Because most criminal cases are potentially resolved by sentencing the defendant to jail, and because most criminal defendants want to stay out of jail, going on probation is a popular way to resolve many matters. The beauty of agreeing to a term of probation is that you get to stay out of jail, but still have to do certain things that the State considers as punishment. But not everyone is able to comply with the terms of their probation, and so sometimes probation is revoked due to a violation that has been committed. If you are charged with a probation violation you will have hearing and be made to answer for the violation, but this hearing is not like any of the other hearings you have been to for other criminal charges.
One way the hearing for a violation of probation is different from other criminal case hearings is that you do not have the right to a jury at a probation violation hearing. Instead, the Judge will hear the evidence and make a decision. In some instances the final result is that the probation is revoked, and the defendant is made to stand and face the full weight of the potential punishment for the original charge. In addition to having to defend the original charge, the defendant also now has to defend the charge of probation violation. This can be burdensome, and in order to avoid this chance it is best to stay on track with your probation. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you remain violation free while on probation:
- do not receive any new tickets or arrests while on probation.
- Pay the fines associated with your case.
- Make sure you know what the requirements of you probation include, and make a plan early on to meet these requirements. If you are not able to attend a meeting or perform a certain task, immediately contact your attorney rather than simply neglecting the requirement.
Most times probation is reserved for first time offenders, but if you are facing a subsequent charge that does not mean you may not be eligible for probation. Each case is different and requires a thoughtful examination of the facts in order to make a determination as to how to proceed. For more information, call our office.
For help with questions about probation, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for help. We offer representation for a wide range of offenses, call us to schedule an appointment.