Probation is the final stretch before being out of the criminal justice system and back to a normal life. However, a single violation of your probation can have years of consequences that pull you back into the court system—and even jail. In Los Angeles, you can get a probation violation for a speeding ticket, for failing to finish a class on time, for missing a hearing, or for relapsing into alcohol or drugs if you were ordered not to. If you have been accused of breaking your probation, don’t face it alone. You need to talk to a Los Angeles probation violation lawyer.
The Simmrin Law Group knows how to help. We have dedicated our firm to helping those who stand accused, and putting lives back together for past offenders who are trying to move forward. We know the judges, we know the prosecutors and we know how to win a hearing. Let us give you a free consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.
How do probation violation charges work in Los Angeles?
When you are placed on probation, whether formal or formal, as part of your sentence you are required to perform certain obligations. Some of the are ongoing, like not committing a crime during probation, and others have to be completed by a deadline (like if you are required to complete a class). If you fail to meet any of these requirements, it will count a probation violation.
The most common ways people break probation include:
- Getting arrested for a new offense (or new charge of the same offense)
- Breaking a minor law such as a traffic law
- Driving on a suspended license
- Using drugs or alcohol when you were ordered not to
- Failing to go to court-ordered programs, classes or drug treatment
- Not completing court-ordered programs
- Not being able to afford the court-ordered programs
- Trying to complete something, but missing the deadline or not getting the right documentation
- Missing meetings with your probation officer if you have one
If you are on supervised (formal) probation and you fail to meet a requirement, your probation officer will likely find out about it and may warn you first or immediately report it to the court. If you do not have a probation officer (informal probation) the court may find out because you were arrested, or because you do not submit documentation of completing a requirement.
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What are the penalties for a probation violation?
The short answer is it could be one of three things:
- If you were originally given probation instead of jail time, you may have to go back and serve your jail sentence
- Even if you already served jail time, you may now be given additional jail time
- Or, the judge may not send you to jail, but impose other penalties including a fine, a longer probation period, or new and more onerous probation requirements
However, the judge does not have to do any of these things. When you are accused of a probation violation, you get a date for a new court hearing. At the court hearing, you or your lawyer may convince the judge not find you in violation at all. What this means is that you don’t face any additional penalties, and you can continue the probation as-is. This is the best possible outcome for most probation violations, because it carries no jail time, no new penalties, and you are still eligible for an expungement at the end of your probation.
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How can a lawyer help me with a probation violation?
You are not required to have a lawyer when you face a violation, but if you do it gives you an advantage.
One reason is that judges tend to lean heavily on the recommendation of the prosecutor. The prosecutor will read the details of your alleged violation long before the judge does, and the prosecutor has a lot of power to recommend an outcome. That means the best strategy you can take actually happens before the court hearing—by having a professional negotiate with the prosecutor directly.
This is where an experienced lawyer really shines. A good probation lawyer knows the prosecutors in Los Angeles and can decide on the right tactics for approaching each one. They also understand what prosecutors look for and what convinces them to stand down. It is almost unheard of for a defendant to negotiate successfully with a prosecutor on their own, but a good lawyer does this every week.
Some of the ways that a lawyer can improve your probation violation outcome include:
- You may not have to serve ANY jail time
- You may be able to continue serving your probation as-is without having it extended
- If you struggled to afford the probation requirements, the court may help you get financial assistance
- If a probation requirement was incompatible with your work schedule, you may be able to get your probation modified
- In some cases, you could get drug or alcohol treatment instead of more serious penalties
- You may still be able to apply for an expungement or early termination of probation despite the alleged violation
- If you re-offended, the lawyer may convince the prosecutor to dismiss the new offense and count it only as a probation violation
Each case is unique, and the right outcome for your case depends on what happened and what penalties you face. No matter what, however, you shouldn’t face them alone. Talk to a lawyer.
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Talk to a Los Angeles Probation Violation Lawyer for Free
Probation violations can act like quicksand, pulling you back into the system when you are almost out. Don’t let a violation cost you additional years of your life. The Simmrin Law Group will give you a FREE consultation and help you make the right decisions. Fill out the form to the right or call us at 310-997-4688 and get your free consultation today.