Probation can be a valuable option if you were convicted of a crime in San Diego, CA. On the other hand, you’ll have to comply with strict rules during probation. If you were accused of violating probation, you’ll need an experienced San Diego probation violation lawyer to help you minimize the consequences.
At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, we have years of experience helping clients who are facing allegations of a probation or parole violation. We’re prepared to fight for you and your freedom.
It’s important to begin working with an experienced defense attorney immediately. Call our law firm in San Diego, California, at (619) 357-4977 to schedule a free consultation today to get the experienced legal representation you deserve.
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How Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers Can Help if You Were Accused of a Probation Violation in San Diego
Penalties for violating probation can be serious. However, it’s possible that you could be given another chance. For that to happen, you’ll need an experienced San Diego criminal defense lawyer by your side.
At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, our lawyers have years of experience fighting for clients in Southern California. We know how to build the aggressive defense you need to minimize the consequences of the allegations.
Hiring our law firm means you’ll have an advocate to:
- Help you understand your legal options
- Investigate to gather evidence
- Review your case to identify any constitutional violations
- Build a strong and effective defense strategy
- Advocate on your behalf throughout the entire process
- Negotiate to minimize the consequences of the alleged violation
When the prosecution sees that you have our lawyers in your corner, they’ll stop playing games. We’ll work to have any illegally obtained evidence excluded so that it can’t be considered in your probation violation hearing.
Give us a call for a free initial consultation today to learn more about how an experienced criminal lawyer can defend you.
Overview of Probation Violation Laws in California
When you’re convicted of a crime in California, the judge has authority to order one of many different types of penalties. You could be sentenced to jail time, prison, or ordered to pay steep financial penalties.
In some cases, the judge will decide to suspend a jail or prison sentence and order probation instead. When you’re on probation, you can continue to live and work in the community much as you did prior to the conviction. However, probation does come with conditions. The judge can impose restrictions that you must obey during probation.
When determining whether to allow probation, the judge will refer the case to a probation officer who will investigate whether the option is appropriate.
Factors that are relevant in determining whether to order probation include:
- The type of criminal charges involved
- The circumstances of the crime
- Your prior history
- Whether you have a prior criminal record or are a first offender
Typically, probation is allowed only when the circumstances indicate that the offender doesn’t have to be imprisoned to protect the general public. Most often, probation is available in cases involving first-time offenders who are convicted of non-violent crimes.
Terms and Conditions of Probation in California
There are multiple types of probation. Probation can be supervised or unsupervised.
In misdemeanor cases, probation is often referred to as informal probation or “summary” probation. In these cases, you won’t have to report to a probation officer at regular intervals. However, you may have to report to the court occasionally.
In cases involving formal probation, you’ll be assigned a probation officer. You’ll usually have to report to the PO monthly and comply with all other terms of probation.
Some additional conditions of probation or parole may include:
- Refraining from committing any other state or federal crime
- Financial fines and restitution
- Court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling
- Court-ordered participation in domestic violence counseling, anger management, and other programs
- Refraining from using any controlled substance, including alcohol and marijuana
- Community service
- Submitting to regular meetings with a probation officer
- Submitting to random drug or alcohol testing
- Refraining from engaging in certain activities
- A restraining order that prohibits you from contacting certain people
- Surrendering any firearms
- Allowing law enforcement to search your premises periodically
- Appearing in court as ordered
- Attending school or obtaining employment for the duration of probation
- In rare cases, wearing an electronic monitoring device
The court has significant leeway when determining the terms of probation. Often, the court will require the defendant to pay a fee while on probation to cover the costs of supervision and meetings during probation.
As you can see, there are many different ways that someone might commit a violation of probation (VOP). Even a relatively minor probation violation can have serious consequences.
Were you accused of violating probation? Contact a San Diego probation violation attorney at Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers for immediate assistance. Our experienced defense lawyers are ready to start building the strong defense you deserve today.
How Long Will Probation Last?
A new law in California limits the period of probation to one year for most misdemeanor crimes. The law is effective beginning in 2021. It’s designed to reduce the opportunity for probation violations and rearrest.
In most misdemeanor cases, the maximum term of your probation will now be one year (under prior law, probation in misdemeanor cases could last as long as three years). In felony cases where probation is available, the maximum term will be two years (down from five years under prior law).
The new law doesn’t apply in cases involving violent felonies, such as murder, rape, or robbery. It also doesn’t apply if the law has a built-in mandatory probation period or if the criminal offense was a financial crime involving more than $25,000.
What are the Penalties for Violating Probation in San Diego, California?
If you violate probation, you can be rearrested and ordered to appear before the court if there is probable cause to believe you have violated the terms of your parole.
You could face a number of penalties if you violate probation. Under California law, the judge may:
- Modify the terms of your original probation and add additional restrictions
- Extend the time period of your original probation
- Revoke the probation sentence and order you to serve the original prison sentence you would have received if not for the judge’s decision to offer probation
If the alleged violation was reasonably minor, it’s also possible that the judge could elect to be lenient and let you off with a warning.
The judge can revoke probation if you’re accused of committing another crime. That’s true even if you haven’t been convicted of the subsequent crime. On the other hand, probation won’t be revoked if you failed to pay a fine or restitution, as long as the failure wasn’t willful and you did not have the ability to pay.
Before your probation is modified or revoked, you have the right to speak with an attorney. It’s critical that you call an experienced defense lawyer right away if you receive notice that your probation is in jeopardy.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of a Probation Violation?
Violating probation is serious. However, you don’t have to accept the allegations without a fight. Not everyone who is accused of violating probation will end up in jail. Instead, it’s important to start building a strong legal defense right away.
There are a number of defense strategies that can prove effective if you were accused of a probation violation. Before your probation is revoked, you’re entitled to a hearing. Your lawyer can call witnesses and present evidence on your behalf.
Depending on the circumstances, your defense may include:
- Presenting evidence that you did not actually commit the probation violation (innocence)
- Mitigating circumstances, or that you had a good reason for the violation
To revoke probation, the prosecution only has to prove that you violated probation by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard. The standard is much lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that applies in criminal cases.
Some probation violations are unavoidable. For example, if you missed a counseling session or a meeting with your probation officer, you might have a good reason. Presenting that reason to the court could convince the judge to be lenient and allow you to remain on probation.
What Happens if My Probation Was Revoked?
If probation was revoked, you may still have options. Upon a showing of good cause, it’s possible that the court will set aside the order revoking your probation. With a strong lawyer by your side, it’s possible that your probation could be reinstated.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Diego Probation Violation Lawyer
Were you accused of violating the terms of probation? Contact a San Diego probation violation lawyer to learn more about your legal options. At Blair Defense Criminal Lawyers, we’re ready to put years of experience to work for you. All you have to do is call for your free case review today.