Violation of Probation or Community Control
As a result of a plea or a guilty verdict after a trial, you have been placed on probation or community control in lieu of jail or prison. You were also advised by the Court of your conditions of probation.
Now, you have been accused of violating at least one of these conditions, and your probation officer has filed an affidavit of violation. He also requested that the judge sign a warrant for your arrest for said violation. Or, you have been arrested for allegedly committing a new crime, and the arresting officer who became aware of your probationary status has also charged you with an "on site" violation of probation.
Violation of probation and community control cases (V.O.P. or V.O.C.C.) are more challenging than your original case, or your new criminal case. A plea in your new case is all the State needs to prove your violation of probation. Therefore, if your are violated because it is alleged that you committed a new crime, your V.O.P. or V.O.C.C. MUST be handled before or at the same time your new case gets resolved.
The defense options of your V.O.P. or V.O.C.C. are more limited. Even so, the resolution of your violation of probation requires the same or better diligent and competent defense as your new case, as the exposure to incarceration is higher, and so are the chances for the State to satisfactorily prove their case.
If you know that you will be violated, make sure to retain an attorney BEFORE you are arrested or surrender. Doing so will likely result in a shorter incarceratory time before the resolution of your case.
What are there are types of situations that trigger a violation of probation?
An arrest for a new criminal offense, even if the new offense is not actually charged by the State. The arrest itself may be the basis supporting a violation of probation.
A failure to appear in court or at any of your court or probation ordered alternative program, A.A. meetings, counseling, sex offender therapy classes, or missing an unexcused appointment with your probation officer.
A failure to satisfy your financial requirements or to enroll or satisfactorily complete a Court-ordered rehabilitation program.
What are your rights at the hearing for your alleged violation of probation?
Probationers are entitled to a court hearing. However, the probationer’s rights are very different than one’s rights at his criminal jury trial.
The probationer is not entitled to a jury trial. A judge will adjudicate the matter.
The probationer may be held longer in custody before any hearing takes place, as the right to a bond is different for probationers.
The burden of proof on the State, is now preponderance of the evidence, rather than beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubts; a much lower standard. It makes the violation easier to prove against you.
Hearsay is admissible.
The probationer does not have the right to assert his 5th amendment to remain silent.