Criminal Defense Attorney
Those who have been accused of violating their probation, may want to know what actions they can take to avoid serving the very worst of the potential consequences: jail time. In many cases, the accused will have to attend a probation violation hearing where the prosecution will attempt to reasonably prove that the breach had occurred. Many people facing a probation violation charge, may hire an attorney for protection during this time. To stand alone without legal representation, could result in the verdict being harsher than needed. A lawyer can advocate for the accused’s behalf, in hopes of preventing him or her from facing time behind bars.
Q: It is possible that I’ll just receive a warning?
A: If this is the first time you have violated your probation, there is a chance that you’ll receive a warning from your probation officer. If the breach was not very serious, the officer may want to avoid adding an extra case to a judge’s already busy load. The officer may give you a verbal warning and insight into consequences if it were to happen again. Repeated offenders of probation violations are unlikely to be given continuous warnings.
Q: What is the probation violation hearing going to be like?
A: For a breach in probation, a person may be required to show up to a court hearing to discuss what happened. A hearing may not be required if the probation officer decides to impose a consequence instead, as they often have broad discretion in what actions can be taken based on the situation.
A probation violation hearing entails the prosecution bringing forward evidence that the breach occurred, in which the accused has a chance to either accept or deny the claims made. The judge will determine whether the prosecution has enough evidence to reasonably conclude that the accused did, in fact, violate probation. Depending on the outcome, probation is reinstated as normal or additional punishments and jail time may be served.
Q: What other punishments are there for the violation besides jail time?
A: There are a few other punishments you may have to endure if you violate probation. Your criminal defense attorney San Francisco, CA chooses may actually use these other options as a way to make a deal with the judge, so you can avoid going to jail. For example, you may have to serve community service hours, enter a rehabilitation program, attend counseling, pay fines, or receive an increased probationary period.
Rehabilitation and/or counseling may be imposed instead of jail time, if the offender has struggled with drug addiction, mental illness, or other emotional difficulties. A probation officer may order counseling services for a person that experienced trauma or had poor role models, and who may improve through receiving mental health treatment.
Q: What if I was accused of committing another crime while on probation?
A: Anyone who is found guilty of committing a crime during their probationary period will face new repercussions based on the type and severity of the law violation. A person’s past criminal history and whether the crime was violent or not may be taken into consideration when the judge is determining the appropriate punishments.
Thanks to the Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense and punishments for violating probation.