A Helpful Overview of Probation Violations
Facing a Violation of Probation? There is hope and you do not need to go to jail. Here is what you need to know.
The authority to place a person on probation in Michigan comes from statutory law. MCL 771.1 authorizes probation on all felony and misdemeanor offenses, with certain exceptions. Probation is considered by judges to be “a privilege, and not a right.” A Judge can place many conditions on a person’s probation. Conditions can range from drug testing, AA meetings, therapy, finishing school, or keeping and/or finding employment, and paying fines and costs. Conditions can be unusual as well — a local judge once ordered a man he was sentencing for operating while intoxicated to take his very supportive wife out to a nice dinner. If you are accused of violating the terms or conditions of your probation, i.e., something the Court orders you to do while on probation, a violation of probation will likely be filed in your case. If you are facing a violation of probation, do not give up hope! LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. can find a way to help you.
“What happens if my probation is violated?”
When a person’s probation is violated, there are steps that need to be taken. The first thing is there has to be notice given of the violation, and what specifically the violation is alleged to be. Next, there has to be an opportunity to have a hearing before the Judge, and a person is entitled to be represented by an attorney.
If a person is found to be in violation of their probation, the Court has many sentencing options. It can reinstate probation, extend probation, change probation conditions, or order that the defendant be incarcerated. The law does allow a Court to sentence a person to the maximum jail/prison time allowed on the original charge, as if probation had never been granted.
“Do I have to go to jail for violation of probation?”
The short answer is, “no!” The longer answer is that many people do go to jail when found to be in violation of probation; however, many of them could have avoided a jail sentence with good legal representation. Regardless of whether it is a felony VOP, a misdemeanor VOP, or even if there were previously violations of probation, jail and prison can often be avoided with good planning, proactive mitigation, creativity, and a persuasive, credible criminal defense lawyer. The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has helped countless clients avoid jail and prison when other lawyers have said incarceration was inevitable. No matter the odds, we will do whatever is necessary to give the client the best possible chance of avoiding jail.
“What should I do if I’m facing a violation of probation?”
Because there is so much at stake with a probation violation and the range of penalties so varied, it is important that you have exceptional legal representation. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have decades of experience successfully representing people facing probation violations in Michigan Courts statewide. Our attorneys are experts in the field of criminal law and well respected by other attorneys and judges alike. If you are facing a probation violation and possible loss of your freedom, we can help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.