Can I bond out on a violation of probation?
Every county varies somewhat on their procedure for bonds on violations of probation. Many counties do not arrest probationers for technical violations, they merely set a rule hearing and give the probationer a notice to appear in court. In cases with more serious violations or new charges a probationer is not initially eligible for bond on the violation of probation itself. In Houston County the State is given forty-five days in which to bring the probationer before the court (this length of time varies somewhat county to county). If the State fails to bring the case to court within the time limit, we will be entitled to a bond hearing on the violation of probation itself, but that does not mean we have a guarantee of getting a bond.
What is a Petition for Modification or Revocation of Probation?
A Petition for Modification or Revocation is the actual legal filing in which the state alleges how the probationer has violated their probation. These are the allegations which the state must prove to a judge by a preponderance of evidence at a Rule Hearing.
What are the different types of Violations of Probation?
There are four main categories of violations:
- Technical violation. A technical violation is when a probationer fails to follow one of the basic rules of probation. These generally include failures to report and failures to pay. The maximum punishment for a technical violation is a revocation of up to 2 years confinement.
- Special condition violation. A special condition is a basic rule of probation that was made “special” because the Court believed it needed extra emphasis. The maximum punishment for a special condition violation is to revoke the full balance of probation to prison.
- Misdemeanor violation. A misdemeanor violation is when a probationer commits a misdemeanor offense while on probation. The maximum punishment for a misdemeanor violation is to revoke up to 2 years confinement. NOTE: Three things should be remembered: 1) in addition to addressing the offense as a probation violation, it must also be addressed as a separate case; 2) the offense can be used to revoke probation even before the separate case itself has been resolved; 3) even if a “not guilty” verdict is ever reached on the separate case, that does not prevent the charge from being used to revoke probation.
- Felony violation. A felony violation is when a probationer commits a felony offense while on probation. The maximum punishment for a felony violation is to revoke the full balance of probation or the maximum that could be received on the felony charge to confinement, whichever is lesser. NOTE: Three things should be remembered: 1) in addition to addressing the offense as a probation violation, it must also be addressed as a separate case; 2) the offense can be used to revoke probation even before the separate case is disposed of; 3) even if a “not guilty” verdict is ever reached on the separate case, that does not prevent the charge from being used to revoke probation.
What can the Daniell Law Firm do to help me with my Violation of Probation?
There are two main paths Violations of Probation take, our firm pursues all options and does so rapidly. Your time and freedom are precious to us, and we will do everything we can to have you released as soon as possible.
If you are only accused of a “technical violation” we will negotiate with your probation officer about offering you a waiver. Through a waiver you admit the violation and “waive” (give up) the right to a hearing in return for some type of favorable treatment.
The type of favorable treatment will depend on the kind of waiver being offered:
- “Waiver to Release”: Through this type of waiver you admit the violation in return for an immediate release from jail. However, part of the waiver holds that if you commit any technical violations in the future you agree to a certain sentence listed on the waiver without the possibility of a hearing.
- “Waiver of Hearing”: Through this type of wavier you admit the violation in return for a reduced punishment offered to you by your probation offer.
Whether a waiver is offered is completely up to your probation officer. Further, you do not have to sign a waiver because doing so is an admission that you violated probation. If a waiver is offered, we will come and personally discuss the positives and negatives of entering into such an agreement. BEWARE OF ENTERING INTO WAIVERS WITHOUT LEGAL REPRESENTATION; THEY CAN MODIFY YOUR TERMS OF PROBATION IN VERY SERIOUS WAYS.
If a waiver is not offered or you decline to sign one you will receive a Court appearance where you may choose one of the following options:
- Deny any violation. If you deny any violation you have the right to a hearing where the State carries the burden of proof “by a preponderance of the evidence” (more likely than not). At this hearing, you have a right to testify and offer other evidence but you cannot be forced to do so. If the Court finds you violated probation as indicated, you will be sentenced. If the Court finds you did not violate, you will be returned to probation.
- Stipulation with joint sentence recommendation. If you stipulate (admit) you violated probation, a joint sentence recommendation might be worked out with the State. If an agreement is reached, the joint recommendation will be offered to the Court. If the Court doesn’t agree with the recommendation, you may withdraw your stipulation and have a hearing.
- Stipulation and argue. If you stipulate (admit) you violated probation but wish to argue the amount of punishment, a sentencing hearing will be held. At this hearing both the State and defense make their own sentence recommendations. You have a right to speak and to have others speak on your behalf. The Court will then sentence you according to the recommendation of the State, the defense or to any sentence allowed by law. Following a sentencing hearing you do not have a right to withdraw your stipulation.
The attorneys of the Daniell Law Firm have handled literally hundreds of Violations of Probation. Let our experience benefit you; there is nothing more valuable than your freedom.