Being placed on probation or community control is restriction of your liberty. For individuals charged with serious felonies, a violation of probation or community control can trigger a no bond hold and mandatory prison time. Violations of probation and community control are forms of supervision by the Courts. Individuals released on supervision, whether probation or community control, are subject to reporting requirements, travel restrictions, mandatory drug tests, random and involuntary searches of their home or cars, prohibition on firearms, and regular electronic monitoring.
Probation is a form of supervision that is often a condition after the resolution of any criminal case. It requires an offender to report regularly to an assigned officer and complete the conditions as set forth in the sentencing order imposed by the judge. Usually the local sheriff’s office or the department of corrections administers probation on the state level. On the federal level, probation is administered by the Probation and Pretrial Services System. Generally, probation allows an offender to move freely within the community, work, go to school and travel with the court’s permission. Probation is the least restrictive cousin of community control.
Community control is a restrictive form of supervision that is often imposed after serious criminal cases are adjudicated and resolved. Offenders on community control have more restrictions placed on their liberty. Offenders on community control are usually on 24 hour lock down or have curfews in addition to being affixed with GPS monitors. Usually, community control is imposed as condition of release from custody in cases involving violent crime, organized fraud, trafficking in narcotics, or use of a firearm or weapon. Generally, community control restricts an offender’s ability to freely move within the community, travel or socialize. Community control does however allow the individual on supervision the ability to work, go to school, attend doctors appoints, lawyer visits and religious services.
Probation and community control violations can either be a technical violation, a substantive violation or a new law violation. The most serious form of a violation is a new law violation, which is of course also a substantive violation. A substantive violation is a violation of major condition of probation or community control. Substantive violations include absconding, failure to report, violations of house arrest conditions, altering or removing the gps monitor, testing positive for illegal narcotics and new law violations. A technical violation is the least serious. Usually, technical violations are violations like failure to pay restitution, failure to pay court fees, failure to complete some or all of community service or remaining gainfully employed.
Almost always, a person accused of violating their probation, will be arrested and brought before the division judge where their case is assigned. Their lawyer will then enter a written or verbal plea denying the violation and requesting discovery. If possible, a request for bail or release should be made as soon as possible. A probation violation is an accusation. The accused person has the right to a lawyer and due process. Any person arrested and accused of violating their probation is going to want to be released immediately. But that is not always possible, especially if the underlying probation case is a violent felony.
The first step in defending a probation violation is to determine whether the alleged violation is a technical, substantive or new law violation. The allegations of a supervision officer can be false, misleading or incomplete. Individuals are often violated for misunderstandings or a knee jerk reaction by a probation officer. It’s not uncommon for probation officers to violate offenders they don’t like. Getting ahead of the violation, gathering the necessary evidence to support the client’s position and having the proper relationships with prosecutors and judges will go long way in resolving a probation or community control violation in the client’s best interest. There’s no magic wand to make a violation disappear, but by hiring a quality lawyer, things can go a little smoother.
Contact Brian Kirlew, Esq. at 305-521-0484 today.