In 2017 in New Jersey, there were more than 19,000 individuals in prison and more than 15,000 in local jail facilities. The state's incarceration rate equates to approximately 219 for every 100,000 individuals in the population. There were also 136,137 people on active probation and 15,180 on parole, which are the two primary types of community supervision.
Understanding Probation and Parole
Probation is the most common form of community supervision or control. It allows offenders to remain in their local community rather than be incarcerated. Parole applies to individuals that are being released from prison. It is designed as a form of transitional supervision for those returning to their local community. Both programs have clearly defined rules or conditions. Failing to comply with the conditions will result in adverse consequences.
Commonly Imposed Conditions of Probation
- There is generally a schedule of times when the offender must report to meet with their assigned probation officer
- Probation officers may also visit those under their supervision in their homes
- Offenders are typically responsible for paying a monthly probation fee of roughly $25, which may be waived for indigence
- The monthly probation fee is in addition to any fines and/or restitution that is imposed
- There may be a required number of community service hours to be completed
- To submit to drug screening
- To undergo an assessment and treatment for substance abuse
- Maintain employment or participate in educational or vocational training
- The conditions imposed may vary; however, they may not create an “unreasonable burden” on the offender
Violating the Conditions of Probation
When probable cause exists to believe that a violation of probation has occurred, the offender may be arrested without a warrant. In some cases, the court will issue a summons or implement an arrest warrant. Offenders may be held in custody without bail until they appear for a scheduled hearing.
To prove that a criminal offense has been committed, the burden of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In hearings for violations of probation, this standard is reduced to “by the preponderance of the evidence.” If a violation is proven, the judge may order the probation to be revoked and the defendant may be resentenced for the original criminal offense(s).
When making any modifications to a defendant's probation the court will produce a written summary of the grounds that are the basis for the decision. The defendant is allowed to defend against the allegations and be represented by legal counsel.
Importance of Having an Experienced Attorney
Those who are alleged to have violated the conditions of their probation are strongly encouraged to consult with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer. This is equally as important for those on active probation that have been charged with a subsequent criminal offense.
Probation Violation Lawyer in New Jersey
Failing to abide by the conditions imposed for community supervision may have harsh consequences, particularly when charged with a new criminal offense. Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that has represented many clients faced with these allegations. For a case consultation, contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.