The terms community supervision or community corrections refer to probation or parole. In the U.S., there are an estimated 4.5 million adults under community supervision. Parole applies to offenders that are being released from prison and transitioning back to their communities. In New Jersey in 2017, there were an estimated 136,137 individuals on probation and another 15,180 on parole.
Among U.S. states, New Jersey ranks 9th overall for the number of adults on probation. The local division of probation is centralized and serves Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem Counties. The division is led by a Chief Probation Officer in Sewell.
Common Conditions of Probation
Those placed in probation are presented with a set of guidelines or conditions that must be adhered to. The offender has a designated probation officer that will be responsible for their supervision. Offenders will generally have a schedule of times when they must report to their probation officer; however, the officer may also visit these individuals at their homes.
Those who were convicted of drug or alcohol-related offenses will typically be required to submit to drug testing and may be ordered to participate in a treatment program. Those on probation are usually responsible for paying a monthly probation fee and are expected to pay any fines and/or restitution.
There may be a requirement to complete a specified number of community service hours and various other provisions. Offenders are not to have conditions imposed that cause them to experience an “unreasonable burden.”
Those who fail to comply with the condition of their probation may face penalties. If an individual is charged with a new criminal offense, they are likely to face particularly harsh consequences. When a probation or peace officer believes there is probable cause suggesting noncompliance, the individual may be arrested.
Offenders may receive a summons to appear in court or have a warrant issued for their arrest in some cases. The offender may be held in jail without bail as they await a court hearing. During a court hearing, the judge may hear any alleged violations of probation. If a violation is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the offender may have their probation revoked and face sentencing for their original charges.
Failing to pay probation fees, fines, and/or restitution alone will generally not result in revocation or resentencing unless done willfully. Modifications to the conditions of a defendant's probation may be made at hearings and the court will provide a written summary that explains the grounds for these actions.
Do I Need Legal Representation for a Probation Violation Hearing?
Defendants on active probation that have been arrested or received a summons to face allegations of violating their probation should promptly speak with an attorney. Courts do not treat these matters lightly and having an experienced defense lawyer is critical.
Attorney for Allegations of Violating the Conditions of Probation
Failing to comply with the conditions of community supervision may have harsh consequences, particularly when charged with a subsequent criminal offense. Attorney Joseph D. Lento worked as a probation officer early in his career and has unique insight regarding these matters. You are encouraged to contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.