Probations are serious matters. Some people who are on probation do not see how engaging in activity that constitutes a violation could be that serious considering that by virtue of being on probation they did not do something supposedly worse such as violating parole. However, this is flawed thinking. The fact that one is placed on probation ought to be viewed as a second chance. Instead of being found worthy of jail or prison, the punitive resolution was one that involved keeping one’s liberty albeit while adjusting one’s behavior to so as to be law-abiding. When a person violates the conditions established for probation, he or she risks being resentenced to the original sentence. Probation should be viewed as a contract. In exchange for the Court permitting an individual to be placed on probation rather than sentenced to jail or prison, the individual must abide by the conditions of the probationary contract which, while varied, always uses language explicitly compelling the convicted to not break any laws and stay away from bad influences, including others with criminal records. A probation violation is itself a crime, but arguably more than that, it demonstrates to the Court, which has given a person the benefit of the doubt, that said person, in fact, cannot be trusted to change. That perception can be extremely damaging for those with extensive criminal records, since it could breed prejudice by judges and assistant district attorneys who could be less likely to consider and offer plea deals or lenient sentencing should there be future criminal matters before them. Because of all of these potential legal disasters, hiring a knowledge criminal defense attorney who knows how to deal with probation violations is a convicted criminal’s best course of actions in such a scenario. In order to feel most confident in a probation violation hearing, call on us.
Examples of probation violations include the following:
Failing to report to your probation officer
Failure to appear in court
Possessing a firearm or other prohibited weaponry
Substance use or abuse (some conditions do not even permit individuals to use particular brands of cough medicine because there are varying levels of alcohol present)
Lastly, it would be in your best interest to remember that a probation violation hearing is far from being similar to or the same as a criminal trial. There is not constitutional right to a jury, or to be found guilty beyond a responsible doubt. Rather, the State only needs to provide “sufficient evidence” that you have violations the conditions outlined in your probationary (contract). Generally, this is not a difficult task. Additionally, since judges have greater discretion in resentencing, your criminal record, including your inability to follow the terms of your probation can be used against you, causing you to lose more of your liberty than was previously the case. Consequently, it is imperative that you give us a call, so that we may discuss how best we can represent you.