Sentencing Guidelines

Georgia law addresses penalties for felony and misdemeanor convictions. Sentences imposed by the presiding judge are based on federal sentencing guidelines and laws determined by the Georgia General Assembly.


Title 17, Chapter 10, Sections 3 and 4 of the Georgia Code provide penalties for misdemeanor offenses. Conviction of a misdemeanor results in up to 12 months imprisonment in a county facility and a fine of no more than $1,000 or $5,000 for an aggravated misdemeanor. The sentence may include probation or time served on weekends or nonworking hours of the defendant.

Mandatory Minimum

Georgia law identifies seven felonies, known as the "seven deadly sins," that require mandatory minimum sentences, including kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, aggravated child molestation, aggravated sodomy and aggravated sexual battery. These offenses result in 10 years without possibility of parole. The seventh offense, murder, requires life imprisonment without possibility of parole for at least 25 years. A second conviction of any of these offenses mandates life without parole.

Repeat Offenses

Georgia law requires imposition of tougher sentences for repeat felony offenders. Excluding the "seven deadly sins," a second conviction of a felony offense results in the maximum possible sentence allowed with eligibility for parole. A fourth conviction of a felony offense requires imprisonment for 100 percent of the sentence and no opportunity for parole.

Additional Information

Official Code of Georgia: Chapter 10 Sentence and Punishment