Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 09:30 am
Being placed on federal probation or supervised release comes with many rules and conditions you have to follow. But what happens if you mess up and violate those conditions? Let’s break it down.
First, we gotta understand the difference between probation and supervised release. Probation is when a judge sentences you to a period of community supervision instead of jail or prison time. Supervised release is when you get out of prison but still have to follow certain rules and check in with a probation officer periodically. Both have conditions you gotta follow, like submitting to drug tests, completing counseling, sticking to a curfew, etc. Mess up and you violate.
There’s two main ways you can violate probation or supervised release:
Sometimes violations are intentional, but a lot of times it’s just people struggling with addiction or mental health issues. Either way, the consequences can be severe if you don’t take it seriously.
Your probation officer is who keeps tabs on whether you’re following the rules or not. If they suspect a violation, they’ll notify the court and recommend how to address it. The types of sanctions they can propose include:
For minor infractions, your probation officer might just give you a warning or tighten up your supervision. But if you repeatedly violate or commit a serious breach, that’s when they’ll recommend revocation and prison time.
If it’s looking like jail time is on the table, the court will hold a revocation hearing. This is an informal proceeding where the judge reviews the alleged violations. You can admit guilt and waive the hearing, or contest the violations and make your case. The burden of proof is lower than a criminal trial – the judge just needs “reasonable grounds” you violated your terms.
If the judge decides revocation is warranted, they’ll impose a penalty based on the federal sentencing guidelines. For probation, you can get up to 5 years in prison. For supervised release, you can get up to the full original term – like if you had a 5 year supervision term, you could now get up to 5 more years in prison.
When deciding an appropriate revocation sentence, the judge will consider things like:
They have to balance punishment for non-compliance with giving you a chance at rehabilitation. But public safety is the #1 priority.
If you’re facing a revocation hearing, having an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer is crucial. Some strategies they may use include:
The right defense can demonstrate you’re still a good candidate for community supervision if given the chance. But you have to take it seriously and comply going forward.
The bottom line is violating probation or supervised release puts your freedom at risk. Tread carefully, get help if you need it, and lean on your lawyer to mitigate the damage if you slip up.
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