undergo urine drops?)
So, would it be fair to assume that the VOP is based on non-payment of fines?
Ok, so when it comes to non-payment of fines in Georgia, most people placed on probation are ordered to pay fines. Failure to pay those fines can lead to a probation violation. Failure to pay fines alone will not usually result in a probation violation arrest unless the probationer is wilfully refusing to pay fines and yet has to money to pay. If a probationer is unable to pay fines due to inability caused by a new medical issue, disability or other valid reason then he should request a modification of probation from the sentencing court. Under no circumstances should the probationer not report to probation due to inability to pay. Failure to report is much more serious probation violation then mere inability to pay fines.
What your PO is most likely trying to do is get one last chance at making you pay the fines and fees. For example, if you completed the community service but now suddenly have the $600, the PO will request the judge that you pay that. This is why it is being done so close to the end of your probation. The PO will tell the judge that you technically still owe the $600 even though you completed the community service. The judge will ask you if you have started a new job and can pay the $600. If yes, then the judge may make you pay it (although I doubt it). If you still cannot pay it, you will just tell the judge that you cannot pay it. Since you already have completed community service in lieu of the fines, the judge will terminate your probation (unless you have money and you are willfully and purposely not paying it). However,
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The new law regarding tolling has only to do with VOPs based on failure to report. It does NOT apply to failure to pays. The new law that is applicable to you is located at O.C.G.A. § 42-8-102 (4)(a) and (b), which essentially states the same thing I discussed above (regarding willfulness). The issue of timing has to do with when the VOP was filed and when notice was SENT (not received) to you. Seeing as the hearing is set for 12/21, based on my experience, the notice requirement has been/will be met.
Nonetheless, based on what you have provided, I do not think the judge will extend your probation or violate you since you have completed the community service in lieu of the fines. Really, this is just the probation department trying, one last time, to see if you can pay the $600. It is something they are doing because the county is short on money and needs to get it from any way possible. If you have the money, they will request that the judge make you pay before your probation is terminated. If you don't have the money, they will just move on from you and the court will terminate your probation satisfactorily.
Correct, but it would be the county who would receive the probation and court fees and costs. The county hires a private company who administers everything and collects a fee from the total probation fees and costs recovered (usually around 20% or so) with the rest going to the county. It is the county who tells the probation company what to do because it is the county who is the companies employer.