Violations of Probation and Community Control
Your Second Chance
Probation may seem preferable to a jail or prison sentence, but a violation of probation can put you back to square one - or worse. Violations of probation or community control can land you or your loved one in jail - often without bond. Call us to discuss how we can help.
consequences of violation
Probation requires strict compliance with probationary terms and conditions, which may be inconvenient and expensive. The slightest mistake may have an individual facing significant time behind bars.
Possible consequences may include:
Facing up to the maximum penalties available for the original offense(s)
Increased minimum penalties on felonies due to added points on scoresheet
Conviction where there previously was a withhold of adjudication
Collateral consequences may include: license suspension, immigration consequences, voting or gun rights issues, professional licensing issues
Additional penalties under the Anti Murder Statute for violent offenders
challenging your violation
When you are on probation, your rights are severely limited. As a result, an individual wishing to contest his/her violation of probation does not have the right to a jury trial, and the State does not have to prove the violation beyond a reasonable doubt. Although you are entitled to a hearing, that hearing is in front of a judge, not jury, who will determine whether you violated probation and, if so, will sentence you accordingly.
At a violation of probation hearing, the rules of evidence are relaxed, which often allows the State to enter evidence that may be inadmissible in a jury trial. Also, because your Constitutional rights are more limited during a VOP hearing, you can be compelled to testify for the prosecution about matters related to alleged technical violations.
types of violations
There are two main categories of violations in a VOP case:
Technical violations - violation of a specific term of probation
Examples May Include:
"Failed" drug test
Failure to complete community service, classes, treatment, or some other special condition of probation
Failure to report to probation officer as required
New law violations - individual is arrested for a new offense, or otherwise accused of committing some new, separate crime
The categorization will affect the sentencing guidelines on the scoresheet (new offenses carry more points than a technical violation). However, a violation of either kind does not have to end with a jail or prison sentence. Depending on the type of case and violation, a court may reinstate probation, modify probation to include additional terms, or place an individual on a stricter form of supervision (i.e. from probation to community control).
Achieving the best result in a violation of probation requires knowledge, experience, and maybe even a creative approach. There are many special laws, procedures, and of options available in these types of cases and it is important to hire an attorney with the specialized experience needed to achieve your desired results. Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney Benjamin Wurtzel has handled violations of probation for criminal traffic, misdemeanor, and felony cases, including felonies involving sex offender probation and classification as a violent felony offender of special concern. Mr. Wurtzel has been able to use his experience and legal knowledge to reach positive outcomes for clients facing a violation of probation charge. If you or someone you know is facing a violation of probation, call Wurtzel Law today for a free consultation to learn how our creative, detailed approach can assist you.