What to Do When You Are Facing Probation Violations
If you were assigned probation by the court, it is absolutely necessary to do everything in your power to avoid violating the terms of the agreement. Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they only get probation, they are off scot-free. Rather, probation is an agreement between yourself and the court that is designed to keep you from committing another offense. By violating probation, you are in effect, breaking that agreement with the court and you could find yourself facing stricter sentencing.
Understanding the Violation
There are several different types of violations that can occur with probation terms. The most common is going to be failing to appear for a court date, or failing to meet with your probation officer. It is absolutely vital to make sure you appear for these dates, and if you cannot go, you must make other arrangements.
Other common violations include failing to pay court ordered fines or restitution, actually committing another offense while you are under probation, or traveling without first getting permission from your probation officer.
Contacting a Lawyer
If you have a probation violation, the first step is getting in touch with a Long Island criminal lawyer who can assist you in determining your best course of action. Not having adequate representation can result in much worse consequences. Your attorney can advise you on what course of action is best to take to remedy the situation and they will also be able to represent you with the court in order to ensure that you don’t have to worry about jail time or hefty fines.
Dealing with the Violation
When you have violated terms of your probation, typically your officer will determine whether or not they can issue a warning, which in effect, tells you not to make the same mistake again, or they may decide that you need to go to court to deal with the violation. You will receive notice about your violation and your upcoming court date. In some cases, you may be told that your probation has been revoked and you will be sentenced for the original crime.
Once you’ve contacted a lawyer, they will begin building your defense to help you deal with this violation. It is necessary to tell them everything regarding the violation and to be completely honest with them through the entire process.
In many cases, they may be able to plead down the violation to a warning and help you avoid any potential jail time. However, if the violation was big enough, such as if you committed another crime or were found to be in possession of drugs or controlled substances, a lawyer can help plead down the actual amount of time you will need to serve for the violation.
Violating the terms of your probation is a serious offense and should not be taken lightly. Remember, you will need to abide by the terms of your agreement with the court for the agreed upon length of time. Probation can range from one year to several years.
Keep the lines of communication with your probation officer open. In many cases, it is a lack of communication that leads to violations. Do all you can to avoid making a mistake, but if it does happen, make sure you get the right criminal attorney to help represent you. It could be the difference between jail time and simply getting a warning.