When a person enters into a plea bargain or is convicted of a crime, they will be sentenced by the court. That sentence may include a period of probation. Probation may be imposed in lieu of incarceration. For felony probationary sentences, you are still supervised by the Department of Corrections. For misdemeanors, you are supervised by a private agency. In order for a probationer to remain at liberty, he or she must abide by the terms of the probationary sentence. Probationary terms usually require the person to check in with a probation officer on a daily, weekly, or on a monthly basis. To comply with the terms of probation, a person must not commit any new violations of the law.
If you fail to comply with the terms of probation or commit a crime while on probation, you can be charged with a probation violation. A person can even be charged with a violation if they become unemployed, travel to a different county or state, or change residences without permission. It is important to remember that there is no automatic right to a bond if you have been charged with a violation. Often times you will remain in jail until your probation violation hearing.
Probation Violation Penalties
If you are charged with a probation violation, you will return to court for prosecution on your original charge. If you are found guilty of violating your probation, you may be subject to enhanced sentencing. You may be placed on community control (which is a very strict form of probation) or serve a suspended jail or prison sentence.
You Must Treat The Violation As A New Case
If you are charged with a violation of probation the violation must be treated as a new case. The evidentiary standards that apply are much lower than a regular criminal charge. The chances of conviction are great. You are not entitled to a jury trial. That is why prosecutors often choose to try your probation violation case first. It is much easier for them to obtain a conviction in a probation case than a substantive new law violation. Violation of Probation cases demand effective and aggressive defense tactics. Without the aid of a skilled criminal law attorney you are placing your liberty at peril.
If you have been charged with a violation of probation, Glenn Swiatek has the knowledge and experience to assist you.