What is Probation?
When an individual is convicted of a criminal offense, he or she is typically placed on probation for a specified period of time. Probation is a set of court ordered terms and conditions that are part of the person’s criminal sentence. Occasionally, in misdemeanor cases, a person is not sure if they have suffered a conviction and placed on probation. A conviction may occur after a trial or after the accused pleads “guilty” or “no contest” to a criminal offense as part of a negotiated settlement of the case.
Formal Probation vs Informal Probation
Probation can be designated as informal, also known as summary probation, or it can be formal. Summary probation is typically granted in most misdemeanor cases and it does not require supervision by a probation officer. Formal probation is granted in felony cases where a state prison sentence is not imposed. Formal probation is strictly supervised by a probation officer who monitors the individual’s compliance with the terms of probation
A probation violation occurs when a person fails to comply with the terms and conditions of his/her probation. The terms of probation are ordered by the judge at the time of sentencing. If a person is charged with a crime while on probation for a different case, he/she may have a probation violation.
Depending on the seriousness of the underlying case and the nature of the probation violation, the consequences can either be minor or they can be devastating. For example, in some felony cases courts agree to suspend a defendant’s state prison sentence pending successful completion of probation. If the individual violates probation, the maximum state prison sentence can sometimes be imposed.
There is a wide range of consequences for probation violations. Some of these consequences are listed below:
- Imposition of a state prison sentence
- Jail time
- Community service
- Treatment programs
- Drug/alcohol testing
A probation revocation occurs when a judge orders that probation be revoked and that a final sentence be imposed. In many cases, the period of imprisonment may be the maximum allowed under California law. This is true in both felony and misdemeanor cases. In felony cases, if probation is revoked, the person is typically sentenced to state prison. In misdemeanor cases, the maximum term in the county jail may be imposed.
A probation revocation generally occurs when a person has violated probation more than once, and/or the person has performed poorly while on probation.
How We Can Help
Whether you are facing a probation violation or a probation revocation, you are entitled to hearing where you can tell the judge your side of the story. A person can dispute the allegations made by his probation officer during this hearing. In some cases, probation officers will exaggerate or embellish negative facts about an individual’s progress.
At California Criminal Defense Center, you will be represented by an expert litigator who can effectively present your case to the judge. We go through a rigorous process of gathering documents and evidence in support of our clients. We challenge every inaccuracy reported to the court and conduct a meticulous cross-examination of adversarial witnesses. We have had tremendous success in convincing judges not revoke probation for many of our clients. The overwhelming majority of our cases result in reinstatement of probation on the same terms and conditions as before.
If you would like to discuss your case, you can schedule a confidential and free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney by completing the free case evaluation form, or by calling us toll free at 1-800-384-5464.