Probation Violations Defense
What is a Probation Violation?
When a person is sentenced to probation, the judge imposes certain conditions that the person must follow. A willful failure to comply with any probation condition will result in a violation of probation. There are a variety of ways in which the court can treat a probation violation, ranging from doing nothing to revoking one’s probation and activating a suspended jail sentence. However, before the court can take any action against the probationer, the probationer is entitled to notice and a hearing to determine whether a violation occurred. Do not face a VOP alone! Call the defense attorneys at Litrenta Law in Charlotte, NC today to schedule a free consultation to discuss what can be done to protect you.
Has a Violation Been Alleged?
A violation of probation typically begins when a probation officer files a violation report (form DCC-10) with the clerk of court. After a violation report has been filed, the State must give the probationer notice of the hearing and its purpose. At least twenty-four (24) hours before the hearing, the State must provide the probationer a statement of the violations alleged, unless the probationer waives that notice requirement.
Can I be Arrested for a Violation of Probation?
Yes. A person on supervised probation may be arrested for a violation of probation by a law enforcement officer or by a probation officer, upon an order for arrest issued by a judicial official. Additionally, an arrest can occur when a probation officer submits a written request (commonly referred as an “authority to arrest,” as set out on form DCC-12), accompanied by a violation report. In general, a probation officer has the same powers to arrest as a sheriff in the execution of his or her duties.
If I am Arrested for a Probation Violation is there a Possibility of Bail?
It depends. When a probationer is arrested for an alleged violation of probation, the probationer must be taken before a judicial official without unnecessary delay to have release conditions set under N.C.G.S. §15A-534.
If a probationer either has (1) a pending felony charges or (2) has ever been convicted of an offense that is classified as a sex crime, a probationer’s release conditions may be delayed. A judicial official setting release conditions must determine (and record in writing) whether the probationer poses a danger to the public. If the judicial official determines that the probationer does pose a danger to the public then release will be denied pending the revocation hearing. If the judicial official does not have enough information to make a determination as to whether or not the probationer poses a danger to the public, the probationer may be held for up to seven (7) days in order to properly investigate or acquire the necessary information to make the determination. Lastly, if it is determined that the probationer does not pose a threat to the public, then release conditions are set.
What is a Preliminary Violation Hearing?
The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe that the probationer violated a condition of probation. Under N.C.G.S. §15A-1345(c), a preliminary hearing on a probation violation must be held within seven (7) working days of an arrest, unless the hearing is waived or a final violation hearing is held first. If the hearing is not held, the probationer must be released seven (7) working days after being arrested to continue on probation pending a hearing. There are of course exceptions to this rule.
Call one of our experienced attorneys at Litrenta Law to review your alleged violation and prepare for your violation hearing. If probable cause is not found, the probationer must be released to continue on probation.
What is a Final Violation Hearing?
A probation violation hearing is not a criminal prosecution or a formal trial. That said, there are certain procedural requirements that apply as a matter of statutory law and constitutional due process. At the hearing, evidence against the probationer must be disclosed. A probationer may also present relevant information. The probationer has the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses unless the court finds good cause to not allow that to occur.
At the conclusion of the hearing the court will decide whether the State presented enough evidence to reasonably satisfy the judge that there was a willful violation of a probation condition or that there was a violation without lawful excuse. If the judge finds that there was a violation, there are many different potential outcomes.
Do not take a probation violation hearing lightly. If you are found to be in willful violation of probation there is a chance that you could face jail time. Call us today! Schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys to discuss a strategy to defend your case and discuss all potential outcomes. We are here for you when it matters the most!