Probation Violation Attorney specializing in Oakland County, Wayne County, and Macomb County
Dedicated to the passionate, zealous and highly effective defense of those charged with felony and misdemeanor probation violations in Southeastern Michigan. When you cannot afford to lose…we are your best hope.
If you have been charged with a probation violation, you are naturally going to be worried, anxious and upset. This is normal and understandable. Although many lawyers will promise results they cannot deliver or use some form of manipulation to get you to hire them, words to not substitute for a highly successful track record of outstanding results and satisfied prior clients. Call us for a Free Consultation and we will do whatever is necessary to find a way to help you. When things look the most hopeless, we are experts and finding ways to turn everything around.
How can an experienced, effective and fearless defense lawyer help with a probation violation?
The vast majority of defense lawyers won’t say it but they limit their representation of clients on probation violations to attempting to get the impending jail sentence reduced. The VOP Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. takes an approach that is far different than the vast majority of retained defense attorneys in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties. We fight to win! The defense to a probation violation can be legal, factual, constitutional, statutory or by court rule. We will explore every possible option to give you the greatest advantage possible. If we have to address sentencing, we do not fight just to reduce your sentence…we do anything possible to avoid jail entirely. Don’t settle for someone who is afraid to win…hire a fighter. You need a Michigan Probation Violation Lawyer that is not afraid to win!
The Judge’s Expectations at a Sentencing
When a judge sentences you to probation, he or she expects you to live up to the terms of that probation. And if there is an alleged violation of the judge’s orders, you need an experienced and aggressive Probation Violation Attorney to defend you.
Probation typically will require the defendant to report to probation monthly or at some other interval, refrain from any other criminal conduct (local, state or federal law), abstain from using alcohol and drugs, be subjected to random drug screens and or alcohol breath tests, and much more. The length of time a judge may impose probation is frequently 1 or 2 years but the judge can impose probation for a maximum of 5 years for a felony.
What to Expect when a Probation Violation Occurs
When a probation violation occurs, the defendant may be ordered to court for a probation violation hearing or VOP hearing. Whereas in a new criminal charge, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed a crime. There is a lower burden at a VOP hearing. A VOP hearing, the Prosecutor only has the burden to prove that a probation violation occurred by a preponderance of the evidence or by a belief of more than 50% that the defendant violated probation. The problem with judges is that they assume the worst. In other words, that the defendant is guilty of everything being alleged and the violations are intentional, blatant and malicious.
There are several factors that the Judge and Prosecutor are supposed to consider relative to a probation violation. They include:
- The nature and seriousness of the probation violation
- Whether there has been a history of prior violations
- If the violation included new criminal activity or rather was a failure to pay probation oversight fees
- The recommendation of the probation officer
- The circumstances surrounding the violation or other mitigating effects
Reducing the Consequences for a PV – Avoiding Jail
If your probation officer is accusing you of a violation of probation there are many things you can do to reduce the potential consequences. An experienced and proactive probation violation attorney may find that it is in your best interest to contact your probation officer or the judge and inform him or her of the violation before they learn it on his or her own. A great VOP attorney will also be able to recommend certain actions that may convince the prosecutor or the judge to give you a second (or third chance) change, no jail time, or that will result in a drastically reduced sentence.
What if you’re guilty of a violation of probation?
Assume for a moment that your probation is being violated and there simply is no defense. Does that mean that you are going to jail? Not necessarily. When LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is hired to defend anyone on a felony or misdemeanor probation violation, we evaluate the case for any possible defenses. When there simply isn’t one, we have a tried and true method for mitigating a sentence so that the impact of a violation of probation is minimized. If you need to stay out of jail, we may be your best hope.
If you’re charged with a violation of probation…you need help!
If you are on probation and have violated that probation, you need an experienced and aggressive probation violation lawyer to help you. We know that you and your family work very hard for your money and if you are going to use it to hire a retained attorney to represent you in a VOP, that lawyer better do everything humanly possible to help and protect you. You must we aware that when you hire an attorney, like in anything else in life, you generally get what you pay for. If you want a great attorney to get you great results, as opposed to a bargain lawyer or an ordinary criminal defense lawyer, the retainer is generally going to be commensurate with the lawyer’s skill, experience, and effectiveness.
We can Help You – Michigan Probation Violation Lawyer
If you are charged with or going to be charged with a probation violation, it is critical that you call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. right away for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or fill out a Request for Assistance Form. We will find a way to help you and, most importantly, we are not afraid to win!
The Probation Violation Law
MCL 771.3 Probation; conditions; entry of order into LEIN; costs as part of sentence of probation; compliance as condition of probation; revocation of probation; fees in delayed or deferred entry of judgment or sentencing.
(1) The sentence of probation shall include all of the following conditions:
(a) During the term of his or her probation, the probationer shall not violate any criminal law of this state, the United States, or another state or any ordinance of any municipality in this state or another state.
(b) During the term of his or her probation, the probationer shall not leave the state without the consent of the court granting his or her application for probation.
(c) The probationer shall report to the probation officer, either in person or in writing, monthly or as often as the probation officer requires. This subdivision does not apply to a juvenile placed on probation and committed under section 1(3) or (4) of chapter IX to an institution or agency described in the youth rehabilitation services act, 1974 PA 150, MCL 803.301 to 803.309.
(d) If sentenced in circuit court, the probationer shall pay a probation supervision fee as prescribed in section 3c of this chapter.
(e) The probationer shall pay restitution to the victim of the defendant’s course of conduct giving rise to the conviction or to the victim’s estate as provided in chapter IX. An order for payment of restitution may be modified and shall be enforced as provided in chapter IX.
(f) The probationer shall pay an assessment ordered under section 5 of 1989 PA 196, MCL 780.905.
(g) The probationer shall pay the minimum state cost prescribed by section 1j of chapter IX.
(h) If the probationer is required to be registered under the sex offenders registration act, 1994 PA 295, MCL 28.721 to 28.736, the probationer shall comply with that act.
(2) As a condition of probation, the court may require the probationer to do 1 or more of the following:
(a) Be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than 12 months, at the time or intervals, which may be consecutive or nonconsecutive, within the probation as the court determines. However, the period of confinement shall not exceed the maximum period of imprisonment provided for the offense charged if the maximum period is less than 12 months. The court may permit day parole as authorized under 1962 PA 60, MCL 801.251 to 801.258. The court may permit a work or school release from jail. This subdivision does not apply to a juvenile placed on probation and committed under section 1(3) or (4) of chapter IX to an institution or agency described in the youth rehabilitation services act, 1974 PA 150, MCL 803.301 to 803.309.
(b) Pay immediately or within the period of his or her probation a fine imposed when placed on probation.
(c) Pay costs pursuant to subsection (5).
(d) Pay any assessment ordered by the court other than an assessment described in subsection (1)(f).
(e) Engage in community service.
(f) Agree to pay by wage assignment any restitution, assessment, fine, or cost imposed by the court.
(g) Participate in inpatient or outpatient drug treatment or, beginning January 1, 2005, participate in a drug treatment court under chapter 10A of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.1060 to 600.1082.
(h) Participate in mental health treatment.
(i) Participate in mental health or substance abuse counseling.
(j) Participate in a community corrections program.
(k) Be under house arrest.
(l) Be subject to electronic monitoring.
(m) Participate in a residential probation program.
(n) Satisfactorily complete a program of incarceration in a special alternative incarceration unit as provided in section 3b of this chapter.
(o) Be subject to conditions reasonably necessary for the protection of 1 or more named persons.
(p) Reimburse the county for expenses incurred by the county in connection with the conviction for which probation was ordered as provided in the prisoner reimbursement to the county act, 1984 PA 118, MCL 801.81 to 801.93.
(q) Complete his or her high school education or obtain the equivalency of a high school education in the form of a general education development (GED) certificate.
(3) The court may impose other lawful conditions of probation as the circumstances of the case require or warrant or as in its judgment are proper.
(4) If an order or amended order of probation contains a condition for the protection of 1 or more named persons as provided in subsection (2)(o), the court or a law enforcement agency within the court’s jurisdiction shall enter the order or amended order into the law enforcement information network. If the court rescinds the order or amended order or the condition, the court shall remove the order or amended order or the condition from the law enforcement information network or notify that law enforcement agency and the law enforcement agency shall remove the order or amended order or the condition from the law enforcement information network.
(5) If the court requires the probationer to pay costs under subsection (2), the costs shall be limited to expenses specifically incurred in prosecuting the defendant or providing legal assistance to the defendant and supervision of the probationer.
(6) If the court imposes costs under subsection (2) as part of a sentence of probation, all of the following apply:
(a) The court shall not require a probationer to pay costs under subsection (2) unless the probationer is or will be able to pay them during the term of probation. In determining the amount and method of payment of costs under subsection (2), the court shall take into account the probationer’s financial resources and the nature of the burden that payment of costs will impose, with due regard to his or her other obligations.
(b) A probationer who is required to pay costs under subsection (1)(g) or (2)(c) and who is not in willful default of the payment of the costs may petition the sentencing judge or his or her successor at any time for a remission of the payment of any unpaid portion of those costs. If the court determines that payment of the amount due will impose a manifest hardship on the probationer or his or her immediate family, the court may remit all or part of the amount due in costs or modify the method of payment.
(7) If a probationer is required to pay costs as part of a sentence of probation, the court may require payment to be made immediately or the court may provide for payment to be made within a specified period of time or in specified installments.
(8) If a probationer is ordered to pay costs as part of a sentence of probation, compliance with that order shall be a condition of probation. The court may revoke probation if the probationer fails to comply with the order and if the probationer has not made a good faith effort to comply with the order. In determining whether to revoke probation, the court shall consider the probationer’s employment status, earning ability, and financial resources, the willfulness of the probationer’s failure to pay, and any other special circumstances that may have a bearing on the probationer’s ability to pay. The proceedings provided for in this subsection are in addition to those provided in section 4 of this chapter.
(9) If entry of judgment is deferred in the circuit court, the court shall require the individual to pay a supervision fee in the same manner as is prescribed for a delayed sentence under section 1(3) of this chapter, shall require the individual to pay the minimum state costs prescribed by section 1j of chapter IX, and may impose, as applicable, the conditions of probation described in subsections (1), (2), and (3).
(10) If sentencing is delayed or entry of judgment is deferred in the district court or in a municipal court, the court shall require the individual to pay the minimum state costs prescribed by section 1j of chapter IX and may impose, as applicable, the conditions of probation described in subsections (1), (2), and (3).