According to the Kilfin Law Firm of Georgia, the Georgia First Offender Act enables a judge to defer judgment on someone who pleads guilty to a first-time felony offense. Defendants serve sentences, but this act can prevent someone from having a public record with a felony conviction.
Although a judgment is deferred, a judge can sentence a defendant to probation or incarceration. If the defendant complies with a judge's ruling, an order of discharge is filed, and the charge is sealed from the general public in most cases. The Kilfin Law Firm explains that the Georgia First Offender Act is allowed only once per defendant, not per type of crime.