Fitzgerald Probation Violation
Probation is a way to impose a criminal sentence but keep a person out of prison, and it also maintain a presence in the community. If you’re on probation, you have some freedom but there’s also a close watch on you. A simple mistake could violate the terms of probation, and the penalties could be harsh. The additional probationary conditions could be added or prison time could result. This is not a situation you want to handle by yourself.
With probation, a person (the probationer) is supervised by a probation officer. The probationer must meet the conditions of probation, which are set by the sentencing court, in order to complete probation and end the sentence.
Probation could be served by itself or there could be a combination of jail time and probation.
The probationer may have several conditions to comply with which are general (all probationers must follow them) and special (unique to the particular person). These conditions may be negotiated between defense counsel, the prosecution and the judge. General conditions can include the following:
- Not violating any laws
- Avoiding alcohol abuse and drug use
- Avoiding people potentially involved in crime or places where crime might be more likely
- Reporting to the probation officer as instructed and allowing him or her to visit you at home or elsewhere
- Maintaining a job, if possible
- Not traveling, especially outside the jurisdiction of the court or the state, for any period of time without prior permission
- Supporting any legal dependents as much as possible.
Special conditions can include:
- Evaluation for anger issues, violent behavior or sexual deviancy; attending counseling; and following any treatment program
- Paying fines and/or restitution
- Working a given number of community-service hours
- Paying monthly probation supervision fees
- Avoiding contact or violence with named individuals and prohibited places or areas
- Attending a DUI or defensive driving school
- Evaluation for drug and/or alcohol use
- Following drug and/or alcohol treatment
- Not drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs
- Submission to random drug and alcohol tests.
For convicted sex offenders, there may be additional special conditions, such as sex offender registration and treatment.
If it’s believed a probationer violated a condition of probation, a probation officer or supervisor may offer or impose consequences as he or she sees fit, or there may be a hearing before the sentencing judge. If the probationer can’t be found, there may be a warrant for his or her arrest. If the person is found, the probationer will be incarcerated. If the probationer is reporting in, he or she may be arrested by the probationary officer or just be expected to appear at the hearing.
The hearing is similar to a trial. At this hearing you have the right to:
- Receive written notice of the alleged violations
- Be heard by a neutral judge in court
- Have an attorney represent you
- Present evidence and witnesses to support your case
- Contest evidence allegedly showing the violation.
The probationer can admit to a judge the conditions were broken or, if not, there will be a hearing where evidence will be taken and the probation department has the burden of proof “by a preponderance of the evidence” (a much lower standard than what’s needed to be convicted of a crime (“beyond a reasonable doubt”).
If there’s an admission of a probation violation or it’s found one was committed, probation could be revoked and the rest of the sentence would be served in jail. The probationer may be ordered to continue with probation, to work additional community service, have a more intensive probation, be part of a work release program, serve in-home incarceration, have a curfew, wear an ankle monitor, be given a verbal warning or attend additional counseling.
If you’re on probation, you are experiencing the criminal justice system, with all its faults, problems and shortcomings.
You need to fight allegations of a probation violation so you can continue your progress through and out of the system. Don’t go it alone. You need an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who has helped clients in your position before so you can get out of the criminal justice system as quickly as possible.
Contact a Cordele Attorney Today
Don’t take a probation violation charge lightly. You want to limit the chances of additional probation conditions or jail time. We understand your situation, will always speak with you honestly and treat you with respect. Call us today so we can talk about your situation, how the law applies to you and your best options for defending your liberty, rights and freedom.
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