San Diego Probation Violation Attorney
After being convicted of certain crimes, you may have to go through a period of probation before you can resume your normal life. Probations serve as a supervisory program to ensure offenders coming out of the system are working towards a better future and not reengaging in old habits. The terms of probation will likely vary depending on the type of crime and circumstances of the case. Every individual who must serve a probationary sentence, however, is required to do certain things to remain in compliance.
The terms of your probation should be clear. If you have any questions regarding your probation, ask for clarification before agreeing and going out into the world. Probation violation consequences are often severe and could lead to additional jail time.
Acts That Violate Probation
The court will determine the terms of your probation, which may include any conditions reasonably associated with the criminal offense for which you were incarcerated. The most common probation violations include: failing to pay fines, failing to attend mandated programs and functions, leaving an area of geographical restriction, committing a crime, or failing to appear in court when called upon.
Each individual on probation is required to maintain contact with a probation officer responsible for keeping an eye on any potential violations. If a probation officer notices any violations, you may face arrest and have your probationary privileges revoked.
Informal vs. Formal Probation
In California, there are two different types of probation: informal and formal. Those on informal probation aren’t officially supervised and do not report to probation officers, even though they may be expected to attend counseling. Instead they report directly to the court when submitting any documents, completing probation, or getting arrested. Formal probation, on the other hand, requires that the parolee meets with a formal officer a given number of times a week or month. Those convicted of serious crimes or long criminal records are generally required to spend more time with formal probation officers.
Probation Violation Hearings
A probation officer does not have the final say in whether your probation is revoked. Instead, you will be called to a probation revocation hearing. During the hearing, the judge will evaluate your history and the circumstances of the violation to determine which consequences will be imposed. Some completely lose the right to probation and may return to prison for a period of time. Others may face an extended probationary period or additional terms to the conditions of the probation. Counseling and rehabilitation programs may be added to the terms of probation.
Probation vs. Parole
Probation and parole are similar, but they are not the same. Probation allows individuals to continue to live in society in lieu of serving a part or all of a prison sentence. Parole, on the other hand, occurs when those who have been in prison are allowed to leave early for good behavior or other reasons. Individuals on probation and parole are subject to some of the same expected behaviors, and probation and parole hearings may be very similar in nature.
How an Attorney Can Help With Probation Violations
If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation, you may want to contact a criminal defense attorney for guidance. Your probation officer may not understand the circumstances surrounding your violation or he or she may have the wrong information. A defense attorney may be able to keep the court from revoking your right to probation and prevent other consequences from being inflicted on you unnecessarily.
The consequences imposed on individuals on probation can be needlessly harsh. There are already so many hurdles to regaining a normal life after a conviction; the last thing you need is for the courts to come down hard on you for no reason or for a misunderstanding.
At the Law Office of George Gedulin, we understand how probation hearings work and can help you develop a defense that makes sense. Our firm fights aggressively for our probation violation clients so they can get back to their lives without facing more legal consequences after a conviction. For more information about our approach to probation violation hearings, reach out to our office in San Diego today.