How to Get Off Probation Early or Defend a Probation Violation. How to Get Off Probation Early or Defend a Probation Violation. Probation is the most common program used by criminal judges to rehabilitate an individual convicted of a crime.
In fact it is the most used program in the criminal justice system. Probation is also called community supervision and roughly one in every 45 people in the United States is under some form of probation. Federal, state and municipal judges across the country use probation as a tool to monitor those who have committed crimes. Part of the goal of probation is not only to monitor the offender but also to protect the community. If an offender demonstrates that they cannot obey the terms of probation, jail is usually the punishment. See the American Probation and Parole Association Position Statement. Probation means that the person being supervised is held accountable by a probation officer to follow the terms of the probation. Probationary terms typically include refraining from engaging in new criminal conduct, refraining from using drugs and alcohol, and completing court ordered community service and programing such as substance abuse counseling, education and treatment.
Because the most likely punishment for violating probation is going to jail the question becomes how to effectively fight an allegation of probation violation. TESTING POSITIVE FOR A BANNED SUBSTANCE LIKE ALCOHOL OR DRUGS. Testing positive is the most common reason for the violation. Fighting chemical drug and alcohol testing requires the use of an attorney or expert who is trained in the analysis of biological samples. There must be specialized knowledge of urine and ETG screening, breath testing, using a gas chromatograph equipped with a mass spectrometer. Specialized testing apparatus like the SCRAM Tether or Soberlink require special proprietary knowledge. It is important to use a drug possession defense lawyer or expert whose expertise is unquestioned as the judge will simply believe the probation officer or their testing officials despite the fact they usually have very little experience and knowledge about the science behind the testing. The secret is to quickly get the judge to understand that the attorney or expert is the smartest person in the courtroom about the subject testing then the judge will want to adopt their findings. Judges are people too and people are always persuaded by the perception or reality that someone really knows what they are talking about. Also remember that judges hear the same lame excuses over and over again so please do not say that the mouthwash caused a positive breath test or that you tested positive for marijuana, because you were around someone that was smoking. Even if those excuses were valid, which they usually are not, they are said so often that they are never believed. The most common term of probation is to refrain from criminal conduct and be free from any new convictions. Sometimes the nature of the alleged offense, like drunk driving, makes it difficult to argue that there has not been a violation of the court’s probation order. Judge’s typically want to wait until there has been a conviction of the new offense before proceeding on the probation violation. Although a conviction is not always necessary for a judge to proceed, a conviction makes it easier for the violation to be administrated. A judge should not be forcing a probation violation hearing that may require testimony from the offender which could be used against him on the new offense. You might have to finish the program at a different place because the first one refuses to accept you. Be creative about the reasons why the class could not be completed. Transportation, family or employment issues if argued properly are sometimes reasonable excuses. Offenders sometimes simply stop reporting altogether because they fear that they will be going to jail for a violation. Absconding from probation means the offender has abandoned all responsibilities and has failed to report to the officer, usually for a long time. A warrant will be out for the offender’s arrest and he eventually must recognize that turning himself in and facing the music is better than being arrested and brought before the court against their will and at a time that is not opportune. When voluntarily turning yourself in you can at least have some control over the timing of the proceedings. Depending on the circumstances and the time since absconding, there are alternatives that will be available like work release programs or weekend jail programs. Often times offenders are simply irresponsible and fail to follow probation orders.
Sometimes the best way to deal with it is not to make excuses and take responsibility for the mistake.
Judges hear excuses every day and most of the time they are not persuasive. When a person is honest and takes responsibility it demonstrates at least a bit of positive character. The offender must begin as soon as possible to fix the problem and show that it is not likely to happen again.