Anyone charged with a crime has the hope that they will probably be granted probation. While this may seem easy, one should make efforts to understand the terms and conditions of his/her probation period. For instance, you may be supposed to attend counseling, perform community labor, or pay restitution, among others. Also, you need to know whether you can travel, depending on the type of probation. Again, you also need to ask yourself what happens if you or your loved one has violated probation for the first time. While we talk about probation, it’s worth noting that not everyone is lucky to get probation. There is no way you can be granted probation if you have extensive criminal records. To serve your probation period properly, it’s good to understand the many questions revolving around violating the probation period for the first time.
What Can The Probation Officer Do If You Violate Probation For The First Time?
It’s easy to break a violation for the first time without knowing. For instance, you may have forgotten to appear for an appointment, which could result in a probation violation. You may also fail to show up for the community service or even be caught up with further crimes. What are you supposed to do then? Though this mostly depends on your jurisdiction or how far you have pushed the boundaries. The most important thing you can do is hire Los Angeles criminal attorney to give you advice. Many individuals aren’t aware that even a first-time probation violation could lead to serious consequences. This could also lead to harsh additional terms to your probation, or you may find yourself placed in jail. If you have violated probation for the first time, you may expect the following from your probation officer:
- Warning: It’s more likely that your probation officer will give you a warning. If your violation was not serious, the probation officer might opt to keep the judge from handling so many cases. You may be made aware of the consequences you may suffer if the violation continues. First-time violations rarely trigger any revocation, though this mostly depends on your situation.
- Request to appear in court: This is after the probation officer has considered the severity of your violation. You should make sure to appear in court to avoid unnecessary or additional consequences. Here, you will be entitled to due course, meaning there is a chance for you to be heard. This is the moment to utilize your criminal attorney to have him/her review your allegations. If you admit allegation, the court sanctions you immediately. Conversely, you can deny allegations, but you have the right to have your attorney give you advice. The decision to determine whether a probation violation occurred relies on the judge and the results also vary depending on many factors.
- Sentencing: For those who have a clear cut violation, some negotiations may be made. However, if you’re found guilty, you will either have your probation revoked or will be forced to serve a jail sentence. If you’re lucky, the judge may even give you 2-3 days in jail then order you to restart your probation.
What Defense Strategies Can I Employ To Win A Probation Violation?
There are so many defense strategies you can use to prevail in probation. The most effective one is having your criminal attorney by your side. Others include:
- It was neither willful nor substantial. You may argue that you never committed a willful probation violation. The judge could not deem the violation to be willful if you made reasonable efforts to comply with the conditions that you were previously alleged to have violated
- Having facts showing that indeed there was no probation violation
- Your criminal attorney may demonstrate to the court that a more acceptable outcome than the one proposed can be reached. This may reduce potential charges or minimize the time you may spend in jail.
- If there was a violation, ensure to present mitigating evidence. These are factors that support leniency even though they aren’t related to the question on hand.
Individuals who are facing probation violations must understand that the judge has a wide range of discretion in different situations of probation violations. Thus, it’s always advisable to gain legal counsel concerning probation violations.
Seeking Legal Help
If you or your loved one is facing a first-time probation violation in California, you may have a high chance of not being jailed. However, it almost impossible to achieve this on your own; you need to seek legal counsel. You have a right to legal representation. Therefore, you should ensure to utilize it by speaking to a criminal attorney who is experienced in probation violations. Effective representation makes all the difference between having your freedom and spending some time in jail. Therefore, choose wisely.