If you have violated your Probation, you could face penalties even more severe than the original offense.
When a judge sentences you to probation, he expects you to live up to the terms of that probation. And if you violate the judge's orders, think of it as telling the Judge that you are not going to listen to him or her. More than ever, you need an experienced and aggressive Probation Violation Attorney to defend you.
When a judge orders probation, they will typically will require the defendant to report to probation monthly, refrain from any other criminal conduct, abstain from using alcohol or drugs, and be subjected to random drug screens and or alcohol breath tests. In addition, the judge will require the defendant to pay a probation oversight fee which may be as high as $40 per month. It may be less if the defendant can show good cause why it should be lowered. The length of time a judge may impose probation is typically 1 year for misdemeanors but the judge can impose probation for a maximum of 5 years on a felony charge.
When a probation violation occurs, the defendant may be ordered to court for a probation violation hearing or VOP hearing. Where, as in a criminal matter, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed a crime, at a VOP hearing, the Prosecutor only has the burden to prove that a probation violation occurred by a preponderance of the evidence or a belief of 51% that the defendant violated probation. So even though you may have committed a crime while on probation and you were not convicted of that crime, you still could found guilty of violating probation.
There are several factors that the Judge and Prosecutor use when considering a probation violation. They include:
• The nature and seriousness of the probation violation
• Whether there has been a history of prior violations
• Whether the violation included new criminal activity or rather resulted from a failure to pay fines or other fees
• The recommendation of the probation officer
• The circumstances surrounding the violation and other mitigating factors
Reducing the Impact of a Violation
If you have violated probation there are many things you can do to reduce the impact. An experienced probation violation attorney can contact your probation officer and inform him or her of the violation before they learn it on their own. Our office can also recommend certain actions that may convince the prosecutor, your probation agent, or even the judge to give you a second change. If you are on probation and have violated your probation, you need an experienced and aggressive probation violation attorney to help keep you out of jail. Call Schmierlaw for a no-cost consultation to discuss your options.
If you have violated your Probation, it’s like telling the Judge you don’t care what he or she says.
Violating your probation is often viewed more seriously than that of the underlying crime for which you are on probation. No one, especially a Judge, likes to be told that you are ignoring them. So, in this situation, the Defendant must convince the Judge, that you do take them seriously, that you deserve a second chance, and that the Judge should not terminate probation and put you in jail. This is especially true for those who are on some type of diversion status because if the Judge revokes probation, the original charge will now appear on your criminal record. Schmierlaw can recommend certain actions you can take to convince the Judge that you do take him or her seriously and that the violation was merely a setback.
In a VOP Hearing (Violation of Probation), the Judge can sentence you to the maximum sentence that you faced on the original charge.
If for example, you were convicted of a 93-day misdemeanor, if you violate your probation, you could be sentenced for the balance of any time up to 93 days that you have not already served. Plus, as stated above, the Judge could terminate diversion and the conviction will appear on your record. Also, the Judge could sentence you to contempt of Court for violating his original ruling. An experienced Violation of Probation or VOP defense attorney can help you avoid the harsh penalties associated with a probation violation.
When you contact Schmierlaw, we will examine your original case, consider the reasons for the violation and suggest actions you can take to remain on probation by convincing the Judge you are taking him or her seriously. We will also make sure you have contacted your probation officer if you have not already been violated because they should hear it from you rather than reading it on a police report. And if you are on diversion status such as 7411 (possession of controlled substances, 769.41 (domestic violence), HYTA (Holmes Youth Training Act), or deferred sentencing under 771.1, we can suggest strategies to convince the Judge to retain that status.
Schmierlaw is a Criminal Defense and Drunk Driving/ DUI legal firm providing representation in Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County and throughout Michigan including these Michigan cities:
Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC
2222 Attard Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Tel: (248) 705-3742 FAX: (248) 540-0044 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org