There are more than two million people incarcerated in the U.S. Also, there are approximately 4.7 million individuals under some form of community control such as probation and parole. In 2016, it was estimated that nearly 2% of the population was either on probation or parole. Each year an estimated 350,000 individuals on probation or parole are incarcerated for violating the provisions (conditions) that are imposed.
Probation vs Parole
Probation is the most common time of “correctional control.” It allows offenders to remain in their community while being supervised by a probation officer. The court may order probation for a period of up to five years.
Parole is community supervision that applies specifically to those being conditionally released from prison. Offenders on probation and parole both may potentially have their supervision revoked and be incarcerated. This would result from a probation violation.
Common Conditions of Probation
- To maintain employment and satisfy family obligations
- Undergo physical or psychological assessment and/or treatment
- To submit to drug screening (testing)
- To participate in vocational training
- To reside in “a facility established for instruction, recreation, or residence” for those under community supervision
- To avoid “unlawful or disreputable” individuals and establishments
- Not to possess firearms or other dangerous weapons
- Allow for your probation officer to visit your home
- Pay and fines or restitution
- Pay a monthly fee of up to $25
- Complete any required hours of community service
Summons or Arrest of Defendant on Probation (2C:45-3)
A defendant that is currently on probation may be summoned for an appearance in court or have a warrant for their arrest issued. The defendant may be arrested if probable cause exists to believe they have violated the provisions of their probation or have committed a subsequent offense. This determination applies to probation and peace officers. The arrest may be conducted without a warrant.
The defendant may be placed in custody without bail while awaiting a court appearance. The court may revoke the defendant's probation and/or a suspended sentence for failing to comply with the conditions of probation or having been convicted of another crime. Revocation of probation and/or a suspended sentence may not be imposed solely for a failure to pay fines or restitution—unless it was done willfully.
A defendant may be resentenced for their original offense. Suspended sentences and/or probation may not be modified or terminated without a court hearing. The defendant will be presented with written grounds for such changes. In any such hearings, defendants may be represented by an attorney and may present evidence in their defense.
Lesser Standard of Proof for Probation Violation Hearings
Criminal charges must be proven using the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. In court actions that pertain specifically to violations of probation, a lower “preponderance of the evidence” standard is employed. This is one reason that those accused of violating probation should always seek experienced legal representation.
New Jersey Lawyer for Probation Violations
Individuals under active supervision from a probation department may face harsh penalties for failing to comply with the conditions. The same applies to those who have been charged with a subsequent offense while on probation. Joseph D. Lento is an established attorney with a unique understanding of these scenarios because he was employed as a probation officer early in his career. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a case consultation.