Probation violations are one of the more common cases in District Court. I have handled 100’s over the course of my career and have seen just about every type of violation one can think of. Simply because your criminal case was resolved does not mean that the journey to freedom over, in fact it is just beginning. I caution clients who want to resolve an otherwise winnable case from just wanting it to end and be over with since in many cases it does not “just end”. Typically, the more severe the underlying offense results in stricter the probation supervision and terms. For instance, the difference between administrative probation and level 3 probation is quite dramatic. If you are on probation for a sex offense, you will be at the court’s beck and call versus being on probation
for a larceny where the only term of probation is paying off restitution The list below shows some of various types of violation but in no way is a complete list.
- Failure to report—If you are on active probation, you will likely be required to report to your probation officer on a regular basis. This is probably the most common technical violation but is easily remedied. When your probation officer tells you to show up, show up!
- Failure to pay fines and court costs—Probation can be expensive. Probationers must pay regular probation fees and are often levied court costs along with possibly restitution. A failure to pay these fines and fees at the time when they are due can result in a probation violation.
- Use of alcohol or drugs that are not prescribed—Depending on the terms of your probation, you may have been ordered to refrain from using drugs and alcohol. Generally, your probation officer or the court will require your complete drug tests. Drug test failure can result in a probation violation and so too will missing a drug test. A missed drug test is equivalent to a failed drug test.
- Failure to complete community service—This is not always a requirement of one’s probation, but when it is the probationer must timely complete the required hours or face a probation violation.
- No contact provision violations—Probation that stems from a domestic violence incident, or other crime in which a victim is involved, will often require as a term of probation that the probationer stay away from that individual. Violating this condition can result in violation of probation.
- Charged or arrested for a new offense-— this will result in a probation violation, regardless of the crime.
Once the surrender notice has been filed, you will receive a summons or a warrant will issue requiring you to appear in court for the “initial surrender hearing.” At this hearing, you will be brought before the court and receive formal notice of your alleged probation violations. Typically, your probation officer will summarize the allegations and the judge will make a determination as to probable cause. Additionally, if your probation officer so requests and the judge agrees, you could be held in jail without bond until your final surrender hearing. Given the possibility of imprisonment and the crucial nature of the judge’s initial determinations it is in your best interest to retain an experienced defense attorney to represent you at the initial surrender hearing.
If the judge finds probable cause to believe a probation violation has occurred, you will then appear at a final surrender hearing. At this hearing, your probation officer will likely call witnesses to prove the probation violation. Hearsay evidence is allowed. You will have the opportunity to cross-examine these witnesses. Additionally, you have the option to stipulate to the violation, and it can be in your best interests to do so, if you can negotiate a favorable consequence for the violation beforehand. With over 20 years of negotiating experience I can negotiate a favorable agreement that allows you to continue your probation.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation.
I have had tremendous success in the area of my practice and understand what needs to be done in order to increase your chances of obtaining a successful result. If you have questions, please contact me at my office at (508) 791-9001 or by cell phone at (508) 769-7995. You may also e-mail me Michael@criminaldefenseworcester.com or text me. I take great pride is a very quick response time and will promptly schedule a free initial consultation at your convenience. I have also begun to conduct quite a few meetings via FACETIME or SKYPE for those clients who are either out of state or have license issues.