If officers arrest you or your probation officer accuses you of violating any part of your probation, the court might modify the terms or even revoke your probation entirely. If the judge rules that you did violate your probation, you could find yourself living a more restricted lifestyle or even spending time in jail. A probation violation lawyer can help you understand your rights and fight for your best interests in court.
Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer is here to help. We understand people make mistakes or were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Call us at (559) 443-7442 to represent you at your probation revocation hearing. A Fresno criminal defense lawyer will argue in favor of alternatives to revocation and present your situation in the most favorable light possible.
The California Probation Violation Hearing
After an arrest or an accusation from your probation officer, you will need to defend yourself at a probation violation hearing. These hearings are called probation revocation hearings, because the government has asked to revoke your probation and send you to jail.
During the hearing, the judge will hear the evidence, listen to your defense, and determine if you violated the terms of your probation. You have the right to legal representation for this hearing. At this hearing, you can call witnesses and present other evidence to explain what happened and outline any extenuating circumstances that contributed to your actions. The best possible outcome would be the judge deciding you did not violate the terms of your probation.
If the judge decides you did violate probation, sentencing will follow. The judge will base her sentence on a few factors, including:
- The seriousness of your offense and violation
- Your criminal record
- Recommendations from your probation officer
- Any previous probation violations
It is important to remember that the court granted you probation instead of sending you to jail, and you agreed to adhere to certain terms in return. A revocation of your probation is a very real possibility. If you have a lengthy criminal record, committed a serious crime, or have a history of other probation violations, you may face jail time. A probation violation lawyer can help protect your freedom and your future.
You can request certain penalties as an alternative to probation revocation or other harsh consequences. For example, you can argue you attend school and are working toward a degree. If they put you in jail, you will not earn that degree or learn a trade. However, you would be able to continue your education while also enrolled in a drug abuse education course or completing community service hours.
Possible Penalties of a Fresno Probation Violation
California Penal Code § 1203.3 gives the judge presiding over your case a lot of leeway in determining the penalties you will face. The judge has the authority to revoke or modify the order in almost any way. Some of the more common actions the judge might take in a probation revocation hearing include:
- Revoking your probation and sending you to jail to serve your original sentence
- Revoking your probation and sending you to jail for additional time, up to the legal maximum
- Ordering you to enroll in a drug rehabilitation program, counseling, or other rehabilitative programs
- Extending your original probation term
- Ordering you to perform community service (or adding more hours to your existing probation terms)
- Changing the terms of your probation
The consequences you may face after a Fresno probation violation could be devastating. They could cause you to lose your job, quit school, or even spend months or years behind bars. Even a minor probation violation could change your life dramatically. Minimizing the penalties associated with a probation violation is key to getting back to your normal life as quickly as possible.
Common Fresno Probation Violations
There are two ways most people face a probation violation accusation:
- The police arrest them for another crime
- Their probation officer believes they violated the terms of their probation
Almost any violation of the terms of your probation could lead to this situation. Many people do not take it seriously or do not believe the judge will issue a warrant for minor violations. However, many of them learn this lesson the hard way.
Some of the most common probation violations include:
- Failure to pay restitution to the victims, or other court-ordered fines or fees
- Possession or consumption of illegal drugs
- Drinking alcohol
- Possession of weapons your probation bans you from having
- Possession of other illegal contraband
- Failed drug tests
- Failure to enroll in or continue any court-mandated rehabilitation or counseling
- Failure to complete court-ordered community service
- Failure to report to your probation officer as ordered
- Failure to appear in court
- Violating restraining orders
- Violating limits on your travel (e.g., leaving the state)
- Spending time with known criminals
Of course, committing another crime also violates your probation agreement. This is true even if the two crimes are drastically different in nature. If you are on probation for shoplifting and officers arrest you for driving under the influence, you will still likely face the judge in a probation violation hearing.
Let Our Fresno Probation Violation Lawyer Help You
If you stand accused of a Fresno probation violation, you do not have to stand alone. Attorney Michael McKneely will walk beside you, guiding you through the legal process and providing the support and legal representation you deserve. Our team will help you contest any probation violation allegations, or fight to mitigate penalties you could face. We will help the judge see your actions from your point of view, and suggest an outcome that best fits with your current goals and lifestyle.