Can I get my probation reinstated? Have a lawyer evaluate your probation violation case.
Arrested for a Probation Violation in Silicon Valley or the Peninsula?
If you have been convicted of a relatively minor criminal offense whether in San Jose, CA or elsewhere int the San Francisco Bay Area, courts may offer probation instead of jail time. This is often the case if it was your first offense and if there are mitigating factors in your case.
Probation is, of course, considered to be preferable to imprisonment. However, it is a mistake to think of probation as total freedom. Probation often comes with many conditions with which you are expected to comply. Your probation officer will be watching closely to identify any possible violations, especially if you are on supervised probation.
Many people may think that a probation violation is not a serious matter, however, you should always take allegations of violating your probation extremely seriously. At the Law Office of James Dunn, our attorneys regularly help clients at probation hearings and you should know that, if not properly defended, a probation violation can result consequences that can significantly change your life for years to come.
The good news is that our attorneys are in courts in San Jose and San Mateo almost every day and we have the knowledge and experience to defend you against the allegations by your probation officer and the prosecutor. If you have been accused of violating your probation, call the Law Office of James Dunn for help as soon as possible.
What are Some Common Probation Violations in the San Jose area?
The conditions of your probation with depend on many factors, including the nature of the offense that led to your conviction, any substance abuse concerns, and other concerns related to possible recidivism. The following are some common probation violations in San Jose, California and the Bay Area:
- Not paying court-ordered restitution or fines;
- Not attending court-ordered drug or alcohol evaluations, counseling, or rehabilitation;
- Not completing court-ordered community service;
- Failing to appear to scheduled court check-ins;
- Failing to report to scheduled meeting with your probation officer;
- Traveling outside a permitted area;
- Associating with individuals barred in your probation terms;
- Not updating information such as address or employment with your probation officer;
- Violating the law;
- Being arrested;
- Possessing unlawful weapons or drugs.
If your probation officer believes that you engaged in any of the above behavior or acted in violation of any specific terms of your personal probation, they can report it to the court and initiate a violation case.
What are the Consequences of a Santa Clara County or San Mateo County Probation Violation?
When a violation is reported, there will be a warrant put out for your arrest. You may have to wait in jail until your scheduled probation hearing. You will have to appear in court in front of the judge who oversaw your underlying case and issued your sentence of probation.
If the judge decides that you violated your probation, California Penal Code section 1203.3 allows the judge to modify your sentence, including complete revocation of your probation. The penalties for a probation violation will depend on the severity of the violation – for example, not paying a court fine will likely have lesser consequences than being accused of another crime and getting arrested. Some of the potential consequences in this type of case include:
- Having your probation period extended;
- Making the terms of your probation stricter;
- Ordering community service;
- Ordering a substance abuse evaluation or treatment;
- Ordering attendance at classes or rehabilitative programs
- Ordering counseling;
- Revocation of your probation;
- “Shock time” in jail;
- Serving your suspended prison sentence.
None of these consequences are guaranteed, however, and many arguments can be made in your favor by your defense attorney to minimize or even eliminate the penalties of probation violation allegations.
Do I Need an Attorney for a Probation Violation?
No law requires you to hire a defense attorney for your probation violation case. However, the chances of a favorable outcome can greatly increase with the representation of an experienced probation violation defense lawyer. Probation violation hearings have some important differences from regular criminal cases, which often make it more difficult to fight the allegations.
First, there is no jury ever involved in a probation hearing. Instead, the judge who sentenced you will be deciding your fate. This judge is the individual who agreed to give you a chance on probation instead of sending you to jail and, even though judges are supposed to be unbiased, they can often take it personally when someone defies their orders and trust. An experienced lawyer will know how to communicate with the judge to fight for your rights and obtain a fair result.
In addition, a San Jose prosecutor is only required to prove that you violated your probation by a burden of proof called the “preponderance of the evidence.” This is very different from the burden of proof in regular criminal cases, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. To achieve a preponderance of the evidence, the prosecutor must only convince the judge that there is a more likely chance that you violated your probation than not. The judge can still have reasonable doubts and find you guilty of a violation. It is imperative to have an attorney who is familiar with this process on your side who can challenge the prosecutor’s case every step of the way. Skillfully challenging evidence is even more important with a lower burden of proof.
Finally, many probation violation cases are initiated because a person was arrested and it is likely that the prosecutor will issue charges for that new alleged offense. You need an attorney who can handle not only your probation violation case but also the new criminal case that you are facing.
Contact an Experienced San Jose Probation Violations Attorney For Help
The above are only some of the many reasons why anyone facing a probation violation should call a defense lawyer as soon as possible. Having qualified representation is essential when you are facing possible revocation of your probation, as it could mean time spent behind bars.