The main objective of the law is to provide justice to all victims and mete out suitable punishment to offenders. However, in some instances, where the offence is not very serious, the accused is not imprisoned but put on probation. He is allowed to live in the community under the supervision of a court-appointed officer. In some jurisdictions, probation is also used to supervise people who have been released on parole. Probation is a privilege that helps first-time offenders in some cases to expunge their legal records. It also helps the authorities reduce some of the financial burdens of managing a prisoner. There are some strict guidelines that an offender has to adhere to during the period. Probation violation cases occur when these rules are not followed by the individual. There is a legal process that is used to handle such instances. The following are the steps that are used in the procedure to decide such issues.
What Constitutes A Violation Of Probation?
A violation occurs when the individual fails to follow the terms or conditions of probation within the specified period. These violations can be mainly classified into three categories. The first is technical violation wherein a technical condition is not met. Failing to appear in court on the scheduled date or not reporting to the probation officer will fall into this category. A failure to pay the required fee to an authority or compensation to victims will also be considered as technical violations. The second category is special condition violation that covers all the infringements of special clauses of a probation. For instance, a person in Cobb County is accused of probation violation, when he fails to attend an alcohol abuse rehabilitation program. The final category is substantive violation which means that the individual committed another crime during the period. For example, a drug abuse offender being caught selling banned substances will fall into this category. A professional cobb county probation violation can help or guide you like what can be done in these situation.
How The Violation of Probation Process Works?
There are four main steps in the violation of probation process. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Arresting The Offender
The process begins with the arresting of the violator. If the probation officer thinks that a violation of any type of condition has occurred, she can file an affidavit with the judge. This document will contain an explanation by the officer why she thinks an infringement of the probation terms took place. The judge, if convinced by the affidavit will issue a warrant for arresting the offender. The arrest warrant can be executed by the local police or the offender can surrender himself/ herself. People on felony probation can be arrested by their probation officers without any signed arrest warrant. In case, a person has met almost all terms or was under probation for a misdemeanor, he may be issued a summons for a court appearance instead of a warrant.
2. Determination Of A Bond
Once the person has been arrested, the judge will decide whether a bond should be determined in the case or not. It must be clearly understood that there is no entitlement to a bond in such cases and most of the time judges do not set one. Bonds are usually determined in those probation violation cases where the individual has fulfilled almost all the conditions. They can also be set in instances where the violation is for not paying fines or fees. In case, no bond is set, the accused will have to wait for his court hearing. He will have to stay in prison until the final step of the process.
3. Hearing In A Court
In jurisdictions with fast track programs for early case resolution, the court hearing can start within two weeks. In other locations, it can take as long as three months for this step to begin. No jury sits during such hearings and all the arguments are heard only by the judge. The state will present its stand and try to prove that the violation was a wilful act and was substantial in scope. Offenders must hire a probation revocation attorney to present their defense. The lawyer will cross-examine all the evidence and witnesses presented by the court. The hearing concludes with closing arguments by both sides.
4. Passing of The Sentence
The judge will pass a sentence after the conclusion of the hearing. There are various sentences that can be passed if the judge finds the accused guilty of the violation. She can give a time-served sentence if she feels that the individual has spent enough time in prison while waiting for the hearing to begin. A reinstatement can be issued that asks the offender to go back on probation and fulfill the original conditions. In some cases, new terms can be set for the probation. However, the most common punishment is a jail term for the offender.
This is the legal process that is used to settle probation violation cases. People accused of such serious offences must hire lawyers to represent themselves so that they get a chance to prevent severe consequences or penalties.