Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Defense for Probation Violations

In most criminal cases, the judge sentences the defendant to probation either in lieu of or in addition to incarceration. Probation usually lasts between 3 and 5 years, during which time the defendant must abide by the terms of their probation.

The terms of probation vary depending upon the nature of the defendant’s crime, and can include alcohol education classes, counseling, community service, restitution or fines, random drug or alcohol testing, regular court appearances, regular meetings with a probation officer, and a judicial order to stay out of legal trouble.

Common Violations

While probation enables a defendant to avoid lengthy incarceration, it is important to understand that it can be revoked at any time if the judge determines that the terms were violated. Common probation violations include:
  • Failing to report to the probation officer
  • Failing to appear for a required court date
  • Refusing to submit to or failing a drug or alcohol test
  • Failing to pay restitution or fines ordered by the court
  • Being arrested or cited for a crime
  • Failing to comply with a court order, such as a restraining order

Possible Defenses

If you are facing charges for violating your probation, it’s important to enlist the defense of an experienced criminal attorney who can evaluate the situation and determine your options. In some cases the defendant has valid reasons for violating the terms of probation, such as:
  • Defendant is indigent: If the defendant did not pay court-ordered restitution or fines because they lack the financial resources needed to do so, they judge may dismiss the probation violation.
  • Defendant was hospitalized or incarcerated: If the defendant missed a court appearance or meeting with their probation officer because they were in the hospital or incarcerated, the probation violation charges could be dropped.
  • Defendant was arrested for a new crime but never convicted: If the defendant has been charged with a new crime, their defense lawyer can seek to have the violation of probation charge delayed until the new case is completed. In most cases, the judge will then dismiss the probation charge if the defendant was arrested but never charged with a new crime or if they were acquitted of the new charge.
We encourage you to speak with a criminal attorney about your options if you are accused of violating your probation. If you need legal representation in the Las Vegas area, contact De Castroverde Law Group to speak with one of our experienced defense attorneys today!