Criminal Defense Attorneys: Focused On Probation Violations
Probation Violations Statewide in Arizona:
If you have been charged with a probation violation we understand how important your freedom is.
Probation court is different from a regular criminal court. In most cases in criminal courts, a judge acts as a kind of gatekeeper for legal issues, but it’s the jury who finds facts and determines the guilt or innocence of the accused person. In probation court, the judge is both gatekeeper and finder of fact. The judge will get to see all of the information about your probation violation, and the judge will decide whether you have violated your probation and what your punishment might be.
A probation violation occurs when someone who was placed on probation violates one of the terms of their release. This could be a failure to pay a fine, failing a drug test, or committing some new crime. Probation violations can be charged for minor issues, like a late payment or a missed court date. If you’re experiencing economic hardship, transportation issues, or family problems it can help to have an experienced attorney explain your circumstances to the judge.
If a judge determines that a person has violated their probation, the judge can choose to do one of three things: 1) Continue probation; 2) Modify the conditions of release; or, 3) revoke probation.
A continuation means that you will be told to adhere to the terms of your probation despite the violation. If the judge chooses to modify the terms of your probation, they can add more conditions to your release or extend the time of your probation term. If a judge chooses to revoke probation, you will be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison.
Any time a person violates their probation, they run the risk of having their probation revoked and being sentenced to prison for the remainder of their probation. If a person violates their probation by committing a felony and the State makes an allegation that the felony was committed on release, they are not eligible for probation and must be sentenced to at least the presumptive term for the offense they committed, plus an additional two years. In addition, the judge can order that the time for the probation violation run consecutive to the time for the new offense. This can lead to a substantial amount of time in prison for what would otherwise be a relatively minor matter, like possession of marijuana.
If you have been charged with a crime and you are on probation, you should contact an attorney immediately. Probation violation consequences can be severe. If you are convicted of a crime and the prosecutor has proven that you were on release at the time, you will be sentenced to prison. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced attorney to handle your case. Your attorney will fight to minimize the consequences of the charges you face by getting you the best possible result on any new case, negotiating with the prosecutor to drop the allegation that the offense was committed while you were on release, and fighting to make sure that any penalty you face for a probation violation runs concurrent with any sentence from the new case.