Being convicted of a criminal charge in Georgia often carries significant jail terms that some defendants can possibly avoid under certain circumstances. They are not automatic alternatives, but some convicted individuals can be determined eligible by the court for a deferred judgment or deferred sentencing when all conditions are favorable. Some cases are actually designated for community service deferments, but this is usually reserved for those convicted of low-level non-violent crimes.
Community service assignment
One of the best alternate judgment orders is being assigned to community service. Duties can vary according to the crime, but many times a specific charity organization or an entity focused on public service is stated in the order. Obligations are typically fulfilled before the court takes any further action, but it is important to remember that the assignment is a duly signed court order. Failure to complete could actually result in an additional contempt of court conviction.
Home incarceration and electronic surveillance
Another court alternative is home incarceration. While some defendants will not need electronic surveillance, there are some who may have criminal histories that require additional security to ensure compliance with the court order. This criminal process step can also be applied as a bond requirement, and especially when there is a restraining order in place for domestic violence.
Daily reporting orders
The state of Georgia has also implemented a creative alternative for those who are convicted of non-violent crimes and pose little to no threat to society. These individuals are required to check in daily or at other designated intervals at a local facility that maintains a registry of activity for the defendants. Very similar to the criminal process required for those placed on probation or parole, ordered defendants formally check-in at the facility just as done with a probation or parole officer as ordered by the court.