A probation is a big relief to anybody who can avoid jail time. time. However, the legal system sees probation as a privilege, not a right. There are terms of probation that set the rules of things to do or not to do and must be followed throughout the length of the probation sentence. Probation violation in Arizona is serious offense that occurs when you break the terms or conditions of your probation.
The consequences associated with probation violation usually depend on a variety of factors, such as the nature and gravity of the violation, whether you have any prior violations, and whether there are other circumstances that may lessen (or worsen) the severity of the situation. A probation violation in Arizona has severe consequences and penalties, including the possibility of additional probation terms, significant fines, a revoked probation or, more significantly, jail time.
What are the circumstances that equate to a probation violation in AZ?
Depending on the type of probation you were placed on, there are various types of probation violations, such as:
- Committing other crimes or offenses;
- Getting arrested for another offense, regardless of whether criminal or not;
- Missing a drug test, possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs;
- Drinking if your probation specified no alcohol;
- Visiting certain people or places, or traveling out of state without the permission of your probation officer;
- Failing to complete community service or counseling for any reason;
- Removing any security monitoring device;
- Failing to check in with the judge or your probation officer at the scheduled time or place;
- Failing to appear during a scheduled court appearance on a set date and time;
- Failing to pay court fines, fees, and other forms of restitution (to the victims) as ordered by the court; and
- Failing to comply with a court order or to check in with a probation officer.
What happens if I violate my probation?
There is no set rule as to what happens immediately after a probation violation in Arizona is reported. Probation officers have broad discretion to issue a warning or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. In deciding, a probation officer may consider the severity and type of condition violated, past probation violations or warnings, and other considerations. Once probation is violated, the following will happen:
Warning or Request to Appear in Court
Warnings are sometimes given out if the violation was less severe or if it was a first-time offense. The probation officer can also ask the court through a petition to revoke probation. Once this occurs, the defendant will be asked to appear in court to speak with a judge about the violation.
Determination of Probation Violation
During a probation hearing, a sentencing judge will hear your case to consider whether you violated any terms or conditions of your probation. Both the defendant and prosecution sides can bring in witnesses to discuss the probation terms and potential violation(s). The prosecuting attorney will need to prove a violation occurred by a likelihood of more than 50 percent. The defendant may either admit or file a denial of the violation, in which case, a defendant and their attorney will have to prove that the probation was revoked unjustly in order to successfully appeal a revocation petition. The defendant has the right against self-incrimination, the right to a public hearing, the right to call witnesses and to compel their attendance, the right to confront and examine witnesses called by the state, and the right to present evidence on his own behalf. However, the defendant does not have a right to a jury trial.
Factors a judge might consider include the nature, type, and seriousness of the violation claimed, as well as a history of prior probation violations and other aggravating or mitigating circumstances. If you are found guilty of probation violation, sentencing will occur shortly after the probation hearing, at which time the court may extend your probation, impose additional probation terms, order you to serve a brief jail time, or worse, revoke your probation altogether and require you to serve out any remaining time of your original sentence in prison. If a judge finds there is no violation, the original terms of probation will go into effect.
Additional, or intensive probation, often sees a defendant placed under house arrest. Additional restrictions could include urinalysis or breath samples by a surveillance officer, and requirements to call and update about plans to leave and return to the house for work or other court-approved activities. Probation for a person who was convicted of a felony can be extended for up to five years in the state of Arizona, and for up to two years for a misdemeanor conviction.
What do I need to do if I have violated my probation?
If you have violated your probation or are facing a probation revocation petition in Arizona, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. If no action is taken, the risk of additional punishments like jail time or hefty fines is all but assured. The last thing you want is to go or return, to prison. You may want to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix. A skilled defense lawyer will be able to work with you to discuss the circumstances surrounding the probation violation and do their best to defend you and your interests in an appeals court.
When scouting for the Phoenix criminal defense attorney, look for one that:
- has 30 years of experience as a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer
- is a former prosecutor so he knows how it works on the inside
- has a perfect “10” rating on avvo.com
- Is highly recommended by former clients
You can find that Phoenix Criminal Lawyer at the Law Office of Howard A. Snader. Call us today to schedule your free legal defense strategy consultation. At Howard Snader Law, we will do our best to defend you and your interests in an appeals court. Talk to our experienced criminal defense attorneys now.