Many criminal cases in Michigan result in judgements that include probation, periods during which the courts supervise defendants to ensure that they on the proper path towards rehabilitation. Probation terms and conditions can vary widely based on the judge, the locale, the crime, and the defendant.
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.
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 the no reasonable person could have reasonable doubt that a crime was committed. Guilt of a probation violation, 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 an advocate.
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 on fighting the PV, 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.
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 they players. If you have been charged with a violation of probation, or if you fear that a charge is coming, call us right away at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance form and one of our criminal defense attorneys will contact you.