Arizona courts take violations of probation very seriously, and the penalties can be harsh. The best case scenario is to be reinstated back on your probation with the original terms, but a judge has many other options for sentencing, including prison sentences in some cases.
Probation is a legal condition where you are closely monitored by a probation officer and the State to make sure that you aren’t breaking the law. During this time, you will be free from prison. But if you violate the terms of your probation, then you actually have less protection than if you were charged with another crime. For example, arrests based on violations of probation are not automatically entitled to bail. Also, guilt doesn’t need to be proved beyond a “reasonable doubt.” Instead, a preponderance of evidence is all that is required. There is no statue of limitations, and you have no right to a jury trial. Hearsay evidence is allowed in court. All of these factors make it harder to beat the case.
Some common violations of probation are:
- Associating with known criminals
- Failure to complete required community service
- Failure to enroll in or complete rehabilitation
- Failure to pay fines
- Failure to pay restitution to the victim
- Possession of illegal drugs or weapons
But you do often have options for a strong defense if your case is handled by a qualified Arizona criminal defense lawyer. He or she can put in a request for a bond at a hearing. If a bond is granted by the judge, the defendant may be able to be released while the violation of probation is still pending.
How Probation in Arizona Works
If you are given probation as an alternative to time in jail, the court will give you terms and conditions to make sure you will be a law-abiding citizen. The specific rules for your care will be included in your probation packet. If you complete the probationary period without any violations and you have no additional infractions, then you no longer have to be under the State’s supervision.
However, any deviation from the requirements set out in your probation packet is considered a probation violation. In the event of a violation, the probation officer may give you a second chance in some cases, which would allow you to be free from jail under the same agreement. However, this isn’t always the case, and even after just one violation, no matter how small, a bench warrant can be issued. If this is the case, this means the probation officer takes the violation very seriously since he or she felt the need to get the court involved. You need to be prepared with a strong defense if you want to avoid additional penalties and possible jail time, so contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.
Seek Assistance from a Knowledgeable Arizona Criminal Lawyer
Cases involving violations of probation are based on an accusation that is made by the probation officer. There are specific legal requirements that the probation officer must follow when filling out and presenting this document. If you are working with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney, he or she will investigate to make sure all the proper protocols and procedures were followed. You should get in contact with a criminal lawyer to discuss your probation violation as soon as possible to get the process started.
Defense for Violation of Probation in Arizona
During the violation of probation hearing, your Arizona criminal defense attorney can work to prove that you were in compliance with your probation, that there is insufficient evidence to prove the violation, or show innocence for any crimes you are accused of.
Each case is different, so the type of defense strategy employed will vary. The longer your lawyer has to prepare for your case, the better off you will be when it comes time for court, so contacting someone as soon as possible is crucial.
If you are currently on probation, you should understand the consequences of a violation. The stakes are high if you slip up. If you are found guilty of a violation of probation, then your probation can be modified or reinstated, or it can be revoked completely. If the probation is revoked, then the judge can impose the maximum penalty of the charge you were placed on probation for. If you have questions or concerns about the specifics of your probation terms, you should contact a qualified Arizona criminal lawyer to get more information.