What Happens At A Court Hearing For A Probation Violation?
When a person comes before the court for a probation violation, they are entitled to due process. That basically means having a hearing and a chance to be heard. Everyone is entitled to have an attorney present with them who can speak on their behalf. In order to have a favorable outcome, they are expected to have an attorney that may review each allegation of their affidavit. When they first come before the court on the probation violation, they might have the chance to have an attorney there with them. So, they have the opportunity to admit or deny the allegations. If they admit to the allegations, then the court can sanction them right then and there. The sanction could be fines, jail time, community service, or whatever the court deems appropriate based on the level of violation.
The individual can also deny the allegations and ask the court for an attorney, or time to seek an attorney of their own choosing. That’s what I would recommend for anyone who is faced with a probation violation and order to show cause. There are different ways of getting favorable outcomes on these probation violations. Sometimes it’s a matter of the certificate of completion, as I mentioned earlier. If it didn’t make it to the court, they can track down the provider, get that certificate of completion, and satisfy that requirement.
If there are pretty clear cut violations, sometimes negotiations can be made. For example, the individual might agree to admit to two or three allegations in order to have another two or three dismissed. This could relieve a lot of potential sanctions. When the attorney is available for the probation hearings, they can deny the allegations and ask for more time to review everything. During that timeframe, a lot of things can be corrected. Fines can be paid and treatment can be completed. Then, when you return to court, you will have everything done that the courts previously asked. So, when it comes to probation violations, it’s usually beneficial to take an attorney with you to the actual court hearings.
What Are The Potential Penalties For Committing Violation Of The Terms Of Probation?
If someone is convicted of having violated their probation, that’s a finding of contempt. As such, the judge can impose more monetary sanctions or jail time. I’ve seen judges give two or three days in jail and then restart probation. Someone could be nine months into their probation, have a violation, and then have the courts restart probation for another 12 months. The court can also impose community service, additional treatment, and whatever else they deem necessary.
If it’s a new violation of the law for the same or similar offense, the judges might give jail time. For example, if it’s a second DUI that occurs while on probation for the first DUI, then the person could be looking at some jail time. However, if it’s a disorderly conduct charge while they are on DUI probation, the judge might not be so concerned about that because it’s totally unrelated. Most of the sanctions that I see are jail time, fines, community service, and additional treatment.
How Much Time Does Someone Have If They Have Violated a Diversion Agreement Or Probation?
In most cases where the probation violation is found to be true and the judge wants to lift some of that state jail time (meaning the jail time that he or she didn’t impose at the original sentencing), the judge can have them taken into custody forthwith, which means right then and there. The deputies or bailiffs handcuff and take them to jail. Sometimes the court will allow them to self-report, but usually people are really scared and they don’t want to speak up. So, another reason to have an attorney with you is so that they can ask the court to have you self-report on the weekend. This allows for people to get some of their affairs in order, and to make sure that their children or pets are taken care of. They can also notify their employers that they won’t be there for a couple of days.
How Can An Attorney Help Me If I Have Been Accused Of Violating My Probation?
An attorney can help you with your probation violation by investigating the allegations. That’s where I would start. I would look at each allegation and who is making it. I would talk to the probation officer and to my client, and I would do the investigation on my own at first. If the allegations or evidence aren’t that strong, then we’d request a hearing and have whoever is making the allegations testify to prove what they are alleging. On the other hand, if the allegations are strong, then I would have my client deny the allegations and I’d ask the court for some more time.
While I’m doing my investigation, I’d have the client complete whatever the court ordered (community service, treatment etc.), so that we are compliant in that process by the time we go back in front of the judge. If there were multiple allegations, I would negotiate to see if I could have some of them dismissed. I would also negotiate possible sentence recommendations. I’ve negotiated deals that allowed my clients to do 30 days of in-home confinement, followed by a test for another 30 days. If they are successful, then the case will be closed successfully and they can qualify for the 402 sentence reduction and expungement.
So, between finding problems with the initial allegations, giving the client more time to complete the probation requirements, and negotiating on their behalf for reductions in allegations or favorable sentencing recommendations, I can help my clients deal with a probation violation.
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