2020 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 10 - Sentence and Punishment
Article 1 - Procedure for Sentencing and Imposition of Punishment
§ 17-10-4. Punishment for Misdemeanors of a High and Aggravated Nature

Universal Citation: GA Code § 17-10-4 (2020)
  1. A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00 or by confinement in the county or other jail, county correctional institution, or such other places as counties may provide for maintenance of county inmates, for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both; provided, however, that a person convicted of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature which was committed by an inmate within the confines of a state correctional institution and sentenced to confinement as a result of such offense shall be sentenced to confinement under the jurisdiction of the Board of Corrections in a state correctional institution or such other institution as the Department of Corrections may direct for a term which shall not exceed 12 months. In all cases of a conviction of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, the sentencing court shall retain jurisdiction to amend, modify, alter, suspend, or probate sentences imposed under this Code section at any time; but in no instance shall a sentence imposed under this Code section be modified in such a manner as to increase the amount of fine or the term of confinement.
  2. Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, a person sentenced for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature may earn no more than four days per month earned time allowance.

(Code 1933, § 27-2506.1, enacted by Ga. L. 1970, p. 236, § 11; Ga. L. 1985, p. 283, § 1; Ga. L. 1997, p. 1526, § 2; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1111, § 1.)

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of criminal law, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 129 (1986). For article, "Misdemeanor Sentencing in Georgia," see 7 Ga. St. B.J. 8 (2001).


Section not repealed.

- Ga. L. 1978, p. 985 did not repeal this section by implication. Sutton v. Garmon, 245 Ga. 685, 266 S.E.2d 497 (1980).

Section deals with imposition, not effect, of suspended sentence.

- Ga. L. 1965, p. 413, § 4 dealt with the effect of suspended sentences while former Code 1933, §§ 27-2502 and 27-2506.1 (see O.C.G.A. §§ 17-10-1 and17-10-4) dealt with the authority to impose sentences. Cross v. State, 128 Ga. App. 774, 197 S.E.2d 853 (1973).

Earned time allowance not a denial of equal protection.

- Party is not denied equal protection of the law because the party is limited to four days earned time each month while certain other prisoners may earn 15 days each month. Sutton v. Garmon, 245 Ga. 685, 266 S.E.2d 497 (1980).

Rules and regulations for suspended sentence and revocation upon their violation.

- Exactly what is a suspended sentence is perhaps indefinite, but the court may provide rules and regulations in connection therewith and may, on violation of such rules and after notice and opportunity to be heard, during the time such sentence runs in accordance with the sentence's own terms, revoke the suspension and require that the remainder be served within a penal institution. Cross v. State, 128 Ga. App. 744, 197 S.E.2d 853 (1973).

Sentence to state penal system improper.

- Defendant's third conviction within five years for driving under the influence was classified as a high and aggravated misdemeanor; therefore, the defendant could not be sentenced to imprisonment in the state penal system. Floyd v. State, 227 Ga. App. 873, 490 S.E.2d 542 (1997).

Cited in Taylor v. State, 149 Ga. App. 362, 254 S.E.2d 432 (1979); Adult Bookmart, Inc. v. State, 152 Ga. App. 838, 264 S.E.2d 273 (1979); Arnold v. State, 163 Ga. App. 10, 293 S.E.2d 501 (1982); Smith v. State, 174 Ga. App. 238, 329 S.E.2d 507 (1985); Tenney v. State, 194 Ga. App. 820, 392 S.E.2d 294 (1990); State v. Phillips, 206 Ga. App. 421, 425 S.E.2d 412 (1992).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 21A Am. Jur. 2d, Criminal Law, § 843 et seq.


- Necessity of charging matter of aggravation in indictment or information, to justify imposition of higher punishment under a statute which varies punishment according to enormity of offense, 125 A.L.R. 605.

Sentencing: permissibility of sentence to a fine only, under statutory provision for imprisonment or imprisonment and fine, 35 A.L.R.4th 192.

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