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Douglas County: 4th Amendment prohibition against illegal searches and seizures does not apply in Georgia Probation Revocation Hearings anymore

Douglas County Drug Arrest Probation Violation: State v. Thackston, S10G1337, May 31. 2011.

Georgia Supreme Court recently held that an illegal search in a Paulding County Drug arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment of the United States and Georgia Constitution and Georgia Criminal code does not apply in a probation revocation hearing even if the evidence was suppressed in the new criminal proceedings and the new criminal charges were dismissed as a result.  The Supreme Court of Georgia held that the exclusionary rule is a judicially created remedy to protect the Fourth Amendment and because the exclusion of illegally obtained is not contained in the Constitution is it only applied when it serves to protect the safeguards of the Fourth Amendment.

The exclusionary rule has been disregarded in parole revocation hearings, deportation hearings, civil tax proceedings, and grand jury proceedings.  The U.S. Supreme Court has adopted a balancing test that weighs the likelihood of deterrence against the cost of withholding information in the truth-seeking process.  The Georgia Supreme Court then went on to find that there is no real deterrence in a probation revocation hearing and that probation revocation hearings are not trials in the sense of trials as used in the Georgia Code 17-5-30(b) which prohibits, statutorily, the introduction of illegally obtained evidence at “trial.”  The Exclusionary rule still applies in Criminal Trials.

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