For some people, a felony conviction in Georgia may be removed from their criminal history. This is a remarkable change in the Georgia First Offender Act, which become effective on July 1, 2015. The provisions of this new law relating the retroactive eligibility of First Offender treatment state:
- First, the person must have been eligible for sentencing under the First Offender Act at the time he/she was sentenced;
- Second, the person must NOT have been informed of their eligibility for First Offender Act treatment at the time of the original plea;
- Third, the prosecutor must consent to the retroactive First Offender treatment;
- Forth, the Court may hold a hearing upon the petition; and
- Fifth, the person seeking retroactive First Offender treatment has the burden of proof.
O.C.G.A. § 42-8-66.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OBTAINING FIRST OFFENDER TREATMENT RETROACTIVELY IN GEORGIA
- It's your burden of proof, so putting forward your best case on the 1st attempt is absolutely necessary. With each attempt to obtain consent of the prosecutor and/or judge, your probability of success will decrease.
- Real planning needs to go into the preparation and presentment of the case for retroactive First Offender treatment.
If you have been enduring life with a felony conviction on your criminal history from a Georgia criminal case, do not waste this opportunity. Consult and prepare the presentation of your motion with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Character witnesses matter. Presentation of the difficulties presented by a felony conviction matters. Plan and prepare carefully.
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