This is the next post in my series on the handling of probation revocation cases in Phoenix, Arizona. My last article provided an overview of topics I will be discussing and stressed the need to contact a criminal defense attorney if you or a loved one are alleged to have violated the terms of your supervision. It is important to understand that you have options and one’s having to serve jail or prison time should not be considered a “done deal.” In this post I will discuss situations in which one may find themselves facing allegations of violating their probation.
The most common reason for a probation violation hearing is if the probationer is charged with a new offense. When one is on probation they are required to obey the law and, generally speaking, any offense other than a minor traffic violation can result in the supervising officer requesting that supervision be revoked. A probationer who picks up a new case faces two serious problems. First, their supervision may be revoked and they may be required to serve the sentence which was imposed at the time they were placed on probation. Second, they will find themselves charged with the new offenses which was allegedly committed. If convicted, the time one has to serve for a subsequent offense may be consecutive (meaning in addition to) the time they serve as a result of the probation violation. This can mean one serving a substantial term of incarceration.
It is important to understand that one does not have to be charged with a new offense in order to be found in violation of probation. Several requirements are placed upon someone who is given probation. These requirements include having to check in regularly with an officer, having to pay regular fees, having to perform community service or hold employment, and, depending on the circumstances, one will have to pay restitution to a victim. If you fail to meet these requirements then the supervising officer has discretion to request that the Judge consider you in violation of your probation, even if you have not committed another crime. It should be said that it is uncommon for a probation officer to request revocation over something such as a single missed check in. A regular pattern of small infractions, or a failed drug test, will often lead to a request being brought before the Judge.
It is also important to understand that one on probation does not have many of the same rights afforded to other citizens. For example, your supervising officer may show up at your home unannounced and conduct a warrantless search. If items such as drugs, guns, or other illegal contraband is found then the probationer will likely face revocation. This is just one reason why it is very important that one live life “by the book” while under supervision.
If you or a loved one are alleged to have violated probation then it is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. I am a Phoenix lawyer handling probation revocation matters and I handle all matters in the office personally. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. I also service Maricopa County areas such as Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert as well as Pima County residents in Tucson.