Probation Violation Attorney Bloomfield Hills MI
When a court date is scheduled for a probation violation, you need to find an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your case. The recommended attorney for probation violations in Oakland County is attorney Daniel Hilf. A probation violation (also known as a VOP or a violation of probation), if a guilty plea is entered or if guilt is determined after a hearing, places you at the mercy of the Court when it comes to the sentence. Some Judges are more lenient than others, and other Judges seem to have no mercy when it comes to probation violations. The legal representation provided by your lawyer may be the difference between sleeping in your own bed that night and doing some time in custody. If your case is from Bloomfield Hills Michigan, and you are on probation with the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills or Oakland County Circuit Court, the Judges in these Courts have a reputation for being very strict in their treatment of VOP allegations and convictions
The options that a Judge has when it comes to a violation of probation sentence include:
- loss of a special status previously awarded (if given in your case) that kept the conviction from appearing on a public record (769.4a; 771.1; HYTA; 7411; etc.) With the loss of the aforementioned status, in many cases (depending upon the underlying conviction) a driver's license sanction is imposed by the Secretary of State;
- a dismissal of the violation or violations by the Judge;
- a warning by the Judge;
- added or modified probationary conditions (community service, counseling, increased drug/alcohol testing, financial penalties, etc.);
- additional time on probation, up to the maximum allowable by law;
- Jail or prison up to the maximum possible sentence allowable by law.
Whenever charged with any type of probation violations, you have to make a decision as to how you want to deal with it. One way is to admit to violating probation, and offering the Court any type of explanation you want. Another way is to contest the probation violation and have a probation violation hearing in front of your Judge. It is suggested that you retain attorney Daniel Hilf to represent you for either decision you make. If hired as your lawyer, Daniel Hilf will meet with you, give you great advice, and help you formulate a sound legal strategy to deal with your situation.
For any violation of probation allegation you can exercise all of the following rights:
- 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);
- The right to be present in the courtroom for the probation violation hearing;
- 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 assist your lawyer in the defense of your probation violation;
- The right to cross examine any witness called by the prosecution;
- 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 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 subpoena witnesses;
- 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;
- The right to appeal.
These rights only can help you if you have the assistance of a zealous lawyer. In order to attempt to present a persuasive defense to a VOP you need a dedicated lawyer who is well versed in probation violation proceedings and litigation, such as attorney Daniel Hilf.
With every probation violation there is an arraignment in which the Defendant is advised in writing of the nature of the allegations. At arraignment the Court has the option of setting a personal, cash, or surety bond - the amount of which often depends upon the nature of the violations against you. Your lawyer may ask for an adjournment of the probation violation for several different reasons including: scheduling issues; need for additional preparation; desire to consult with an expert witness; need to subpoena witnesses; waiting the outcome of a pending criminal matter. The Judge is free to allow or deny the adjournment. If you have a new criminal allegation that was the basis for the probation violation that ultimately gets dismissed, the prosecution can still decide to go forward with the alleged violation, because the burden of proof for a probation violation (preponderance of the evidence) is less than the burden of proof for a criminal charge (beyond a reasonable doubt). Furthermore, often the alleged conduct is the issue for continuing with the VOP hearing. For example, if a person's new criminal allegation was for OUI that got dismissed, the violation may be for allegedly beer (if the person was ordered to not use alcohol during probation).
If the probation violation is based only upon failure to pay money owed to the court or the victim (restitution), the court cannot order incarceration or revoke probation unless the Judge determines that the Defendant failed to make a good faith effort to pay what is owed, 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 when deciding this issue: if the Defendant is employable; the Defendant's employment history; whether or not the failure to pay was willful; 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 existence of any other relevant special circumstances. A zealous, diligent attorney will present this defense, if applicable to your alleged violation of probation.
At a probation violation hearing, some defenses may require retaining an expert witness. An expert witness is a person who is qualified by the Court because he or she has special knowledge in a particular area that may assist the Court in its determination of an issue. For example, if the issue is whether a person tested positive to alcohol and the defense is a false positive reading due to workplace exposure, an expert witness's testimony may provide the Judge with a scientific reason to support the defense. When it comes to expert testimony, you need a skilled attorney to prepare and present this defense 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. The defense often will submit information to the Court about positive steps the Defendant is taking (for example: attending AA meetings; being treated by a psychologist; obtaining a valid driver's license; making payments; etc.) to try and persuade the Judge to be lenient.Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Probation Violation Representation in Bloomfield Hills?
- Immediate steps taken to address your violation of probation;
- Compassionate, caring legal representation;
- Well prepared advocacy that is results oriented;
- Return of telephone calls and messages;
- Years of legal experience handling probation violation allegations;
- 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;
- 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;
- Highly respected by Judges and prosecutors.
There are some attorneys who make claims about their ability to defend a VOP, but in reality have very little experience. Defending VOPs is a skill set that develops over many years of criminal defense practice, and with legal acumen, thorough preparation, and talent. Remember, engaging the service a top tier probation violation attorney may be one of the greatest decisions you make for your future.
Oakland County defense attorney Daniel Hilf provides outstanding legal help for all criminal matters, including:
- Probation Violation
- Sex Offenses
- Retail Fraud
- Drug Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Domestic Violence
If you have been charged with a VOP contact us for help