Probation Violations, Penalties, and Consequences
Judges are inclined to order jail time when there is a violation of probation; however, jail and other harsh penalties can often be avoided with exceptional legal representation.
A Probation Violation Does Not Have to Result in Jail Time
Many criminal cases in Michigan result in judgments that include probation, periods during which the courts supervise defendants to ensure that they are on the proper path towards rehabilitation. Probation terms and conditions can vary widely based on the judge, the locale, the crime, and the defendant. The possible penalties for probation violation in Michigan are the same as for the original offense; however, a persuasive defense lawyer can often persuade a judge to consider lenient alternatives.
Once you are placed on probation, you must comply with the regimen laid down by the judge and probation officer. If not, you run the risk of a probation violation. You may also hear these referred to as violations of probation, PVs, or VOPs.
It’s Time to Get A Lawyer!
If you are on probation through a court and believe you may be in trouble with probation, it is absolutely critical that you speak with an attorney. While PVs and other charges share a lot of similarities in the way they are handled by the court, the biggest problem for you is where the burden lies. A top attorney with decades of experience gives you the best chance of dismissal and avoiding jail time. Top lawyers maintain excellent relationships with and are respected by judges, probation officers, and prosecutors. A savvy, respected lawyer will be given the benefit of the doubt when negotiating on your behalf for a dismissal or reduction in the violation charges or a reduction in the possible penalties.
The Burden Has Shifted Since Your Conviction
In a criminal case where a defendant faces criminal charges, the prosecution is tasked with proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s a high burden and is only met if the finder of fact decides that no reasonable person could have reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. Guilt in a probation violation hearing, however, must merely be demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the judge will weigh the evidence for and against equally and decide which possibility is most likely.
Although this sounds like it should be a 50/50 burden, the burden is really on you. Judges know and work with their probation departments daily. They rely on them to provide pre-sentence investigation reports, and it’s not uncommon for judges to sentence defendants according to the probation department recommendations verbatim. To get a fair shake, you need a persuasive, zealous advocate. Regardless of probation’s recommendation, a judge is free to consider various probation violation penalties, including permitting the defendant to remain on probation without sanction or even discharge from probation altogether.
A Plan Designed For Your Case
Whether you feel that you did or did not violate the terms of your probation, we can help. Every case is different, and you need an experienced attorney to help guide you through the process. If you plan to fight the probation violation or seek reduced penalties, you need an attorney to help build your case. If you plan to plead guilty, you need an attorney to keep the process fair.
Remember, the burden weighs heavier on you now, and it is important to bring a strong case in your defense. You need an attorney to communicate with the court staff, strategize with you, and persuasively advocate on your behalf.
Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb County Probation Violation Attorneys
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience representing clients who have faced probation violations in Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, and throughout Michigan. They know the courts, the law, and the players and get penalties and charges reduced. If you have been charged with a violation of probation or fear that a charge is coming, call us, and we will take the time to talk with you, answer all of your questions, and address each of your concerns. We will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.