In simple terms, probation is a sentence that a judge will order instead of sending the defendant to jail. At times, there is a short jail sentence before the defendant is placed on probation, but it’s usually not as long as the time served could be if probation weren’t an option. The judge will look at all aspects of the crime and the criminal history of the defendant before making a decision as to whether probation is an option or not. According to Criminal Law, probation involves living in the community for a specified length of time, reporting to a probation officer as required and often paying fines each month. There are several components that go along with probation that make it easy for the defendant to violate the terms. The defendant might be ordered to attend drug or anger management classes, perform community service or surrender weapons until the probation period is over. The goal of sentencing someone to probation is to protect both the members of the community, any victims involved in the crime and the defendant. There is careful consideration that goes into whether a judge will place someone on probation or send the defendant to jail.
There are a few advantages to being on probation. The defendant is able to work and make money in order to pay fines. Money can also be used to support the defendant and the defendant’s family. There is an opportunity to take educational classes in order to advance in a career or start a new job. Some people who are on probation will use the time to take drug classes or other courses that will help them turn their life around for the better. Any educational or betterment classes that are taken will have a positive impact when the defendant goes back to court to determine whether the probation period should end early or should be extended.
Unfortunately, there are times when someone will violate the terms of probation. The violation could be intentional, such as not paying required fines or not visiting the probation officer. There are also violations that aren’t intentional. The probation officer has the discretion as to whether a report will be filed or not depending on the history of the defendant and whether there is evidence that the violation is intentional or not.
There are several components to consider when talking about a probation violation according to attorneys.com. One form of violating is a new offense. This means that the defendant has been charged with a new crime. It often means that the person will go to jail and serve the original sentence given along with any time for the new charge. Another violation is one that is technical. There are a few different types of technical violations that include failing a drug test, missing an appointment or associating with people who have been deemed a bad influence or who have been involved with the crime that the defendant was charged with that led to the sentence in the first place.
The probation officer will handle technical violations in one of many ways. The officer will usually talk to the defendant about what happened to get an idea of whether it was done intentionally or not as there are some people who want to serve their jail sentence instead of staying on probation for months or years. Sometimes, the defendant will only receive a warning. If the violation is one that is serious or repetitive, then the officer will likely make a report to the court. This means that the defendant will go in front of a judge to explain what happened with the end result being left in the hands of the judge. There could be an extension of the probation term, or the requirements that go along with the probation might increase. At times, the judge might revoke the probation and sentence the defendant to jail. If the probation term is almost over, then there is a possibility that the judge will terminate the sentence, which means that the defendant will no longer be on probation unless other charges are received in the future.
Attorneys at offices like Spodek Law Group can help those who have been charged with a probation violation by examining the evidence presented and looking at the history of the defendant. One of the ways to defend a probation violation is to show the judge that it would be a better option for the defendant to have another chance to prove that the requirements can be followed. An example would be if the defendant is taking classes, has a family to care for or has started a new job. Another defense is that the violation wasn’t intentional and that the actions were out of the hands of the defendant.