We are oftentimes asked about non-reporting probation. Many people find the constant burden of checking in with probation and being subject to their whimsical demands and wishes to be incredibly burdensome (It is). With that in mind, we are often asked how people can get their probation switched to non-reporting probation.
There are a couple of ways. First, your probation may automatically go to non-reporting (and it could be sooner than you think). Second, you may have to petition the court to conduct a hearing and consider allowing you to go to non-reporting probation.
Probation Automatically Converts to Non-Reporting
The general rule regarding probation is that active probation supervision ends no later than two years after probation begins. It is important to know that the judge can always extend this, or specifically prevent the probation from early termination when they hand down a sentence. Absent any special instructions or exceptions, however, your probation should switch to non-reporting after two years.
This transfer should be an automatic process. If you have been on reporting probation for over two years, or close to two years, then you should talk to your probation officer and see if non-reporting probation is in the cards for you.
What do Sex Crime Convictions, Gang Convictions, and Restitution Payments All Have in Common?
They will prevent your probation from going to non-reporting. That's right. There are three types of convictions that will prevent your probation from switching to non-reporting.
Sex Crime Convictions
When a conviction that requires the defendant to register on the state sexual offender registry probation supervision shall remain in effect until the court orders unsupervised probation, or until termination of the sentence, whichever first occurs.
So, when convicted of a sex crime that requires registration (most do) you have two options for escaping reporting probation. 1) Let your sentence expire - this could be decades, or 2) file a motion in the sentencing court requesting that the court issue an order permitting your probation to go to non-reporting.
If you end up having to file a motion requesting the court issue such an order, you should be prepared for a fight. Judges have little incentive to grant these requests and it requires effective advocacy on your behalf to present to the court a compelling case as to why he or she should grant your request.
For a conviction under 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.
There is an extended period of time for which the legislature permits active probation supervision following a conviction for gang charges.
If you are convicted of a crime that requires restitution (these are usually thefts and criminal damage to properties, but can be anything) the period of active probation supervision shall remain in effect for so long as a balance remains on your restitution, or until termination of the sentence, whichever first occurs.
So, what does this mean? If you owe someone money following a conviction, then you are not eligible to go to non-reporting probation until all of that money is paid. This is something important to remember before pleading guilty to something like a theft or fraud charge that may call for thousands of dollars in restitution.
Contact us if you are having any issue with your probation or its reporting status. Furthermore, if you think that you may need to have a motion filed on your behalf please contact us today so that we can help you.