If a person on probation is accused of violating probation, such as failing a drug test, the probation officer will inform the court of a potential probation violation. Once this has occurred, the probationer can either plead guilty to the probation violation or demand a hearing. At the hearing, the prosecuting attorney must prove that there was a violation. Because the person has already been convicted of the underlying crime there is a lower standard of proof. If the judge finds by “a preponderance of the evidence” (more than 50% likely), that the person violated the terms of probation, the Judge will find them guilty and sentence them. In determining a sentence, the judge will take into account the sentence recommended by the probation officer. The Judge’s options are to sentence jail for up to the maximum time allowed for the underlying crime or the Judge could, terminate continue, extend, or modify probation or any combination of these options.
Navigating a probation violation hearing can become very complicated and could have consequences in other cases. If you are being accused of a probation violation, I can help! Call me at 517-548-7400.
If you have questions about license restoration, criminal law or civil litigation, call Bill at (517) 548-7400 or email him at [email protected]. Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC represents individuals, their families and their businesses. Email us at [email protected], or call (517) 548-7400. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.