Violations Of Probation And Community Control

A violation of probation or house arrest occurs when a probation officer files an affidavit with the court alleging that the person on probation or house arrest violated the conditions previously set by the judge at the prior sentencing. The court then issues a warrant for the person.

Many violations of probation "VOP" warrants provide for no bond/bail. In many cases where there is no bond/bail, my firm will prepare and file a "Motion to Set Bond" and petition for release on behalf of clients who are in jail. When deciding to grant bond, many courts consider some of the following factors:

  • How long has the person lived in the area?
  • Is the person employed and does he/she have a job if released?
  • Are there family members living locally?
  • Will you promise to appear at all court proceedings?
  • Is there a significant criminal history?
  • What is the risk of the person committing a new offense?
  • What amount of bond will you be able to reasonably afford?

Seeking the release of our clients is only the first step. Each case or allegation must be evaluated to determine if there are 'substantive violations' alleged or whether there are 'technical' violations alleged. There are different laws that apply to each and often different outcomes.

If there are only technical violations then it is more likely that a judge may put the person back on probation or house arrest. If there are substantive violations alleged then each allegation must be defended.

There are several ways we can defend our clients in these cases. Sometimes all the client needs is a little more time to make payments or complete other probation terms that resulted in the violation. Obtaining an extension of time or continuance from the court can be very affective in these types of situations.

Another way we can defend our clients is to challenge the states proof of the allegation. If the basis of the violation is a new charge, then the underlying charge must be successfully defended. If the underlying charge can be dismissed or reduced then it's more likely that a favorable outcome can be reached on the violation of probation.

Finally, a third way to defend violation of probation cases is to request a continuance from the court and in the intervening time perform certain tasks that the court will look favorably upon when the person next appears before the judge. These tasks are often case and fact specific to address the persons needs and to assure the court that the person has dealt with the problem that caused the violation. When the person next appears in court they admit that they violated probation but that they have done a myriad of case specific tasks to prevent further violation. Some of the tasks our clients may perform are:

  • Getting a psychological evaluation and obtaining the recommended treatment
  • Going to more intensive drug or alcohol treatment and remaining drug and alcohol free for an extended period of time
  • Completing various case specific programs to deal with the nature of the violation such as shoplifter's awareness, anger management, driver improvement courses, educational programs, Alcoholics Anonymous, etc.
  • Obtain a new job, move away from the victim or do community service

The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger is experienced in handling all types of violation of probation and house arrest cases. The best results can be reached when the client is willing to help the attorney present the client's case is the most favorable light. Call our office for an free initial consultation.

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