More than 6.7 million adults in the U.S. are under a type of correctional control. Of the total of 6.7 million, roughly 55% of the individuals are on probation and approximately 11% are on parole. Parole is granted to an offender that is being “conditionally” released from prison. Both probation and parole have rules (conditions) that must be followed or the offender may have these privileges revoked.
Potential Conditions That May Be Imposed for Probation
- The individual must maintain employment and meet family obligations
- May be required to submit to physical or psychological testing and/or treatment
- A required to submit to drug screening (testing)
- Participation in occupational or vocational training or education
- Requirements to live in “a facility established for instruction, recreation, or residence” for those under correctional control
- To have no contact with “unlawful or disreputable” individuals or visit such establishments
- Prohibited from possessing or owning firearms or other dangerous weapons
- Permit your probation officer to visit you at home
- Payment of all court-imposed fines or restitution for victims
- To pay monthly probation fees of up to $25, which may be waived by special order
- To complete a specified number of community service hours
The conditions of probation may not be imposed that create an “unreasonable” burden of the defendant. Those who are convicted of a crime who are placed on probation may also be sentenced to incarceration for a period of up to one year. Defendants that are placed on probation after being convicted of a disorderly person offense may also have a sentence of up to 90 days in jail imposed.
A defendant on probation may have their conditions modified or their probation terminated for noncompliance. This may occur if significant conditions are violated or if the defendant is convicted of another criminal offense. A peace or probation officer may cause a warrant to be issued for the defendant's arrest if they have reason to believe that a violation has occurred.
Defendants that are believed to have committed a violation may be arrested without an existing warrant. The accused may be held in custody without bail while a court hearing is pending. The accused may be represented by legal counsel at a hearing for violating probation. In these hearings, the burden of proof required is the lesser “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
Those who violate their probation may have sentences imposed for their original charge(s). The court will present the grounds justifying their actions to defendants in writing. Probation will not be revoked for failing to pay fines or restitution unless the defendant is acting deliberately.
Importance of Retaining Seasoned Legal Counsel
The criminal court system considers allowing an offender to serve a period of probation as a privilege compared to incarceration. Those who violate the conditions of probation can expect to face harsh penalties. When choosing an attorney, it is important to choose one that is focused specifically on this area of legal practice.
Lawyer in New Jersey for Probation Violations
Have you been accused of violating the terms of your probation? Harsh consequences may potentially be imposed, particularly when facing new criminal charges. Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer that provides aggressive representation for clients in these matters. For a case evaluation, contact the office at (888) 535-3686 today.