A probation violation is a serious offense. Often, the penalties that a person can receive for violating probation are as serious or even more serious than the penalties they receive for the original offense. Because a probation violation can come with the possibility of jail time, you have a right to a hearing and the representation of a Long Island probation violation lawyer.
What is a probation violation?
A probation violation occurs when your probation supervisor alleges that you failed to comply with the terms of your probation. They ask the court to sentence you again in light of the fact that you violated your probation. While it’s usually a probation supervisor that brings the alleged violation to the court’s attention, it can sometimes be the state’s attorney as well.
When can I receive probation?
When a court sentences someone for a criminal offense, they usually have the option to place them on probation. This can be for a term of years. For example, if the sentence is for a class B misdemeanor, they can place the offender on probation for up to one year. If the offense is a class A misdemeanor, the probation can be for up to three years. Felony convictions carry the possibility of a term of probation as well.
The courts see Long Island probation as an alternative go jail. If they place you on probation, it’s usually a good sign. The court must believe that you’re able to comply with the terms of your probation and that you can be a productive member of society.
Instead of placing you on probation, the court could simply order you to serve the maximum period in jail. If they place you on probation, they believe that the maximum jail sentence isn’t necessary. If you receive probation, you may or may not also receive a jail sentence as well. In most cases, you serve your jail sentence before beginning your term of probation.
Common terms and violations
Your probation may require you to report in person to a probation officer several times a week, or you might not have any type of regular reporting to a probation officer. Although the court can order specific terms for probation, some of the terms of probation are standard for certain types of cases. In most cases, you’re ordered not to violate any law of any unit of government. You’re ordered to report to the probation department if you have any contact with law enforcement.
If your offense involves alcohol or even if it didn’t, you may be ordered not to consume alcohol or drugs. Part of your probation might include taking tests to prove that you’re not using alcohol or drugs. In some cases, you have notice of the tests, and in other cases, you have to test without notice.
Failing a drug or alcohol test is a violation of probation, but missing a test is a violation as well. It’s important to really pay attention to your testing schedule and make sure you have arrangements for transportation in order to make sure that you don’t miss a test. In addition, any attempt to falsify or cheat a drug test results in a probation violation and likely very harsh sanctions.
You might have probation orders to pay fines and costs on a regular schedule. You might also need to complete community service hours. Where a lot of people go wrong on probation is failing to keep careful documentation that they’ve completed the terms of the probation. If you’re ordered to complete community service hours, you need a record to present to the court with a supervisor’s signature that you completed the hours. If you’re ordered to pay fines, you need to keep a record of payments in case the court makes an error.
Defenses to a probation violation
The standard of proof for a probation violation is preponderance of the evidence. The state has to prove that it’s more likely than not that you violated the terms of your probation. This isn’t as high of a standard as the state has for a criminal charge, but it’s still up to the state to prove the charges.
Many times, the state fails to bring the proper documentation in order to prove the allegation. If they’re alleging you failed a test, they might not bring the correct test record, or they might fail to bring the person who administered the test. In that case, your Long Island probation violation lawyer may be able to call the state’s evidence into question. In other cases, you may have complied with the terms of your probation, but the probation officer might have been confused about the paperwork. In that case, you can work with your Long Island probation violation attorney to provide the correct paperwork as quickly as possible.
Contact us today
If you’re facing allegations of probation violation, we invite you to contact us. You should never take the state’s word for it that you’re guilty of an offense just because they say so. We review the charges thoroughly to consider all of the defenses that may be available to you. Contact us today to start on your case.