Substantive Violations of Probation

Clearwater Attorneys Representing Probationers

If you have been placed on probation for a misdemeanor or felony offense, it can feel like someone is watching your every move each moment of the day. On probation, you must take extra care to steer clear of bad influences, to avoid contact with police, and to make sure you keep your probation officer up to date on all of your activities. Being on probation can be overwhelming, and if you find yourself facing a violation, it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Clearwater probation violation lawyer.

If you violate the terms of your probation sentence, you could find yourself back in jail facing a violation of probation. Once a violation has been alleged against you, many of the rights that you are entitled to as a criminal defendant go out the window. You no longer have a right to bond or pretrial release, and you no longer have a right to a trial by jury to prove the allegations against you. Your constitutional protections are significantly weakened which makes it all the more critical that you contact a dedicated lawyer to defend you.

Substantive Violations

There are two broad categories of probation violations. Technical violations are violations of the standard terms of probation such as failing to report to a probation meeting or failing a drug test. Technical violations are usually less serious and can be easier to resolve. Substantive violations are allegations that you have committed a crime while on probation. These types of violations are also known as “new law” violations, because the allegations involve the accusation that the probationer committed a new offense in violation of a different law.

Substantive violations are far more serious than those of the technical variety. Judges will rarely be willing to grant you a bond and the penalties for the original charge are multiplied. When you have been accused of a new crime while you are on probation, it is almost like you must fight the same case twice. With the new charge, you will have the right to a trial by jury, a right to remain silent and all other constitutional rights afforded to criminal defendants. Even if your underlying new criminal charges are dismissed or you are found not guilty, you will still have to deal with the substantive probation violation.

Your constitutional protections do not apply for your violation of probation case. In a criminal trial, the prosecution is held to the burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. At your violation hearing, they must only prove that you violated probation by a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard. You have the right to be tried by a jury of your peers in a criminal case. At a violation hearing, the presiding judge is the person who decides both legal issues and your guilt. The Fifth amendment protects a criminal defendant from having to testify against him or herself at a trial. At a violation hearing, however, the prosecution CAN call a defendant to testify to prove his or her guilt. Because a probationer’s constitutional rights are stripped, it is all the more important that you obtain a skilled Clearwater probation violation lawyer to aid you.

Hire a Dedicated Violation of Probation Lawyer in Clearwater Today

A new law violation of probation is a daunting process. You will be facing increased criminal penalties and your constitutional rights will be stripped. Hiring the right lawyer will become all the more important. The lawyers at Hanlon law have represented countless probationers and have achieved excellent results for their clients. Call us today at (727) 897-5414 to find out what we can do for you on your case.