If you’re facing a charge of probation violation in Staten Island, you may be facing significant time in jail, extended probation and additional fines. However, you have a right to a hearing and a right to present a defense. The courts consider probation an alternative to jail. When you’re facing an allegation that you violated your probation, it’s important to work with a State Island probation violation attorney in order to aggressively defend the allegations against you.
What is probation?
Probation is a possible sentencing disposition for a conviction for a State Island criminal offense. You might receive jail time followed by a term of probation, or you might receive no jail and a term of probation. Probation isn’t mandatory in every case. The court can sentence you to jail time without probation, or they can give you both no jail time or probation. Your exact sentence depends on the circumstances of your offense.
How long is probation?
For a class A misdemeanor, the state can place you on probation for up to three years. If the offense is a less serious, class B misdemeanor, you may face up to one year on probation. You can also receive probation for a felony offense.
Common terms of probation
Your probation might have many requirements, or it may have fewer obligations depending on the nature of the offense and the judge’s sentence. Some probation requires a great deal of reporting to a probation officer. Others serving a term of probation don’t often check in with their probation officer even though they have specific terms to follow.
Common terms of probation for Staten Island include refraining from using drugs, alcohol or any medication not prescribed for you. You may have to report to probation and the court if you change your address or telephone number. You may be ordered to avoid violating any law of any unit of government.
The terms of your probation may require you to avoid associating with people who have felony convictions. In addition, you may have to submit to a breath, urine or saliva test to check for alcohol or drug use at the request of a law enforcement officer. You may have to seek treatment for a drug or alcohol problem.
A probation violation
When a probation officer believes that a person has violated their probation, they can bring an allegation of probation violation to the court. This often occurs when a person fails a test for alcohol or drug use. Failing to appear at the request of a probation officer is another common reason for an alleged probation violation. Offenders can face both a probation violation and new criminal charges if they violate the law while they’re on probation.
A person can face immediate arrest if they’re charged with a probation violation, or they might receive a summons to appear in court to answer for the allegation. The court might order the person charged to wait in jail until they have a hearing on the violation, or they might allow the person to post bond or remain free on their own recognizance. The person charged may plead guilty or not guilty.
The right to a hearing
When you’re charged with a probation violation, your liberties are at stake. That is, the court can revoke your probation and send you to jail. That makes it important to aggressively address the charges against you. You’re not guilty of probation just because a probation officer makes the accusation. Instead, you have a right to a hearing to examine the charges against you.
The burden of proof for probation violation is preponderance of the evidence. That means that the state has to prove that it’s more likely than not that you violated the terms of your probation. This is lower than the state’s burden to prove your guilt of a crime. That standard is beyond a reasonable doubt. The preponderance of the evidence standard usually just means that it’s more likely than not that the allegation is true.
A common defense to a probation violation allegation is a chemical testing error. When you’re tested for alcohol, often the probation officer doesn’t know if the person who administers the test ensured the test’s accuracy. The state might not bother to document this evidence because they think you won’t think to challenge the accusations.
Probation is often a lot of paperwork. You might have evidence that you completed the terms of your probation such as your treatment for substance abuse. The probation officer might have lost this paperwork. Sometimes, clearing up a probation violation is a matter of submitting this paperwork in order to clear up the discrepancy.
Why work with us
If you’re facing a probation violation charge, our team of Staten Island probation violation attorneys can help. We can examine the charges against you to see if the state can prove the allegations. In some cases, we can work with the state’s attorney to clear up the matter or arrange for a dismissal as part of a plea deal if there are new charges. If you’re facing a probation violation Staten Island, we invite you to contact us.
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