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Some people think that probation violations are no big deal. However, this has little to do with reality. If a judge rules that you have violated probation, you may be facing some very serious consequences that may include being sentenced to serve a term in jail or state prison. This is why it is imperative to have an experienced Los Angeles probation violation attorney representing you.
Probation in California
Frequently, a criminal defendant will be sentenced to a term of probation instead of incarceration. Although this allows the defendant to avoid jail, it nonetheless requires following certain strict regulations. These regulations can vary from case to case. Common probation terms may include:
-Making financial restitution to victims
-Completing community service
-Joining a rehabilitation program
-Taking certain court-required classes
-Obeying all laws
-Avoiding future arrests
-Checking in periodically with a probation officer
-Showing up for all court dates and progress reports
Someone who is on probation must comply with all of the conditions that are imposed on them by the court. Moreover, deadlines may be imposed by which certain components of the probation must be completed. Failure to do so may mean that the probationer will be charged with a probation violation.
Why Do People Violate California Probation?
It may be difficult to comply with all terms of probation for a number of reasons. Occasionally, the terms are particularly complex, and the probationer just doesn’t understand them and therefore can’t complete them. Sometimes work, school or personal commitments interfere with the probationer’s ability to complete all of the stipulations. Some people just don’t feel motivated to meet the terms of their probation. They figure that their case is closed, and that there’s no need to hurry. Others get in trouble again, being arrested for a subsequent crime that can put their probation in jeopardy. Unfortunately, the courts are not very understanding when it comes to possible violations of probation terms. That’s why it’s so vital to work with a qualified Los Angeles probation violation attorney.
How Is a Probation Violation Hearing Different From a Trial?
If you are suspected of violating your probation, then you may be required to appear at a probation violation hearing. Unlike a trial, you will only be facing a judge instead of a jury. The judge is solely responsible for rendering a decision. No one is concerned about the underlying crime that resulted in the probation. There’s no opportunity to look at the facts surrounding the crime, and no one is going to argue whether you were actually guilty of that crime or not. Instead, the judge is only concerned with the terms of your probation and whether or not you violated them. Moreover, the prosecutor is not charged with proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A lower level of proof, known as a preponderance of the evidence, is all that is required. This means that the prosecutor may not have to work very hard to make you look guilty in the judge’s eyes.
Experience Matters When It Comes to Los Angeles Probation Violation Hearings
It’s important not to appear at a hearing without a criminal defense attorney. Even if you think you really did violate the terms of your probation, it is still possible for an attorney to defend you. They may be able to convince the judge to overlook your violation. Additionally, they may be able to ensure that you do not receive a heavy penalty for an accident or error. Here are just a few of the potential consequences if the judge thinks you violated your probation:
-Extra time added to probationary period
-Requirement to attend counseling or classes
-Imposition of more stringent probationary terms
-Extended community service
-Attendance in rehabilitation program
-Jail or prison time
In the most serious cases, the judge may sentence the probationer to all or a portion of the sentence of incarceration they would have received if they had not been given probation instead. It is crucial that you do everything in your power to avoid this eventuality. The only way you can do this is through working with an experienced probation violation lawyer.
Contact an Aggressive Los Angeles Probation Violation Attorney
When the court accuses you of violating your probation it’s important to act quickly. The first and most important thing you can do is to hire a criminal defense attorney who has handled numerous probation violation hearings. Such a lawyer recognizes how these hearings differ from trials and will understand what might convince the judge that no significant alterations to your probation need to be made.
In fact, your criminal defense attorney can propose strategies to the judge that might help you avoid some of the most serious consequences for probation violation. Instead of being sentenced to incarceration you may only have to perform extra community service or submit to more frequent progress reports. The possibilities are practically limitless. However, it’s essential to begin working with a competent Los Angeles probation violation attorney as soon as possible.
The attorneys at this criminal defense firm possess considerable experience with representing clients at probation violation hearings. They’ll work hard to present your case to the judge in the best possible light in an attempt to procure a positive outcome. With their experience, aggressiveness and strategic skills, the attorneys at this firm are singularly well prepared to handle your probation violation hearing.