Gillette Probation Violation Defense Lawyers
Probation is a court-ordered period of supervision. Judges place defendants on probation as an alternative to incarceration. The court may order probation if the circumstances and seriousness of the crime suggest that the defendant is not a threat to society and a jail or prison sentence is not appropriate.
While probationers are allowed to live freely in the community, they must abide by certain conditions of probation for a certain time period, as specified by the court. They must also report regularly to a probation officer. Among other possible conditions, a probationer may be required to:
- Participate in a rehabilitation program
- Submit to drug and alcohol testing
- Live where directed
- Maintain employment
- Refrain from owning a firearm
- Refrain from committing any additional offenses
- Consent to random searches of residence, vehicle, and personal belongings
Defendants in Wyoming may be ordered to one of two different types of probation:
- Supervised probation: When probation is supervised, the probationer is required to report to a probation officer and submit to drug and alcohol testing during these visits. Probation officers can also make random surprise visits to check up on probationers. Supervised probation is typically ordered for felony offenses, often for a period of years.
- Unsupervised probation: A defendant may get unsupervised probation for up to one year for a misdemeanor offense. The court will set specific terms and conditions of probation. The probationer may be required to receive counseling and refrain from consuming alcohol during the probation period.
A probation violation is a violation of a court order. You could be facing the same jail or prison sentence you would have received if you had not been sentenced to probation. Your probation officer has the right to take you into custody if he or she believes you have violated your probation. If that happens, you will have to attend a probation revocation hearing.
The hearing is held before a judge and a hearing officer. You have the right to present evidence to the court to support your innocence and to call or cross-examine witnesses. Of course, your criminal defense lawyer can represent you in the hearing.
The prosecution has a lower burden of proof for probation violations than for the original conviction. The standard is a preponderance of the evidence -- based on the evidence presented, the chance that you violated your probation is greater than 50%. The judge will decide whether you should be penalized for violating your probation and what the consequences will be.
Probation is not automatically revoked if the court finds that you are in violation. As an alternative to incarceration, the judge may order community service or impose additional conditions and terms of your probation.
If your probation is revoked, the court will sentence you as it would have done had you not been originally sentenced to probation. If you were originally facing up to a year in jail upon conviction but were sentenced to probation as an alternative, if your probation is revoked, you could be facing up to a year in jail once again. Also, if your probation was revoked because of a new criminal offense, you could be charged with a new crime, which could result in additional sentencing.
Contact Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. at (307) 257-7800. Our Gillette criminal defense attorneys are dedicated advocates who can provide skilled representation in probation violation matters.
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