Oftentimes, defendants accused of a crime are sentenced to probation in lieu of a jail or prison sentence. Probation is simply a sentence whereby the criminal offender is released into the community under the supervision of a probation officer. It is not a matter of right, but rather an act of grace and clemency available only to those defendants found eligible by the court. It implies that the defendant has a chance to prove himself and the purpose of probation is reform and rehabilitation. For this purpose, the defendant must agree to specified standards of conduct and impliedly promises that if he makes good, his probation will continue; however, his violation of such standards subjects his liberty to revocation.
If a person is charged with a violation of probation, it means that they were previously sentenced to release under the supervision and allegedly violated one or more of those conditions. Oftentimes, the violation of probation arises out of a new law violation which is also a violation of probation. Usually, violation of probation hearings are held before the original sentencing judge.
The sentence a defendant may receive for violating probation depends on many different factors. These factors include but are not limited to: the nature and severity of the charges for which the person was on probation, whether the defendant was on misdemeanor probation or felony probation, the nature of the violation, and whether there have been prior violations of probations in the past.
In the event that a defendant violates his or her probation by committing a new law violation, then the defendant will have two case numbers; one for the violation of probation and one for the new law violation. A violation of probation hearing is different than an initial criminal trial, and here are someof the differences between a trial and a violation of probation hearing:
The burden of proof is by preponderance of the evidence, rather than beyond a reasonable
There is no right to a jury trial.
You can be called as a witness by the State at your own hearing.
The rules of evidence are less stringent and allow the admission of evidence that would have been excluded in the initial trial.
If you have been charged with violation of probation, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Please do not hesitate to contact Jorge Luis Colón, P.A. immediately to schedule your free confidential consultation.
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