Probation violations are common and represent a high volume of the prison population. Over half of all people on probation violate the terms, and some estimates indicate that half of the prison population are incarcerated as a result of probation violation.
Probation is extremely strict, and terms may include community service, meetings, fines, avoiding alcohol consumption and much more. People may be on probation having never actually committed a crime, and instead accept this outcome to avoid the time and cost associated with going to trial. While to many, probation is a more favorable outcome than incarceration, there are many cases in which simple mistakes can result in incarceration possibly without an opportunity for a new trial. Probationary outcomes should be carefully contemplated for these reasons. It’s obviously important to find an experienced Boston probation violation defense lawyer to review your case and offer you the best counsel in moving forward.Common Probation Violations
- Failure to report to probation officer. The majority of probations require routine reporting to a probations officer. A failure to report to your assigned officer, even if you haven’t violated any other term of probation could be classified as a violation.
- Failure to pay fines. Probation can be expensive. This presents a problem for many clients who may have only accepted probation as part of pretrial probation or continuance without a finding to avoid the costs associated with trial. A failure to pay fines could amount to a probation violation. If you foresee these fees being an issue, contact us to see if one of our probation defense lawyers can negotiate to possibly get you more time to pay.
- Drug or alcohol use. Probations may involve refraining from drug and alcohol use. Probation officers may require routine drug or alcohol tests. A failure of these tests may result in a probation violation.
- Failure to complete community service. Community service is not always required for probation, but in cases that it is, failing to participate in or complete community service is a possible violation of probation.
- Associating with certain individuals. Depending on your offense, you may be required to stay away from certain people. This could include people involved in the crime you were accused of, or other convicted criminals. If you associate with these people against the terms of your probation this may be a probation violation.
- New convictions or offenses. Any new conviction or accused offense will almost always result in a probation violation.
A probation officer will file a document with the court called a surrender notice. You will receive a summons from the court and the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. Once this process begins, it is best for you to contact one of our experienced Massachusetts probation attorneys right away so we can get ahead of any allegations.
You will then attend an initial surrender hearing where the allegations will be formally made against you. The purpose for this hearing is to determine if probable cause exists as to the violation. The judge may hold you without bond after this hearing, so having a competent attorney with you is imperative. Afterwards, if the judge finds probable cause you will appear at a final surrender hearing where evidence will be presented against you. Your attorney should take this opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and highlight any evidentiary issues.What if the Court Determines that I Violated Probation?
Any number of things could happen going forward. You may be allowed to continue probation with different or stricter terms. Your probation may be revoked, and you may be required to serve your sentence in prison, or your punishment may be worsened. If proceedings get to this stage, our attorneys can work to get you a just outcome.
Probation violations should not be taken lightly, as they can result in incarceration and even worse long-term penalties than the initial crime would have incurred. Our team of Boston Criminal Lawyers at Altman and Altman LLP is composed of highly experienced trial attorneys who can assist you by representing you in court - whether you have been correctly or incorrectly convicted of your offense. Our attorneys will always strive to get you the best outcome possible, which is to ultimately resolve you from your probation violation, with conditions that best serve your interests. Call our experienced Criminal defense lawyers 617.492.3000 for a free case evaluation or email us. Our attorneys are available by Phone and/or Email twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.