When you are convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor, your sentence will likely require that you spend some time on probation. While on probation, there are certain rules that will apply to you, and these rules are enforced by your probation officer. If you break one of these rules, then you will have “violated” your probation. When probation rules are violated your probation office, or the prosecutors, may file a petition to violate your probation. If someone files a petition to revoke your probation, you will be facing an arrest warrant and the possibility of heading back to jail and need a defense attorney right away. A Newnan probation violation lawyer can assist you in building a case and representing your rights.
A technical violation of probation is the least serious of the violations. A technical violation often occurs when someone forgets or cannot afford to pay their fines or fees. They may fail to report to their probation officer or leave the jurisdiction.
The maximum punishment for a technical violation of probation is two years in confinement. This does not, however, mean that you must get two years – it is simply the maximum. There are less serious punishments that may be an option for those accused of a technical probation violation, especially if you have help from a lawyer in Newnan. For instance, if you are simply behind on your fees, then paying those fees can go a long way in preventing incarceration.
There are over thirty special conditions of probation in Georgia. Some include:
There is one thing that sets special conditions apart from all the others. A violation of special conditions comes with very serious consequences. A violation of a special condition can result in the balance of your probation being revoked. For instance, if you are sentenced to 10 years to be served on probation and the day after you fail to abide by one of these special conditions, the judge could send you to prison for the remainder of the 10-year term.
A substantive violation of probation happens when you commit another crime while on probation. No matter what the criminal charge, if you get a new charge, then you have committed a substantive violation.
If your new charge is a misdemeanor, the court may revoke up to two years of your probation. Meaning, that you would have to serve two years in incarceration. No matter what the violation, there is a process that takes place. Generally, the first step is that a warrant is taken out for your arrest. Eventually, you will be arrested on that warrant. Just because you have been arrested, however, does not mean the judge just gets to send you to prison because you have been accused of violating probation.
After you are arrested then you have a right to a hearing on your probation violation. At this probation violation hearing, you will have the ability to be represented by a lawyer in Newnan. You can challenge any of the state’s evidence against you and cross-examine witnesses the state calls against you. Additionally, you can testify, challenge the state’s evidence, and present your own evidence. You do not, however, have the right to have a jury hear your probation violation case.
The burden of proof is on the state and the local prosecutors. For instance, in the Coweta Judicial Circuit, a Coweta Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney will conduct the hearing on behalf of the state. They will have to prove to the judge by a preponderance of the evidence that you committed the violation of probation they have alleged. The preponderance of the evidence means more likely than not, or that there is a 50.01% chance or better that you violated your probation. This is a much lower burden for the local prosecutors than beyond a reasonable doubt which is usually used in criminal cases.
It is critical to protect yourself against a possible probation violation. Allow a Newnan probation violation lawyer to negotiate with state prosecutors and begin preparation for any potential probation revocation hearing. Please, contact us today.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC