It is a difficult situation when a person is lucky enough to get probation instead of jail time only to make a mistake and end up facing jail time once again. It can be embarrassing and quite upsetting. However, when handled appropriately, there may be hope. A law firm is experienced in matters of probation and potential options when the terms of the probation are not met. You do not have to face this alone, it is your right to have an attorney present. The following information is intended to answer some common questions regarding probation violation. Each situation is different and it is wise to consult with an attorney when facing a probation revocation hearing.
Violating Probation Terms
Since there are varying degrees of terms, there are also varying degrees of violating those terms. In some cases, it falls on the probation officer to decide whether to handle the violation with a warning. In that situation, it will likely be handled immediately with no change in probation terms. However, if the probation officer feels that the violation is egregious, he or she has the right to inform the court of the situation. When the court gets involved, the individual will be required to attend a probation revocation hearing. During the hearing, the judge considers the terms of the violation and decides on an appropriate penalty. The consequence of violating probation really depends on the violation. The consequences may vary depending on the severity of the violation, of which there is quite a range:
· Extended probation
· Required to attend classes or treatment program specific to the violation
· Original jail time that was suspended for the probation agreement
Probation Revocation Hearing
During the probation revocation hearing, a judge will hear from both the prosecution and the defense. The prosecution will need to prove that there is a good chance that the violation occurred, versus beyond a reasonable doubt as in trial. The defense attorney will ultimately argue why the defendant should not get the original sentence that was suspended for probation. The defense has a right to bring in evidence and witnesses to support his or her side, however, the judge is not required to consider such evidence.
How to Talk to the Judge
The bottom line when preparing for a revocation hearing, is that it comes down to the judge’s opinion of the defendant and his or her actions. After all, it is a hearing not a trial and there is no jury. The defense strategy should be one of honesty and remorse. The individual is in the best light when he or she owns his or her actions and can prove to follow the terms of probation in the future.
A law firm understands the importance of preparing a defense that shows clients in a positive light. They make it a priority to build a sense of empathy for the defendant’s situation. Contact a law firm today.