In some criminal convictions, a jail or prison sentence is considered too harsh for the crime. Instead of sending someone to a life behind bars, a judge can grant probation, which allows them to live their life like normal – assuming they meet, maintain, and uphold specific requirements and conditions.
Some common terms of probation are:
- Meeting a probation officer weekly or bi-weekly
- Paying fines related to conviction
- Breaking contact with certain people
- Limiting alcohol use
- Staying within state borders
- Adhering to all laws
Violating any of those conditions could send the convict to jail, as if probation had never been granted. Typically, an administrative panel will make the decision to send someone on probation to jail or not. Being prepared with the right argument could secure your future freedom.
Consider these defenses to alleged probation violations:
- Good reason: Failing to meet with a probation officer is hugely detrimental to your case, but it will not absolutely result in you going to jail. If you have a good reason for missing your meeting, a judge or administrative panel might grant you reprieve. As far as “good reasons” go, a medical emergency involving yourself or requiring your specific attention immediately may be the only ones the court will recognize, but don’t discount other occurrences. Always discuss your options with a lawyer.
- Good faith: Many people on probation experience difficulty paying all fines and fees related to the criminal case that led to their conviction. Failing to pay an installment can be a violation that sends you to jail. However, if you can show that you did your best to pay what you could of your fines, your good faith could be enough to keep you from being penalized for violating parole. Extensive and organized financial records are invaluable in such cases.
- Good behavior: Being handed a citation for a simple infraction can be considered grounds of probation violation. The same can be said if you are arrested for public intoxication but never charged. If you can clearly show that you have exhibited good behavior throughout your probation, excluding this one event, you may be able to avoid additional penalties and jail time.
As with so many other aspects of criminal defense and the criminal justice system, the outcome of your probation violation case will hinge heavily upon your own preparation and the argument you bring to a court or hearing. Naegle & Crider can help you get ready and form a defensive case backed by years of legal experience. If you wish, our Mesa criminal defense lawyers can also provide direct representation, managing the most difficult aspects of your case on your behalf.
Let’s discuss your legal options today – call 480.418.0776 for a free consultation.