Felony Convictions In Georgia: Jail Time
In Georgia, felony convictions require a minimum sentence of one year in prison. At Joseph D. Weathers, PC, my office is located in Moultrie and I have been serving clients in Colquitt County and its surrounding community for decades. With over 30 years of experience, I passionately fight to defend my clients against felony criminal charges. If you or someone you love has been charged with a felony crime, I can help make sure their rights are protected, and fight to defend them against criminal charges.
The Likelihood Of Jail Time For A Felony Conviction
In Georgia, criminal and sentencing statutes specify penalties (like fines, sentences and jail time) for each crime. For some crimes, there are even specific enhanced penalties, like mandatory minimum sentences. Mandatory minimum jail time is required (without an option for parole) if a defendant is convicted of the following crimes:
- Serious violent felonies (also known in Georgia as the seven deadly sins)
- Repeat offenders (common in DUI crimes)
- Sex offenders
- Hate crimes
With respect to repeat offenders, for the second felony conviction, the judge is required to impose the maximum sentence. By the fourth repeat felony conviction, defendants also lose the option for parole. Aggravating factors, for example, if the victim is a member of a protected class, can also increase the required jail time.
Alternatives To Prison For First-Time Offenders
For first-time offenders, there may be options that allow a defendant to avoid jail time altogether. For nonviolent felonies or some low-level drug possession felonies, in lieu of jail time, the judge has an option to order probation. With probation, the judge may set specific terms, like chemical dependency treatment, drug and alcohol testing, community service or restitution. An experienced criminal defense attorney can sometimes negotiate a plea agreement for first-time offenders that allows an offender to avoid jail time.