Following a violation, speaking with an Orange County probation violation attorney could help you substantially. Any California resident who has been convicted of a crime in the state is subject to probation as part of their sentencing. This is true for both misdemeanor and felony convictions regardless of whether it is a white collar crime or any other type of offense. Conditions will be imposed upon the defendant for the duration of the probation, and failing to comply with any of those could cause the terms to be revoked and a prison sentence imposed in its place.
Common Probation Conditions
The judge presiding over a criminal case has the right to impose conditions when handing down a sentence. One of the most common violations is when a person picks up a new case. The term “violate no law” is often used when a person is arrested for a new case. This results in an immediate probation violation petition, which could result in increased punishment. The terms are entirely at the Judge’s discretion and will usually entail restrictions relevant to the crime. The terms given can include:
- a restitution fee. In most instances the payment for restitution can be made in small amounts. Along with this condition it is often imposed that the defendant remain employed. If the payments stop, or the defendant is found to be unemployed for an unreasonable amount of time, he can be found in violation,
- enrollment in a drug or alcohol program, such as AA, and abstinence from all drugs and alcohol. The judge can insist that the offender undergo scheduled or random drug and alcohol screening,
- condition that there is no contact made with the victim named in the case. This is a requirement most often utilized in domestic violence cases,
- community service and/or Cal-Trans roadside work,
- mandatory counseling or therapy,
- certain search conditions. A judge may impose that the defendant allow his person or property be searched by California police at any time without a warrant or probable cause,
- an electronic monitoring device. This type of condition is almost exclusive to sex offender crimes and will also include the condition that the defendant is registered as a sex offender,
- an understanding that it is a violation to refuse to submit to a chemical DUI blood or breathalyzer test. California DUI probation will always include the provision that the offender never drive with any amount of alcohol and/or drugs in their system. They can also be required to have an ignition interlock device or SCRAM device installed on their vehicle if they have multiple DUI convictions.
In addition, there is always the requirement that an individual who has been granted probation in lieu of a jail sentence does not violate any additional laws. If it is suspected that the defendant has violated one or more terms, then he will be subject to a violation hearing.
The Probation Violation Hearing
With the number of restrictions imposed, it is not uncommon for someone to find themselves facing a violation or revocation hearing. They may be arrested and held in detention until the hearing is scheduled, or an arrest warrant may be issued if they missed a court date or failed to report to their assigned officer. In either case, those facing charges still have rights that must be honored at the revocation hearing. This includes the right to representation from a criminal defense attorney, full disclosure of all evidence against him, and the right to call witnesses to testify on their behalf.
There is no jury in one of these hearings, and the judge presiding over it has the final say in the outcome. If he does find that the terms were violated it is at his discretion whether or not to reinstate the original probation or modify it and make it more stringent. It is also within his power to impose a jail or prison sentence in its place.
The Benefit of a Skilled Orange County Probation Violation Attorney
An individual facing a violation hearing should always take advantage of their right to a defense lawyer. Although this is not a jury trial, many of the same laws and regulations exist that can be beneficial to those facing criminal charges. There is a lot at stake during these types of proceedings and a myriad of factors that can affect its outcome.
If the person facing charges is denying the violation, then an evidentiary hearing will have to be heard. In these cases there is no reasonable doubt, the prosecution only need to prove his case by a preponderance of the evidence. Only an experienced lawyer will be able to help a defendant dispute that with his own gathered evidence and witnesses.
Even if the judge does find that the defendant violated his terms, a defense attorney will be able to help with the sentencing. An Orange County probation violation attorney will know which exculpatory and mitigating evidence should be brought to the judge’s attention in order to avoid jail time. Even if re-imposition of existing terms is out of the question, they can assist with negotiating a lighter jail sentence.
Even though a hearing is not a criminal trial, there are many similarities including the individual’s freedom being on the line. Defendants facing these types of charges should not take the risk and face the judge and officer without someone experienced in this type of proceeding by their side. Call (888) 250-2865 today to receive assistance from one of our Orange County probation violation lawyers today.