Probation Violation in California - Penal Code 1203.2 PC
When you are sentenced for a misdemeanor or a felony crime, the Los Angeles County criminal court judge can order a probation term, which is a designed to rehabilitate criminals instead of punishment.
When you are granted probation, you will be ordered to comply with a long list of tasks. Common terms of probation will include fines, restitution, community service, counseling classes, A/A meetings, stay-away orders, no unlawful conduct, and progress reviews.
In California, there are two types of probation, informal probation and formal probation. Under Penal Code 1203.2 PC, a judge can grant probation rather than jail time. In other words, probation is an option to avoid jail. The goal is rehabilitation without incarceration. It's considered a privilege, not a legal right.
The courts will monitor your compliance by either formal or summary probation. Frequently, these orders are not followed and you will be accused of a probation violation – simply meaning you broke the terms of your probation.
Under California Penal Code 1203.3, a judge can grant early termination of probation, but it will only be granted If you can show the court “good cause.”
The consequences of violating your probation will depend on a variety of factors and if you have a prior violation. If a violation is proved, the judge can decide to sentence you to the entire prison term possible for the underlying felony offense.
Penalties for Probation Violation
The penalties of violating probation can be severe and have a very detrimental effect on your future and that of your family. With a probation violation, arrest warrants can be issued with no notice at all to you, meaning you could be picked up at any time and taken into custody by the police. Probation violation warrants are issued for the following reasons:
- Failure on your part to complete a required program or class
- Not making a scheduled court appearance
- Getting arrested while on probation
- Committing another criminal offense
If you have found yourself in violation of probation or perhaps even think you are in violation, you need a skilled and competent Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for your legal representation.
The attorneys at Cron, Israels & Stark can evaluate all circumstances relating to your case and help you circumvent any unjustified penalties or punishment. Call our office immediately to set up a free initial consultation, you do have legal rights and options.
Probation Violation Hearing
If your court believes you violated the terms of probation, they will schedule a probation violation hearing – commonly known as a probation revocation hearing. It will have witnesses witnesses and evidence presented during the hearing, and you have the right to have legal representation. There is no jury who will decide guilt or innocence, only the judge will decide if you violated the terms of your probation.
The Los Angeles county prosecutor doesn't have to prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt – only a violation by a “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that it's only 51% likely you violated probation. The standard of proof is much lower, meaning you need representation by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
If the judge determines you violated felony probation, they have options. They could revoke your probation and sentence you to California state prison for the maximum time of your original offense. They could also revoke and reinstate your probation – but with new terms that normally include at least some time in the county jail and extension of the length of probation.
They could order you to serve some time in a sober living home or drug rehabilitation facility. The court also has the option of placing you back on probation with no jail time, but with additional conditions. If you violate felony probation, you will most likely receive some type of jail sentence.
What are the Legal Defenses?
Probation violation can result in serious consequences if you are convicted, resulting in your loss of freedom by being imprisoned, having your probation revoked and large fines.
It is therefore imperative to build a strong defense with the end goal of having all probation violation charges levied against you dismissed outright or at least having the penalties minimized.
We will work towards getting you back into compliance with your probation requirements as required. Our firm is dedicated and geared toward helping you achieve the best possible end result. With our years of experience and proficient legal staff working for you, a solid legal defense can be developed on your behalf.