2016 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 10 - Sentence and Punishment
Article 1 - Procedure for Sentencing and Imposition of Punishment
§ 17-10-1. Fixing of sentence; suspension or probation of sentence; change in sentence; eligibility for parole; prohibited modifications; exceptions.
(a) (1) Except in cases in which life imprisonment, life without parole, or the death penalty may be imposed, upon a verdict or plea of guilty in any case involving a misdemeanor or felony, and after a presentence hearing, the judge fixing the sentence shall prescribe a determinate sentence for a specific number of months or years which shall be within the minimum and maximum sentences prescribed by law as the punishment for the crime. The judge imposing the sentence is granted power and authority to suspend or probate all or any part of the entire sentence under such rules and regulations as the judge deems proper, including service of a probated sentence in the sentencing options system, as provided by Article 9 of Chapter 8 of Title 42, and including the authority to revoke the suspension or probation when the defendant has violated any of the rules and regulations prescribed by the court, even before the probationary period has begun, subject to the conditions set out in this subsection; provided, however, that such action shall be subject to the provisions of Code Sections 17-10-6.1 and 17-10-6.2.
(2) Active probation supervision shall terminate in all cases no later than two years from the commencement of active probation supervision unless specially extended or reinstated by the sentencing court upon notice and hearing and for good cause shown; provided, however, that in those cases involving the collection of fines, restitution, or other funds, the period of active probation supervision shall remain in effect for so long as any such obligation is outstanding, or until termination of the sentence, whichever first occurs, and for those cases involving a conviction under Chapter 15 of Title 16, the "Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act," the period of active probation supervision shall remain in effect until the termination of the sentence, but shall not exceed five years unless as otherwise provided in this paragraph. Supervision shall not be required for defendants sentenced to probation while the defendant is in the legal custody of the Department of Corrections or the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
(3) (A) Any part of a sentence of probation revoked for a violation other than a subsequent commission of any felony, a violation of a special condition, or a misdemeanor offense involving physical violence resulting in bodily injury to an innocent victim which in the opinion of the trial court constitutes a danger to the community or a serious infraction occurring while the defendant is assigned to an alternative probation confinement facility shall be served in a probation detention center, probation boot camp, weekend lock up, or confinement in a local jail or detention facility, or other community correctional alternatives available to the court or provided by the Department of Corrections.
(B) A parolee or probationer charged with a misdemeanor involving physical injury or an attempt to commit physical injury or terroristic threats or with a new felony shall not be entitled to bond pending a hearing on the revocation of his or her parole or probation, except by order of a judge of the superior, state, or magistrate court wherein the alleged new offense occurred after a hearing and upon determination of the superior, state, or magistrate court that the parolee or probationer does not constitute a threat to the community; provided, however, that this subparagraph does not authorize state or magistrate court judges to grant bail for a person charged with any offense listed in subsection (a) of Code Section 17-6-1.
(4) In cases of imprisonment followed by probation, the sentence shall specifically provide that the period of probation shall not begin until the defendant has completed service of the confinement portion of the sentence. No revocation of any part of a probated sentence shall be effective while a defendant is in the legal custody of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles.
(5) (A) When a defendant has been sentenced to probation, the court shall retain jurisdiction throughout the period of the probated sentence as provided for in subsection (g) of Code Section 42-8-34. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the court may shorten the period of active probation supervision or unsupervised probation on motion of the defendant or on its own motion, or upon the request of a community supervision officer, if the court determines that probation is no longer necessary or appropriate for the ends of justice, the protection of society, and the rehabilitation of the defendant. Prior to entering any order for shortening a period of probation, the court shall afford notice to the victim or victims of all sex related offenses or violent offenses resulting in serious bodily injury or death and, upon request of the victim or victims so notified, shall afford notice and an opportunity for hearing to the defendant and the prosecuting attorney.
(B) The Department of Community Supervision shall establish a form document which shall include the elements set forth in this Code section concerning notification of victims and shall make copies of such form available to prosecuting attorneys in this state. When requested by the victim, the form document shall be provided to the victim by the prosecuting attorney. The form shall include the address of the community supervision office having jurisdiction over the case and contain a statement that the victim must maintain a copy of his or her address with the community supervision office and must notify the office of any change of address in order to maintain eligibility for notification by the Department of Community Supervision as required in this Code section.
(6) (A) Except as otherwise authorized by law, no court shall modify, suspend, probate, or alter a previously imposed sentence so as to reduce or eliminate a period of incarceration or probation and impose a financial payment which:
(i) Exceeds the statutorily specified maximum fine, plus all penalties, fees, surcharges, and restitution permitted or authorized by law; or
(ii) Is to be made to an entity which is not authorized by law to receive fines, penalties, fees, surcharges, or restitution.
(B) The prohibitions contained in this paragraph shall apply regardless of whether a defendant consents to the modification, suspension, probation, or alteration of such defendant's sentence and the imposition of such payment.
(C) Nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit or prevent a court from requiring, as a condition of suspension, modification, or probation of a sentence in a criminal case involving child abandonment, that the defendant pay all or a portion of child support which is owed to the custodial parent of a child which is the subject of such case.
(7) As used in this subsection, the term:
(A) "Active probation supervision" means the period of a probated sentence in which a probationer actively reports to his or her community supervision officer or is otherwise under the direct supervision of a community supervision officer.
(B) "Unsupervised probation" means the period of a probated sentence that follows active probation supervision in which:
(i) All of the conditions and limitations imposed by the court remain intact;
(ii) A probationer may have reduced reporting requirements; and
(iii) A community supervision officer shall not actively supervise such probationer.
(b) The judge, in fixing the sentence as prescribed in subsection (a) of this Code section, may make a determination as to whether the person being sentenced should be considered for parole prior to the completion of any requirement otherwise imposed by law relating to the completion of service of any specified time period before parole eligibility. In the event that the judge so determines, he may specify in the sentence that the person is sentenced under this subsection and may provide that the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, acting in its sole discretion, may consider and may parole any person so sentenced at any time prior to the completion of any minimum requirement otherwise imposed by law, rule, or regulation for the service of sentences or portions thereof. The determination allowed in this subsection shall be applicable to first offenders only.
(c) In any case in which a minor defendant who has not achieved a high school diploma or the equivalent is placed under a probated or suspended sentence, the court may require as a condition of probation or suspension of sentence that the defendant pursue a course of study designed to lead to achieving a high school diploma or the equivalent; and, in any case in which such a condition of probation may be imposed, the court shall give express consideration to whether such a condition should be imposed.
(d) In any case involving a misdemeanor or a felony in which the defendant has been punished in whole or in part by a fine, the sentencing judge shall be authorized to allow the defendant to satisfy such fine through community service as defined in Code Section 42-3-50. One hour of community service shall equal the dollar amount of one hour of paid labor at the minimum wage under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as now or hereafter amended, unless otherwise specified by the sentencing judge. A defendant shall be required to serve the number of hours in community service which equals the number derived by dividing the amount of the fine by the federal minimum hourly wage or by the amount specified by the sentencing judge. Prior to or subsequent to sentencing, a defendant may request the court that all or any portion of a fine may be satisfied under this subsection.
(e) In any case involving a felony in which the defendant previously appeared before a juvenile court, the records of the dispositions of the defendant as well as any evidence used in any juvenile court hearing shall be available to the district attorney, the defendant, and the superior court judge in determining sentencing as provided in Code Section 15-11-703.
(f) Within one year of the date upon which the sentence is imposed, or within 120 days after receipt by the sentencing court of the remittitur upon affirmance of the judgment after direct appeal, whichever is later, the court imposing the sentence has the jurisdiction, power, and authority to correct or reduce the sentence and to suspend or probate all or any part of the sentence imposed. Prior to entering any order correcting, reducing, or modifying any sentence, the court shall afford notice and an opportunity for a hearing to the prosecuting attorney. Any order modifying a sentence which is entered without notice and an opportunity for a hearing as provided in this subsection shall be void. This subsection shall not limit any other jurisdiction granted to the court in this Code section or as provided for in subsection (g) of Code Section 42-8-34.
(g) (1) (A) In sentencing a defendant convicted of a felony to probated confinement, the sentencing judge may make the defendant's participation in a work release program operated by a county a condition of probation, provided that such program is available and the administrator of such program accepts the inmate.
(B) Any defendant accepted into a county work release program shall thereby be transferred into the legal custody of the administrator of said program; likewise, any defendant not accepted shall remain in the legal custody of the Department of Corrections.
(2) Work release status granted by the court may be revoked for cause by the sentencing court in its discretion or may be revoked by the state or local authority operating the work release program for any reason for which work release status would otherwise be revoked.
(3) The provisions of this subsection shall not limit the authority of the commissioner to authorize work release status pursuant to Code Section 42-5-59 or apply to or affect the authority to authorize work release of county prisoners, which shall be as provided for in Code Sections 42-1-4 and 42-1-9 or as otherwise provided by law.
(4) This subsection shall not apply with respect to any violent felony or any offense for which the work release status is specifically prohibited by law, including but not limited to serious violent felonies as specified in Code Section 17-10-6.1.
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