Violation of Probation in NJ
A violation of probation is not something you should take lightly. Probation is offered as an alternative to incarceration, so a violation of probation may result in an extension of your probationary period or in a new sentence that includes jail time. Depending on the conditions of your probation and the nature of your violation, you could be facing serious ramifications. An experienced defense criminal defense attorney may be able to prove just cause for your violation, dispute your violation or reduce any subsequent sentence.
Regardless of the circumstances of your violation of probation, you should always speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. You likely have more choices than you realize.
NJ criminal defense lawyer Frank T. Luciano has helped hundreds of clients avoid jail sentence, extra fines and other punishments related to probation violations. His thorough understanding of the law gives his clients a significant advantage in violation of Passaic County probation hearings and many other areas throughout the state. He has successfully defended clients throughout NJ, including in Bergen and Hudson counties.
Your New Jersey Violation of Probation Hearing
A judge may opt to sentence an offender to probation in lieu of jail time to allow the individual to remain a productive member of society. This is a diversionary sentencing option for a wide range of criminal charges that requires people who are on probation to meet certain requirements. Some of these conditions include reporting to a probation officer regularly, passing routine drug tests, paying fines, remaining employed and/or staying out of further legal trouble. If a person is able to meet these requirements for the predetermined time (generally 1 – 5 years), the probationary period will end uneventfully. The problems arise when the probationary conditions are not met.
Some examples of potential probation violations include:
- Failure to appear at a scheduled court date
- Failure to report to probation officer
- Committing new crimes
- Getting arrested
- Traveling out of state without permission from probation officer
- Failed drug and/or alcohol screening
- Possession of drugs or paraphernalia
- Failure to pay fines
A violation of probation hearing has two stages. The first involves a determination of whether or not a violation occurred. The prosecution must show a preponderance of evidence that you violated one or more of your terms of probation, while you must show evidence that you did not or that you were justified in doing so. It’s critical to be guided by a legal expert during this stage to craft a viable defense as to why you violated your probation or to dispute that a violation occurred. This is especially true because the prosecution is not held to the reasonable doubt standard in proving that a violation occurred.
If a judge finds that you are in violation of probation, you will then move onto the sentencing stage of your hearing. Once again, legal experience and expertise will prove invaluable during this phase. When determining your sentence, the judge will consider the severity of your violation and whether or not this was your first offense, among many other factors. A skilled criminal defense attorney like Frank T. Luciano will argue on your behalf to influence the judge to be lenient in your sentencing.
Frank T. Luciano Will Help You Avoid Incarceration
When it comes to a violation of probation, you don’t want to take any chances. The last thing you want to do is go to jail when you don’t have to or be subject to unnecessary fines. Under no circumstances should you enter a violation of probation hearing without legal defense. An attorney like Mr. Luciano will mean the difference between you going to jail or you merely getting a probation extension. Don’t gamble with your freedom. Contact the law offices of Frank T. Luciano for an initial consultation today at 973-471-0004 to discuss the details of your Passaic County probation violation.