The Stinson Plea

Oddly, I don’t see much about this plea on the web and that concerns me.  I even saw one attorney state that he had never heard of it in nearly ten years of criminal law practice in Georgia!  That’s a shame because in family violence and domestic violence situations where the facts aren’t in your client’s favor, it is a good, viable option.  So what is it?

A Stinson plea in Georgia is a guilty plea that results in probation and conditions.  If those conditions are successfully completed, the criminal defendant can then withdraw the guilty plea and the State will dismiss the charges.  It is very similar to a First Offender Act plea in Georgia with the major difference being that First Offender shows you as not being convicted and Stinson shows you as not being prosecuted.

So what types of conditions are we talking about?  It depends.  If substance abuse was a critical reason for the charge, substance abuse counseling, anger management, and a SCRAM monitor (alcohol monitor) could be conditions.  There are usually fines, random drug and alcohol testing, and fees as well.

Georgia has numerous options like the above including pre-trial diversion programs, DUI and Drug Court, and Drug First Offender pleas to mention just a few.  Your life is not over and you are not judged by society because of an isolated incident.  Keep these options in mind and move forward!

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