Probation violation results when an individual fails to comply with the terms of his or her probation order – intentional or not. Depending on the severity of the incident, violating a probation order can have significant and lasting consequences including additional jail time. Probation itself is stressful and often excessively restrictive – adding additional limitations or penalties to the existing probation order can be extremely damaging. This is why retaining a criminal defense attorney experienced with handling probation violations is essential.
At the Blischak Law Firm, we pride ourselves on our aggressive defense of the accused. Having prior experience working for the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Mesa Prosecutor’s Office, our attorneys understand the intricacies of the criminal justice system. Our criminal defense attorneys have successfully defended clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, and throughout the State of Arizona. We work to make sure that the presumption of innocent until proven guilty – the bedrock foundation for the criminal justice system – is upheld. If you have been accused of violating your probation order, or believe that you may have violated your probation order, please contact criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can protect you.
Do I Have A Violation of Probation?
Whether you have violated your probation order is circumstantial and depends upon the specifics on your probation order. A probation order will prohibit certain activities or actions depending on what the judge deems to be necessary given the original criminal charges. Given the broad range of activities that could violate a probation order, the following activities are generally the most common causes for violating a probation order:
- Using, possessing, or selling illegal controlled substances (e.g. marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, Xanax) or other ior prescription drugs without a proper prescription
- Consuming or possessing alcohol
- Committing a new crime such as theft, assault, or battery
- Failing to timely check in with a probation officer
- Failing to appear for a scheduled court appearance
- Failing to timely pay court fines, fees, and other forms of restitution ordered by the court
- Traveling outside of a geographically limited area per the probation order without receiving prior approval from the probation officer or court
- Engaging with certain individuals that the probation order prohibits, such as a prior known accomplice
- Removing any monitoring device such as an ankle tracker
What if I have a Probation Violation in Phoenix?
An allegation for failure to comply with your probation order can result in a variety of actions depending on the court and probation officer’s discretion.
First, you may simply receive a warning from the probation officer. A warning usually results when the probation officer believes that the violation was not severe and does not justify additional punishment. The warning acts to document your violation for future reference should you again violate your probation order. While a warning is an ideal outcome, it is generally quite rare.
Second, the probation officer may petition the court to revoke your probation. If the probation officer files a motion to revoke probation with the court, you will receive a summons from the court to appear. At the court hearing, you will have the opportunity to either admit or deny the allegations. If the violation is not admitted, then the court will schedule a second hearing to determine whether you have actually violated your probation order.
At the violation hearing, the probation officer will be required to prove that you violated your probation order. While “beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard that the prosecution must prove for criminal allegations, the probation officer is only required to prove that you violated your probation order “by a preponderance of the evidence” in the violation hearing. Due to the lower evidentiary standard, “proving” that you violated your probation order is much easier than proving you committed a crime. If the probation officer is unsuccessful in proving that you violated the terms of your probation order, then the original probation order will remain in effect. However, if the probation officer is successful in proving the alleged violation, then the court may order a continuance, a modification of probation, or a revocation of probation.
If the court orders a continuance, then the terms of the original probation order will still govern and the probation order will continue as if the violation didn’t happen. If the court orders a modification, then the court may extend the length of the probation or add additional terms to the probation order. In the worst case, the court may order a revocation of probation which is likely to result in serving an imprisonment sentence equal to the sentence that would have been required but for the probation agreement.
Following the court’s order to revoke or modify the probation order, you may appeal the decision and will be required to prove that the revocation or modification was “arbitrary and unsupported by any theory of evidence.”
Contact Our Experienced Probation Violation Lawyer in Phoenix
With more than 40 years of collective experience, the attorneys at the Blischak Law Firm have successfully defended those accused of violating probation orders, ensuring that an out of balance criminal justice system does not continue to unjustly punish those who have been granted a probation order. If you have been accused of violating your probation order, or believe that you may have violated your probation order, please contact our offices as soon as possible for a free consultation.
The Blischak Law Firm serves clients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, and throughout the State of Arizona.