A probation violation could mean serious jail time. Don't waste time with an attorney who doesn’t know what to do. Our law firm has handled dozens of probation violations and we’ve kept good people who've made honest mistakes from having to serve the remainder of their sentences. Some judges treat probation violations more harshly than others. Our attorneys know the nuances of 201 and can navigate your probation violation to an acceptable outcome.
Violation of Probation
If someone you care about was placed on felony or misdemeanor probation in Memphis, and is now in the Shelby County Justice Center awaiting a probation violation hearing for alleged violations of the terms of his or her probation, you should consider hiring a Memphis probation violation attorney. A probation violation often leads to incarceration or other harsh consequences. Our Memphis probation violation attorneys can help.
At a probation violation hearing, the probationer has three basic options: go forward with the probation violation hearing, waive the hearing and stipulate to the truth of the allegations and argue for reinstatement, or negotiate some outcome with the prosecutor. Read below about what happens if the hearing goes forward, why a probationer might choose to stipulate to the allegations in the violation report, and what types of negotiated outcomes are available.
If the probation revocation hearing goes forward, the prosecutor will present evidence, usually consisting of the probation officer’s testimony. The probation officer and the prosecutor will attempt to establish that the probation violation occurred as described in the violation report. Your attorney will have an opportunity to cross examine the probation officer and any other witnesses the prosecutor calls, and an opportunity to call his own witnesses, which may include the probationer. When each side has had an opportunity to present evidence and argue the facts, the judge will determine whether the allegations in the violation report are true. If the judge determines that the allegations are not true, then the probationer is reinstated and released from custody. If the judge finds that the allegations are true, then the judge has several options.
As stated above, in some circumstances it may make sense to waive the revocation hearing and stipulate to the allegations in the violation report. Why would someone want to do this? In many instances, the allegations may be essentially true, but are written from a limited or biased perspective. Stipulating to the violation report allows the probationer the opportunity to take some measure of responsibility for the allegations in the report and also tell the complete story to the judge. It also avoids drawing out the process and prevents the probation officer from testifying extensively about the alleged probation violations. Additionally, the probationer will have an opportunity to present any evidence they like related to the positive things they have done while on probation, like obtaining employment or doing community service. Stipulating to the report doesn't mean the probationer is stipulating to be revoked and sent to jail or prison. On the contrary, most of the time, the probationer is asking for reinstatement. In many instances, the probationer will be reinstated, although that depends heavily upon the seriousness of the violations and the tendencies of the judge presiding over the case.
Finally, your attorney and the prosecutor can negotiate a particular resolution and recommend the judge order that outcome. Keep in mind, this requires the probationer to stipulate to the violation report as described above, and technically, the judge doesn't have to follow the parties' recommendation. However, the prosecutor is not always willing to negotiate or come to a mutually agreeable resolution. In many instances, the prosecutor is not willing to accept anything other than revocation, and the probationer only has the two preceding options.
Whether the probation violation hearing goes forward, the probationer stipulates and argues for reinstatement, or the case is negotiated, the judge ultimately decides the outcome. There are several possible outcomes:
• Revocation and imposition of the full suspended sentence
• Revocation and imposition of a lesser, amended sentence
• Reinstatement with added conditions. Added conditions might include placing the probationer on "intensive supervision" (a more strict level of supervision), completion of a drug treatment program (inpatient or outpatient), or spending some time in jail
• Reinstatement with no added conditions
• Discharged completely from probation
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