Answering to a Probation Violation
Answering to Probation Violation
When someone has been granted probation as part of a special program or a guilty plea, the Court is granting an opportunity to prove that the defendant was worth a benefit of the doubt and a more lenient sentence. The terms and conditions of the probation are typically things like:
- abiding by area restrictions and/or curfew;
- refraining from purchasing or consuming alcohol and/or drugs (illegal and/or prescription drugs without having a prescription);
- refraining from possessing certain items, usually connected with the crime for which you were sentenced – anything from weapons to computers;
- not contacting the victim or particular witnesses; and
- maintaining employment.
If you violate a condition or conditions of the probation, the Court does not take this lightly. It is a direct breach of the Court’s order.
The Court has the power to essentially:
- extend the probation for a longer period of time;
- add further terms, such as the requirement to attend a certain type of counseling or doing community service;
- completely revoke the probation and impose the original sentence, which may include incarceration, depending on the circumstances of the case.
A criminal defense lawyer can assess the nature and seriousness of the probation violation as well as the circumstances of the violation, and argue that you were in substantial compliance of the terms, for example, and/or that this violation is not severe enough to merit jail time. Where there is a defense or no actual probation violation, the lawyer can gather and present evidence to challenge the Prosecution’s case or to exonerate you.
Preventing Probation Violation
If appropriate in your case, a good criminal defense lawyer can help you come up with a plan to show the Court why you will comply with the terms of your probation for the remaining duration of the probation.
Furthermore, your lawyer can identify whether any of these new terms may be problematic and perhaps negotiate alternate terms. This is extremely important, because you do not want to be in a position where you are again in violation of your probation.
Ideally, you and your lawyer will catch the potential for a breach before it happens, in which case, your lawyer can help bring a Court application to change the terms, even get the Prosecution in agreement so that it is a joint request.
Lawyers Who Understand the System and Their Clients
For Dean DelCollo and Dade Werb, who were with the Public Defender’s Office for more than 20 years, the key to representing clients accused of probation violation is being able to “get” the clients – to truly understand what was going on in the clients’ lives. This is in addition to foresight and common sense.
Contact our firm and find out how we can help you.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
At Giordano, DelCollo, Werb & Gagne, LLC, our office will strive to meet all of the legal needs that you may require throughout your lifetime. Our office philosophy is: Once a Client, Always a Client. We will be there to answer any questions you may have and to assist you when needed.