What to Expect at a Probation Revocation Hearing


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It is when a person violates his or her parole either grossly or repeatedly that his or her probation will face revocation and he or she may return to prison, jail or severe consequences. During the process, it is important to know what to expect and what will happen based on similar incidents in the same state or city by contacting legal counsel.

The actions of the person on parole may lead to a hearing where he or she may lose the access to the outside. Then, he or she may resume time in prison or jail. This highly depends on the severity of the infraction, the circumstances of his or her original arrest and what steps the probation officer already took to keep the revocation hearing from occurring. When the person on probation has a good relationship with the officer, he or she may receive a warning first. However, a negative relationship where there is antagonization, the officer may have little faith in the individual or may feel the probation member should suffer
harsher punishments.

The Violation of Probation

When the person that has succeeded in leaving prison or jail is under a term of probation, there are often conditions set for this period. Most probation requires staying in the same state unless the probation officer permits him or her to travel. Other conditions generally include the lack of committing any crime at all. Violations frequently occur when the probation member commits a crime and is caught by law enforcement or his or her probation officer. This could lead to part of his or her jail or prison sentence to initiate again. However, any infraction of the law could end in these circumstances.

The Probation Revocation Hearing

Violations of probation usually lead to certain consequences based on the specific circumstances, but if the probation revocation hearing occurs, it is because the violation is severe enough. The court will conduct the hearing with the violator as the defendant. From a new infraction that violated the law, the individual will need to wait until that matter clears with any additional convictions or sentencing imposed before the hearing takes place. However, if he or she violated probation in another manner, the hearing will occur when the courts deem it most practical. The defendant will generally receive a written notification that details the time and place where the hearing will occur and why.

While the hearing may happen through a judge, it is not a trial. The burden of proof the prosecutor supplies the court does not have the same condition as beyond reasonable doubt in these circumstances. The only necessary provable issue is that the violation may have taken place which was counter to the conditions set forth for the probationary period. In the event that the hearing is for a possible new crime, even if he or she receives an acquittal of that crime, probation may still go through revocation. It is easier for probation to disappear through a hearing or other circumstances.

The Bargain against Revocation

The person on probation needs to ensure the probation period does not end so that he or she is not put back in jail or prison. It is possible to negotiate a possible bargain through a lawyer with a new violation and the probation at the same time. If the courts are busy due to several cases, this may occur with greater frequency and success. Having the lawyer negotiate the plea is important, and the legal professional may have enough information about the case to supply the other side with a tempting offer. Seeking a deal is often crucial.

Speaking with and Working with a Lawyer

To prevent probation revocation hearings succeeding in revoking the probation period, the person may need to consult with a lawyer first. The defendant may need to gather evidence that he or she did not violate the terms of probation, that no crime actually occurred or that he has been a model member of society except for the proposed violation. By working with the lawyer hired for the hearing, he or she may demonstrate through character witnesses that have no personal bias for the person that he or she is productive and should remain outside of prison or jail.

The lawyer may need to communicate with the opposing counsel to see if a bargain is possible to either extend probation or impose other restrictions that will avert the revocation to better serve the client.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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