What is a Probation Lawyer and Why Do I need One?
If you have committed a crime, the courts might determine that you can remain free in the community and grant you probation instead of sending you to prison. However, you will need to closely follow certain terms and conditions in order to remain on community supervision. The courts have given you an opportunity to remain free, and they expect you to appreciate your freedom and adhere to your probation terms. If you violate your probation, you risk being sentenced to prison. The judge will not credit any of the time you have served on probation toward a prison sentence. If you are accused of probation violation, you will need the help of a probation lawyer who can fight for your rights in court.
Probation requirements are very strict. While the court has the discretion to vary these depending on the case, most probationers must follow similar rules that include reporting to the probation officer as directed, obeying all laws, avoiding contact with other people involved in crime, paying all court fees, attending and completing counseling, refraining from drinking alcohol or using drugs and maintaining full-time, gainful employment. If you violate even one of these rules, your probation officer can submit a violation report to the court and ask that you be immediately arrested. The violation might be minor, such as a missed appointment or missed payment, or it could be as major as committing a serious crime, such as assault or drug sales.In rare cases, probationers do not receive any additional consequences when they violate probation; however, that is quite uncommon. Usually, if your probation officer goes to the trouble of filing the paperwork to take you back to court, the consequences will be fairly serious. These might include a longer probation term, additional counseling, home arrest, curfews or jail term. In the worst case scenario, you could even be sentenced to prison. The burden of proof is much less for a probation violation case than it is for conviction of a crime. Your probation officer only needs to prove the case by 51 percent of the evidence, also called the preponderance of evidence. If you are arrested for probation violation, you will not want to face the court without the help of an attorney who has experience in defending clients who are on probation. A probation lawyer will know how to fight the accusations of the probation officer and will work to convince the judge that you should remain out of custody.