Probation Violation Attorney Birmingham MI
When faced with a probation violation, you should hire a well respected attorney to defend you, such as attorney Daniel Hilf. A probation violation (also known as a VOP or a violation of probation), if proven, places you at the mercy of the Court. Some Judges may be willing to give you a break and other Judges have no sympathy and routinely incarcerate for probation violation. The work your attorney performs may be the difference between sleeping in your own bed that night and going into custody. If your case is from Birmingham Michigan, and you are on probation with a Judge from the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills or Oakland County Circuit Court, these Judges for the most part are very strict in the manner that they handle allegations of probation violation.
The choices that the Court has when it comes to a violation of probation include:
- added or modified probationary conditions (community service, counseling, increased drug/alcohol testing, financial penalties, etc.);
- additional time on probation;
- loss of a special status previously awarded (if applicable in your case) that kept the conviction off your record (7411; 769.4a; 771.1; HYTA; etc.) With the loss of the special status, in some cases there is a driver's license suspension;
- a dismissal of the violation or violations by the Judge;
- a warning;
- Jail or prison up to the maximum possible sentence allowable by law.
Whenever charged with one or multiple probation violations, you have a decision as to how you want to handle it. One choice is to admit to it, and offer the Court any explanation that you have (if any). Another choice is to have a probation violation hearing in front of your Judge. It is recommended that you hire attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC for either decision you make. If retained, attorney Daniel Hilf will consult with you and provide sound advice to help you implement a well thought out strategy to deal with the probation violation in the best possible manner.
For a probation violation hearing you have tall of he following rights:
- If in custody you have a right to a probation violation hearing within 14 days after the arraignment or the court must release you from custody. If the probation violation is based on new criminal activity, the Judge can postpone the hearing to await to outcome of of the new case;
- Right to be advised in writing of the alleged probation violations;
- Reasonable bond pending hearing;
- The right to a contested hearing in front of your Judge (there is no right to a jury trial);
- The limited applicability of the rules of evidence (hearsay testimony is allowed, which can be either to your advantage or detriment depending upon the circumstances);
- Right to be advised of the maximum possible penalty that the Judge can impose;
- Presumption of innocence;
- Right to be represented by a lawyer;
- The right to have your witnesses testify in Court;
- The right to testify in your own defense of the probation violation(s). If you testify the prosecution and the Judge have the right to ask you questions under oath;
- The right to remain silent, and to have your silence not used or inferred against you in any manner;
- Prosecution has the burden of proof. Prosecution has to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" that at least 1 accusation of probation violation is true. "Preponderance of the evidence means" to show that the violation is more likely than not to be true. The prosecution only has to prove any 1 violation, and not all the violations that you are facing;
- The right to be present in the courtroom for the probation violation hearing;
- The right to assist your lawyer in the defense of your probation violation;
- The right to cross examine any witness called by the prosecution;
- The right to subpoena witnesses;
- The right to appeal.
These rights only have value if you have a skilled attorney to help you exercise these rights. To zealously fight a VOP you should never choose to represent yourself. In order to present a compelling defense or reasonable explanation to a probation violation you need a legal representative who is well versed in probation violation proceedings, such as lawyer Daniel Hilf.
With every probation violation there is an arraignment, where the Judge has the option of setting a personal, cash, or surety bond that must be reasonable under the circumstances. Your attorney may ask for the probation violation hearing to be delayed for a number of reasons including: desire to consult with an expert witness; scheduling issues; need to subpoena witnesses; need for additional preparation; waiting the outcome of a pending criminal matter. The Judge is free to grant or deny the adjournment request at their discretion. If you have a new criminal cases that formed the basis of the probation violation that ultimately gets dismissed, the prosecution still has the option to proceed with the alleged violation, because the burden of proof for a probation violation (preponderance of the evidence) is much less than the burden of proof for a criminal charge (beyond a reasonable doubt). Also, often the alleged conduct is the issue and not the conviction. For example, if a person's new criminal allegation was for a drunk driving that got dismissed, the violation may be for alleged consumption of beer (if the person was ordered to not consume alcohol while on probation).
If the probation violation is based only upon failure to pay, the court cannot put the person in jail or prison or revoke probation unless the court finds that the Defendant failed to make a good faith effort to pay, and that the Defendant had the ability to pay what he or she owed without suffering a "manifest hardship". The Judge is supposed to consider the following factors: if the Defendant is employable; what financial resources the Defendant has; what are the Defendant's basic living expenses (shelter, food, clothing, child support, medical expenses, etc.); what the Defendant is able to earn; if the Defendant is currently employed; the Defendant's employment history; whether or not the failure to pay was willful; the existence of any other relevant special circumstances. A well prepared lawyer will help you argue these factors, if applicable to your alleged VOP.
At hearing, some charges may require expert witness testimony. An expert witness is a person who is qualified and has special knowledge in a particular area that may assist the Judge. For example, if the issue is whether a person tested positive to alcohol and the defense is the test was due to the fact they inhaled alcohol fumes at work, an expert witness's testimony may convince the Judge that the explanation offered is true and the positive test result was not due to drinking beer. When it comes to expert testimony, you need a diligent and well seasoned attorney to represent you and explain your situation to the Court.
At sentencing the Defendant, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and the victim of the underlying case all are allowed to provide statements to the Judge to provide any information that may affect the sentence. Your lawyer will be able to look at your situation, and advise you of steps that you can take to give you the best chance of obtaining a great result.Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Probation Violation Representation?
- Immediate steps taken to address your violation of probation;
- Return of telephone calls and messages;
- Years of legal experience handling probation violation allegations;
- A professional and well staffed office environment in Troy Michigan;
- Will provide sound advice and recommendations as to the best way to defend the violation of probation accusations;
- Compassionate, caring legal representation;
- If convicted of probation violation, will provide advice and recommendations to try and mitigate the possible sentence, and will address the sentence with the Court in a prepared, zealous manner;
- Well prepared advocacy that is results oriented;
- Highly respected by Judges and prosecutors.
There are some lawyers who claim to defend violations of probation, but in reality have little experience. Defending probation violations is a skill that develops over time with legal acumen, preparation, experience, and talent. Remember, hiring an experienced probation violation lawyer may be one of the most important decisions you make for your future.
Criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf provides legal help for all criminal matters, including:
- Probation Violation
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Retail Fraud
- Drug Offenses
- Domestic Violence
If you have been charged with violation of probation contact us immediately to begin working on your case.