Behavioral Incentive Dates

In Georgia, a person who is convicted of a felony for the first time and sentenced to straight probation, or less than 12 months imprisonment followed by probation, is entitled to receive a Behavioral Incentive Date (also known as a BID). A BID is a date that the court sets for the probation to end early, provided that the individual has successfully completed their probation and not violated any terms of their probation.

When a person is convicted of a felony for the first time or is charged with a felony and enters a plea under the First Offender Act or conditional discharge, Georgia law says that the judge must include a BID that is no more than 3 years from the date that the sentence is imposed. (O.C.G.A. § 17-10-1 (a)(1)(B)(i)). A brand-new Georgia Court of Appeals case clarifies that even when a person is convicted of their first felony and chooses not to use their First Offender, the judge must include a BID. (Smalley v. State).

What does this mean for a person facing felony charges?  This means that if you are facing felony charges and sentenced to probation, the court MUST include a BID and that BID may not be more than 3 years from the date you are sentenced. So, for example, if you are sentenced to 10 years probation for your first ever felony, the judge must include a BID date and, if you successfully complete the terms of your probation and don’t have any probation violations, your probation will end on that BID.

It is important to have an attorney who understands things like Behavioral Incentive Dates when they are negotiating with prosecutors. The lawyers at W. Scott Smith are experienced at fighting to protect their clients and ensure that clients receive the best possible outcome for their case. If you are charged with a felony in Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Clayton, Rockdale, Henry, Cobb, or Cherokee County, call the Law Office of Scott Smith today for a free consultation and to find out how you can leverage the law regarding Behavioral Incentive Dates to your advantage.