With California's overcrowded jails and prisons, it is often economical and logical to place people who are convicted of certain crimes on probation, rather than sending them committing them to their full sentence.
In such cases, the convicted person (the probationer) is sentenced to jail or prison, but that sentence is suspended for a set period of months or years while the probationer is released into the community, providing he or she complies with the conditions of their probation.
Common conditions of probation include:
- Community service
- Reporting regularly to the probation officer
- Pay a fine
- Refrain from getting arrested for another crime
- Pay victim restitution
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol
- Not socializing with known criminals
- Receiving substance abuse treatment
- Staying within a certain geographical area
- Staying away from known victims
- Adhering to a restraining order
The Probation Revocation Hearing
If a probation violation is discovered or reported, the court will likely conduct a probation revocation hearing. Defendants are entitled to receive written notification of the reason, time, and place for the probation revocation hearing.
At the revocation hearing, the defendant is entitled to defense counsel, and both sides may present evidence to show why the defendant should or should not be subjected to the original sentence or penalty imposed by the judge.
In a probation revocation hearing, the burden of proof is lighter for the prosecution than it is at trial, thus, it is important for defendants to understand that probation is a privilege and can be lost more easily than one's initial freedom.
If you have violated a term of your probation, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer from Okabe & Haushalter can represent you at your hearing and will work diligently to fight a probation revocation. Contact our office today to discuss your legal options in a free case evaluation.