If you have been charged with a crime, you may be able to get probation in place of jail or prison time. Probation is a program where you are required to follow rules and stay out of further legal trouble in exchange for staying free. Even felons are put on probation after serving a jail term. Unfortunately, it can be easy to accidentally violate the rules and end up facing additional penalties. You can plead your case in a hearing though if you have been accused of breaking the rules of your probation agreement and a Visa probation hearing defense lawyer can help.
The Two Types of Probation
There are two types of probation in California. Summary probation is generally given for misdemeanor crimes. It is much less restrictive as it only requires you follow a few basic rules and stay out of further legal trouble. Formal probation is usually reserved for felony convictions, as it involves a more stringent set of rules, including making scheduled visits with a probation officer and regular drug and alcohol testing. You may also be required to wear an ankle bracelet so your location can be monitored. Generally, probation lasts three years for both misdemeanors and felonies, but DUI probation usually lasts three to five years.
Common Probation Violations and Penalties
Some of the most common probation violations include failing to make restitution to the crime victim, failing to meet with a probation officer, failing to fulfill community service sentences and associating with known criminals. Additionally, testing positive for alcohol or drugs, including marijuana, is a probation violation. While alcohol and marijuana use is legal for adults, most felony probationers are prohibited from using either. Judges often jail those who test positive especially if the underlying offense involved these substances.
If you are on probation, you will almost always be required to attend a probation hearing if you have been arrested, even if no charges were pressed or if the charges are dropped against you. If this was due to a misunderstanding or a case of mistaken identity, your Vista probation attorney can help you explain the situation.
Violating probation can result in your being sentenced to the maximum jail or prison term for the crime you committed. Misdemeanor violations can carry up to one year of jail and felonies can result in a prison sentence. In some cases, the judge may even make you serve out the sentence the original judge of your case sentenced you to before allowing you to stay the penalty in exchange for your serving probation. It is important to defend yourself as best you can in these hearings in order to avoid serving a longer sentence. The best way to do this is by working with a top probation hearing defense lawyer in Vista.
Fighting Probation Violation Accusations
If you are accused of violating your probation, you may be required to attend a hearing to determine if you will be subjected to further punishment. A Vista probation violation attorney like Peter M. Liss can help represent you at these types of hearings by helping to show your side of the story and asking the court to resist from instilling additional penalties.
Please call (760) 643-4050 if you have any questions about probation violations.
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