Probation Violation Lawyer Assisting Clients in Mesa, Arizona
When an individual is convicted of a crime but considered to be low-risk or a first-time offender, he or she may be placed on probation instead of facing a jail sentence. When placed on probation, a defendant is reintroduced into society but has a strict set of rules and conditions that restrict their behavior. Failing to abide by those rules is a violation of probation terms and may result in additional charges and jail times. If you have been notified that you are in violation of your probation terms, it is important to work with a probation violation attorney that can help stop the situation from escalating. Here are a few important facts about probation violations in Arizona.
Are There Different Types of Probation in Arizona?
There are many different types of probation in Arizona. Depending on the severity of the crime you were convicted for and whether your permanent residence is in Arizona or another state, the courts may recommend one of five different probation types, each with its own set of rules and requirements. Understanding the type of probation you have been placed in and the terms you need to abide by is essential for you to successfully complete it.
The most common probation type is supervised probation with regular check-ins with your probation officer. With unsupervised probation, regular visits, drug testing, and home visits are not required, but there will still be a minimum degree of monitoring of certain things. In courtesy supervision, the individual is serving probation in a different county from the one where he or she was placed on probation. Interstate compact probation allows an out-of-state individual to complete the probation terms in their home state, and intensive probation requires 24-7 monitoring and constant supervision.
What Is Considered a Probation Violation in Arizona?
A probation violation occurs when an individual fails to abide by the terms of his or her probation as determined by a judge. The exact terms and requirements may vary depending on the type of crime committed. Some examples of probation conditions may include meeting with their probation officer periodically, paying fines or paying restitution to any victims, participating in classes or therapy, doing community service, and avoiding the use of alcohol or illicit drugs.
For instance, suppose your probation includes the requirement of submitting to curfews and not drinking alcoholic beverages. One day, you accept an invitation to a party at a friend’s house. You end up spending all night at the party and miss your curfew. In addition, plenty of alcoholic beverages were being served at this party. When your probation officer learns about it, he or she may determine that you violated the terms of your probation and may face consequences.
What Happens if You Violate Your Probation Terms in Arizona?
If you have violated your probation terms, you may face a wide array of consequences that vary in severity, depending on how serious your violation was and whether this was your first violation or a repeat occurrence. In a best-case scenario, your probation officer may only issue a warning. In other cases, he or she may require you to attend a probation hearing in front of a judge, and may even make a recommendation for the judge to revoke your probation in some cases. A probation hearing has no jury and it is completely up to the judge to make a decision.
If a judge determines that your probation should be revoked, it does not always mean you will end up in jail. Depending on the specifics of your case, the judge may order additional probation terms, payment of more fines, or require you to attend mandatory counseling or rehabilitation programs.
How Can a Probation Violation Attorney Help?
If you believe you are at risk of being convicted of a probation violation, working with a probation violation attorney is essential to keep the situation from getting worse. Sometimes, you end up violating your probation without intending to do so because you were hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated to appear at a scheduled hearing or appointment with your probation officer. An attorney can argue that your absence was justifiable in this case and that you fully intend to continue fulfilling your requirements in the near future.
Another example of a defense strategy against a probation violation in connection to the payment of fines or restitution is to show that you have been unable to keep up with the required payments because of a change in your circumstances that resulted in your inability to pay. Additionally, arguing against the admissibility of evidence obtained from an illegal search and seizure is also a common defense strategy. If your Mesa defense attorney can prove that your probation officer was harassing you and conducting arbitrary searches of your home and disrespecting your constitutional rights, any evidence resulting from those searches are not valid and cannot be used in court.
If you have a probation hearing scheduled, this is the time to take action and get a seasoned Mesa probation violation attorney on your side. At the Naegle Law Firm, PLC, we have helped many clients avoid harsher consequences and keep their original probation terms after an alleged violation. We can help you if you have been rearrested for a probation violation or have an active warrant. Convictions for probation violations can be significantly more severe than your original charges, so retaining an attorney as early as possible may make the difference in your case. Contact our Mesa office at (480) 378-9000 and speak to our legal team to see how we can help.