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Understanding Probation Violation

What is a probation violation?

In California, a convicted criminal offender must serve a probationary period for 1-5 years after committing a crime and they have strict rules and limitations that must be followed to the letter during that time. If the rules are broken in any way, or for a formal probation (supervised), they do not report to their probation officer when scheduled, they could face consequences. Probation is a part of their criminal sentence after successfully serving their jail time, when they are allowed to be a free individual and act as a member in the community as long as they adhere to the requirements. As long as the defendant meets certain terms of his sentence and stays out of trouble then they will successfully serve out their probation and be free and clear once again.

The terms of probation may include:

  • Community service
  • Physical labor
  • Periodic drug testing
  • Jail time
  • Mandated counseling
  • For formal probation- assigned meetings with probation officer

What are the consequences?

Many people wonder and fear for what might happen to them if they violate the terms of their probation. In a way, they were given a second chance and were expected to be on their best behavior and then something like this happens and they are sitting in court once again. The truth is that with a probation violation, the judge will definitely tend to be less lenient and forgiving and you may lose a lot of rights. This is why you must an assertive legal advocate on your side to protect you under these dire circumstances. The Judge has the power and the discretion to rule as he sees fit under the confines of your criminal offense.

After a probation violation is committed, they may arrest the defendant or schedule a probation violation hearing. During the hearing, the prosecutor no longer has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are indeed guilty, now they only have to prove 50% of the evidence. The penalties will vary based on the severity of the crime that is committed. The consequences may include an extension of the probationary period, incarceration, revocation of probation, additional community service, more physical labor, treatment programs, rehabilitation and more.

How is probation violated?

There are several things that can get you into trouble during your probationary period that should be avoided altogether. If the defendant ever fails to pay the fines that they owe to the court or pay restitution to a victim of a crime then they are considered to be in violation. There is also failure to comply with the terms of their probation, for example, not fulfilling their community service or missing a counseling session. If the defendant ever fails to appear for their progress at the court mandated hearings they will get marked with a violation. In instances of formal probation, if the offender misses one of their regular assigned meetings with their probation officer then there will be consequences and the officer will inform the court. Lastly, if they are ever found in possession of an illegal drug, arrested, or guilty of committing a crime then they automatically violate their probation as well.

Enlist the Help of a Hard-Hitting Attorney

It is much easier to be convicted in cases of probation violation because the prosecution has to prove only half of the preponderant evidence. In crucial times such as these, it is vital to obtain a tough and aggressive criminal defender to fight in your corner. If would be wise to have an attorney that is familiar with the court that your case has been tried at and who knows the judges in that courthouse. Our team at Okabe & Haushalter has ample experience defending clients in cases of this nature and can fight vigorously to protect your rights and clear your name.

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Okabe & Haushalter
San Francisco Criminal Defense Lawyer

Located at:
1934 Divisadero Street
Suite 100
San Francisco, CA 94115

Local Phone: (415) 252-8530
Phone: (415) 483-9708
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