2022 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 10 - Sentence and Punishment
Article 1 - Procedure for Sentencing and Imposition of Punishment
§ 17-10-7. Punishment of Repeat Offenders; Punishment and Eligibility for Parole of Persons Convicted of Fourth Felony Offense

Universal Citation: GA Code § 17-10-7 (2022)
  1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) or (b.1) of this Code section, any person who, after having been convicted of a felony offense in this state or having been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States of a crime which if committed within this state would be a felony and sentenced to confinement in a penal institution, commits a felony punishable by confinement in a penal institution shall be sentenced to undergo the longest period of time prescribed for the punishment of the subsequent offense of which he or she stands convicted, provided that, unless otherwise provided by law, the trial judge may, in his or her discretion, probate or suspend the maximum sentence prescribed for the offense.
    1. As used in this subsection, the term “serious violent felony” means a serious violent felony as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 17-10-6.1.
    2. Except as provided in subsection (e) of Code Section 17-10-6.1, any person who has been convicted of a serious violent felony in this state or who has been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States of a crime which if committed in this state would be a serious violent felony and who after such first conviction subsequently commits and is convicted of a serious violent felony for which such person is not sentenced to death shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life without parole. Any such sentence of life without parole shall not be suspended, stayed, probated, deferred, or withheld, and any such person sentenced pursuant to this paragraph shall not be eligible for any form of pardon, parole, or early release administered by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles or for any earned time, early release, work release, leave, or any other sentence-reducing measures under programs administered by the Department of Corrections, the effect of which would be to reduce the sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole, except as may be authorized by any existing or future provisions of the Constitution.

    (b.1) Subsections (a) and (c) of this Code section shall not apply to a second or any subsequent conviction for any violation of subsection (a), paragraph (1) of subsection (i), or subsection (j) of Code Section 16-13-30.

  2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) or (b.1) of this Code section and subsection (b) of Code Section 42-9-45, any person who, after having been convicted under the laws of this state for three felonies or having been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States of three crimes which if committed within this state would be felonies, commits a felony within this state shall, upon conviction for such fourth offense or for subsequent offenses, serve the maximum time provided in the sentence of the judge based upon such conviction and shall not be eligible for parole until the maximum sentence has been served.
  3. For the purpose of this Code section, conviction of two or more crimes charged on separate counts of one indictment or accusation, or in two or more indictments or accusations consolidated for trial, shall be deemed to be only one conviction.
  4. This Code section is supplemental to other provisions relating to recidivous offenders.

History. Laws 1833, Cobb’s 1851 Digest, p. 840.; Code 1863, § 4562; Code 1868, § 4582; Code 1873, § 4676; Code 1882, § 4676; Penal Code 1895, § 1042; Penal Code 1910, § 1068; Code 1933, § 27-2511; Ga. L. 1953, Nov.-Dec. Sess., p. 289, § 1; Ga. L. 1974, p. 352, § 5; Ga. L. 1983, p. 3, § 14; Ga. L. 1984, p. 760, § 2; Ga. L. 1994, p. 1959, § 12; Ga. L. 2010, p. 563, § 1/HB 901; Ga. L. 2012, p. 899, § 4-4/HB 1176; Ga. L. 2013, p. 222, § 10/HB 349; Ga. L. 2015, p. 519, § 2-1/HB 328.

Cross references.

Effect of third conviction for abandonment of child, § 19-10-1 .

Parole generally, T. 42, C. 9.

Editor’s notes.

Ga. L. 1994, p. 1959, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “This Act shall be known and may be cited as the ‘Sentence Reform Act of 1994.’ ”

Ga. L. 1994, p. 1959, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “The General Assembly declares and finds:

“(1) That persons who are convicted of certain serious violent felonies shall serve minimum terms of imprisonment which shall not be suspended, probated, stayed, deferred, or otherwise withheld by the sentencing judge; and

“(2) That sentences ordered by courts in cases of certain serious violent felonies shall be served in their entirety and shall not be reduced by parole or by any earned time, early release, work release, or other such sentence-reducing measures administered by the Department of Corrections.”

Ga. L. 1994, p. 1959, § 16, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “The provisions of this Act shall apply only to those offenses committed on or after the effective date of this Act; provided, however, that any conviction occurring prior to, on, or after the effective date of this Act shall be deemed a ‘conviction’ for the purposes of this Act and shall be counted in determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed for any offense committed on or after the effective date of this Act.” This Act became effective January 1, 1995.

Ga. L. 1998, p. 180, § 1, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “The General Assembly declares and finds: (1) That the ‘Sentence Reform Act of 1994,’ approved April 20, 1994 (Ga. L. 1994, p. 1959), provided that persons convicted of one of seven serious violent felonies shall serve minimum mandatory terms of imprisonment which shall not otherwise be suspended, stayed, probated, deferred, or withheld by the sentencing court; (2) That in , 225 Ga. App. 509 (1997), the Georgia Court of Appeals held, notwithstanding the ‘Sentence Reform Act of 1994,’ that the provisions of the First Offender Act would still be available to the sentencing court, which would mean that a person who committed a serious violent felony could be sentenced to less than the minimum mandatory ten-year sentence; and (3) That, contrary to the decision in State v. Allmond , it is the expressed intent of the General Assembly that persons who commit a serious violent felony specified in the ‘Sentence Reform Act of 1994’ shall be sentenced to a mandatory term of imprisonment of not less than ten years and shall not be eligible for first offender treatment.”

Ga. L. 2012, p. 899, § 9-1(a)/HB 1176, not codified by the General Assembly, provides: “This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2012, and shall apply to offenses which occur on or after that date. Any offense occurring before July 1, 2012, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such offense and shall be considered a prior conviction for the purpose of imposing a sentence that provides for a different penalty for a subsequent conviction for the same type of offense, of whatever degree or level, pursuant to this Act.”

Ga. L. 2013, p. 222, § 21/HB 349, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: “This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2013, and shall apply to offenses which occur on or after that date. Any offense occurring before July 1, 2013, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such offense.”

Ga. L. 2015, p. 519, § 9-1/HB 328, not codified by the General Assembly, provides, in part, that: “The provisions of Part II of this Act shall be given retroactive effect to those sentences imposed before the effective date of Part II of this Act.” The effective date of this Act is May 5, 2015.

Law reviews.

For annual survey of criminal law, see 38 Mercer L. Rev. 129 (1986).

For annual survey of criminal law, see 57 Mercer L. Rev. 113 (2005); 58 Mercer L. Rev. 83 (2006).

For annual survey on criminal law, see 64 Mercer L. Rev. 83 (2012).

For article on the 2012 amendment of this Code section, see 29 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 290 (2012).

For article, “Appeal and Error: Appeal or Certiorari by State in Criminal Cases,” see 30 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 17 (2013).

For article on the 2020 amendment of this Code section, see 37 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2020).

For note, “Give It to Me, I’m Worth It: The Need to Amend Georgia’s Record Restriction Statute to Provide Ex-Offenders with a Second Chance in the Employment Sector,” see 52 Ga. L. Rev. 267 (2017).

For comment regarding presentation of guidance of prior convictions in trial of criminal recidivist in light of State v. Meyer, 258 Wisc. 326, 46 N.W.2d 341 (1951), see 14 Ga. B.J. 235 (1951).

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