PROBATION VIOLATION ATTORNEYS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Receiving probation for a misdemeanor or felony conviction can be a gift. Instead of incarceration, you are allowed to remain free, albeit with certain restrictions and requirements.
When the year 2020 ended, there were nearly 44,000 people on probation in Arizona rather than serving time in jail or prison. Those who adhere to the terms of the deal will, in time, regain their freedoms. Those who do not will face minor to serious consequences, including the prospect of the incarceration they could have avoided.
Faussette & Faussette represents clients throughout the Valley, its surrounding cities, and throughout Arizona, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, Peoria, Goodyear, and Chandler in probation violation matters. If you have violated the terms of your probation, or you are thinking about doing so, we should talk.
IN WHAT WAYS DO PEOPLE VIOLATE PROBATION?
Failure to do or not do anything detailed in the terms of your probation as ordered by the court is a violation. Although the specific terms vary from case to case, there are some common violations:
You don’t report to your probation officer. Everyone on probation must check in with the probation officer assigned to their case, usually at specific intervals. Failure to do so is a violation of the terms of the agreement.
You don’t pay fines or restitution. The court often orders those convicted of crimes to pay restitution to victims or fines. Failure to pay them as ordered or make progress toward them constitutes a probation violation.
You miss a court date. If you violate probation and a court hearing is scheduled to hear the issue, you must appear. Failure to appear after failing to uphold the terms of your probation is serious and usually results in the court issuing a warrant for your arrest.
You travel outside a specified area without permission. Although you are not incarcerated if you are on probation, your movements likely will be restricted. You are not free to go wherever you want. If you need to travel outside of the boundaries set by the court, you will need permission from your probation officer or the court.
You get arrested for another crime. Everyone’s probation will include the requirement that you break no laws while you are on probation. Do so and you not only face the penalties of a conviction for the new crime, but for the possible revocation of probation for the original crime.
You fail a drug or alcohol screening. Probation terms also typically include the provision that you are not allowed to possess or consume alcohol or drugs while on probation. Moreover, you must submit to random testing at the request of a law enforcement officer at any time. There is no requirement for the officer to have cause for the testing other than the terms of your probation.
WHAT CONSEQUENCES MIGHT I FACE FOR VIOLATIONS?
Your probation officer will be the first test of the severity of the violation. If they consider the first violation to be minor, you might get away with a warning from the officer. If it is a more serious violation, the probation officer will petition the court to hold a probation violation arraignment.
You will be required to appear in court for arraignment. If you admit guilt for the violation, the court will render a decision regarding punishment and dispose of the matter with a new sentence. If you do not admit guilt, the court will schedule a probation violation hearing. At this hearing, the prosecuting attorney will produce witnesses who testify to evidence of a probation violation. The standard of evidence will be lower in a probation violation hearing than it was at the original criminal trial in that hearsay evidence will be allowed.
If the court finds no evidence of violation, you will complete the terms of the probation as originally ordered. A finding of guilty will have other possible dispositions, including:
A return to the original terms of the probation order;
Revocation of probation and incarceration; or,
Intensified probation which could include house arrest, stricter movement limitations, or more frequent reporting to the probation officer for permissions.
HOW CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP?
Even if you are guilty of violating probation, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help. Your attorney can attempt to negotiate a probation violation disposition with the prosecutor for approval by the court. Your attorney can also appear at your arraignment to enter your plea and in the violation hearing to present evidence to rebut the testimony of those appearing for the prosecution. Ultimately, your attorney can ask the court to consider lesser rather than greater penalties.
PROBATION VIOLATION ATTORNEYS IN PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Probation offers you a way to serve your time without doing so in a prison cell. The wisest course is to adhere to the terms of probation through completion. However, if you do violate those terms, you should still mount a defense using the services of a criminal defense attorney who has handled probation violation issues before. Faussette & Faussette has stood beside numerous clients in courtrooms throughout the greater Phoenix area as they faced the potential revocation of their probation. We can help you, too. Set up a consultation today.