What is Probation?
Probation is a conditional and supervised release that may be ordered instead of incarceration. The California court typically orders probation as part of a plea agreement, in which a defendant enters a plea of not guilty or nolo contendere in exchange for a lesser sentence. It serves as a supervisory program to ensure offenders coming out of the system are working towards a better future and not re-engaging in old habits. In most cases, probation is a part of a sentence, in addition to other elements such as community service, fines, and treatment program participation.
Probation is common for many first offenders and juvenile criminals. Every individual who must serve a probationary sentence, however, is required to do certain things to remain in compliance. The terms of probation will likely vary depending on the type of crime and circumstances of the criminal case. These terms should have been explained to you at the time you were sentenced to a criminal charge. A reliable Alameda probation violation attorney can help if there is an accusation of violating the terms of probation.
What are the Types of Probation Violations in California?
The judge decides on the terms of your probation at the time of your sentencing. When you are placed on probation, you are given a list of terms and conditions that must be maintained to be in good standing with the court’s requests. If you violate your probation, you can expect to be penalized. A knowledgeable Alameda probation violation lawyer can help you determine the different types of potential probation violations in California.
Probation violations may include but are not limited to:
- Not paying any required fines or restitution (to victims) as ordered by a court
- Failing to appear during a scheduled court appearance on a set date and time
- Violating a restraining order
- Not reporting to your probation officer at the scheduled time or place
- Getting arrested for another crime or offense while on probation
- Not completing court-ordered counseling, education, or treatment program
- Visiting certain people or places, or traveling out of state without the permission of your probation officer
- Possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs
- Not obtaining or holding a job
What Happens During a Probation Violation Hearing?
During a probation hearing, a sentencing judge will hear your case to consider whether you violated any terms or conditions of your probation. Factors a judge might consider include the nature, type, and seriousness of the violation claimed and other mitigating circumstances. The prosecution presents evidence of your probation violation and you have the right to a rigorous defense. Following the presentation of the evidence, the judge must decide whether the probation department has established a violation of probation.
Unlike a criminal trial that requires certainty beyond a reasonable doubt, the role of the prosecuting attorney in a probation violation hearing is to convince the sentencing judge that you violated the provisions of your probation. If a violation of probation is found, whether by agreement or as a result of a hearing, the judge must decide what sort of penalty should be imposed. Furthermore, a probation violation hearing doesn’t involve a jury and the judge decides for your future. When facing a probation violation hearing, it is important to have an experienced Alameda probation violation lawyer on your side who will truly advocate for your interests.
What are the Penalties for Probation Violation?
The penalties for violating your probation can depend on several factors. The severity of the consequences may vary depending on the nature and extent of the violation, previous history of probation violations, criminal history, and the recommendation of the Alameda County Probation Department. A qualified probation violation attorney in Alameda CA will develop the most effective possible defense strategy for your case to avoid harsh penalties.
In many cases, you will be sentenced to the penalties that you would have faced if the judge did not offer probation as an alternative. If you are found guilty of a probation violation, you may face the following penalties:
- Reinstatement of original penalties
- Additional terms for probation
- Extended probation
- Short jail sentence
- Hefty fines
- Probation revocation
- Mandatory rehabilitation
Call Our Seasoned Alameda Probation Violation Attorneys Now!
Once you’ve been arrested for a crime, you want your charges to be dismissed, negotiate for lesser charges, or obtain an acquittal at trial. Next to a complete dismissal of charges, probation is the best possible outcome. When you’re on probation, you can live in your community, work or attend school, be with your family, and live your life. However, failure to adhere to your probation terms can cost you your freedom, your livelihood, and life as you know it.
If you are charged with violating your probation, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Alameda probation violation attorney at the Law Office of Andrew Dosa. Our criminal defense law firm can get the best possible outcome in your probation violation hearing. We understand that each case is unique and that individual circumstances can have a significant effect on the outcome. Effective legal representation in probation proceedings may dramatically influence the judge’s decision, reduce prison time, and even extend probation down to no jail time. We will use every resource to help you avoid serious consequences.
Get the help you need now to preserve your freedom. Contact our law office now and schedule an initial consultation with a competent California criminal defense attorney.