If you have been charged with violating the terms of your probation in the state of California, you need an experienced California criminal defense attorney. An adverse determination against you could result in more strict probation terms or even the revocation of probation resulting in jail time.
Penalties for Violation of Probation
To determine the penalties for a probation violation, the court first looks to whether the probation terms pertain to a misdemeanor or felony. On the most general level, a felony is more serious than a misdemeanor. In the state of California, misdemeanor probation usually lasts between one and five years and involves performing community service and paying fines (in lieu of serving jail time). Individuals serving misdemeanor probation must periodically appear before the judge to make a progress report. This arrangement benefits both the individual and the state. For the individual, jail time is avoided. For the state, money need not be spent on jail time.
Felony probation is more serious than misdemeanor probation. Instead of making mere progress reports before a judge, an individual on felony probation is assigned a probation officer. Still, felony probation is infinitely preferable to jail time. Besides reporting to a probation order, the individual serving felony probation must make restitution to the victim he or she perpetrated the felony against and strictly comply with other conditions. Obviously, commission of another crime while on felony probation will constitute a violation. As with misdemeanor probation, the duration of felony probation is one to five years.
Misdemeanor and felony probation in California share a few basic conditions. Besides paying a required restitution fine and doing community service such as labor on public works construction projects, there are requirements to remain gainfully employed and abstain from drug and alcohol use. If the misdemeanor or felony involved drug or alcohol abuse, probation will require attendance at a drug or alcohol support program and the installation of an ignition interlock device in one’s vehicle. Lastly, for sex crime offenders, probation requires the wearing of an electronic monitoring device.
Mounting the Best Possible Defense at a Probation Violation Hearing
If you have been charged with violating the terms and conditions of misdemeanor or felony probation in California, there will be a hearing to determine whether or not the violation occurred. At the hearing, it is imperative that you be represented by an experienced California criminal defense attorney. Just the same as at the criminal trial that resulted in probation, you have the right to be represented by a criminal defense attorney. A skilled and experienced attorney will explore whether there are witnesses to testify on your behalf, present any exculpating evidence, and argue for the existence of any mitigating or extenuating circumstances with regard to the alleged probation violation. With intensified probation terms or even jail time a possibility of determination of violation, contact an experienced California criminal defense attorney now.