Probation Violation Attorney Clinton Township MI
When facing a Court date due to a probation violation, you should hire attorney to with the experience and legal ability defend you, such as attorney Daniel Hilf. A probation violation (also known as a violation of probation or VOP), if proven by a guilty plea or after a contested hearing, places you at the mercy of your Judge when it comes to sentencing. Some Judges give you breaks depending upon how serious the alleged violation is, and other Judges will not hesitate to order confinement. The job your lawyer performs may be the difference between going home and serving time. If your case is from Clinton Township Michigan, and you are on probation with a Judge from the 41B District Court in Clinton Township or Macomb County Circuit Court, these Judges are sometimes strict in their approaches to violations of probation.
The Court has several different options when it comes to a violation of probation including:
- added or modified probationary conditions (counseling, increased drug/alcohol testing, community service, fines/costs, etc.);
- lengthen your time on probation;
- loss of a diversion program previously awarded (if applicable in your case) that kept the conviction off your record (7411; HYTA, 769.4a; 771.1; etc.) With the loss of diversion, in some cases there is a driver's license suspension;
- a dismissal of the violation or violations by the Judge;
- a warning not to violate probation in the future;
- a jail or prison sentence (the Judge cannot sentence you to more than your maximum);
- a combination of any of the above.
Whenever accused of probation violation, you have to decide how you want to take care of it. One possibility is to admit to one or more violations, and provide the Judge with any explanation that you have. Another possibility is to have a contested hearing in front of your Judge to challenge the basis for the probation violation. For either option you need a probation violation attorney. If hired, attorney Daniel Hilf will thoroughly discuss your situation with you, and provide great advice to help you implement a sound legal strategy to address the probation violation in the best possible way.
For a probation violation hearing you have all of the following rights:
- Right to retain the lawyer of your choice;
- If in jail you have a right to a violation of probation hearing within 14 days after the arraignment or the Judge must release you from custody. If the violation of probation is based on a new criminal charge, the Judge can delay the violation of probation hearing to await to outcome of of the new case;
- Right to be advised in writing of the nature 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 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 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;
- 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 appeal.
These rights only have meaning if you have a competent lawyer to help you exercise these rights. To diligently and aggressively fight a violation of probation you should never choose to go before the Judge without your lawyer. In order to present a reasonable explanation or compelling defense you need a lawyer who knows what he is doing, such as attorney 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: need to subpoena witnesses; need for additional preparation; desire to consult with an expert witness; scheduling issues; waiting the outcome of a pending criminal matter. The Judge has the ability to allow or reject the adjournment request at their discretion.
If you have a new criminal charge was the reason for the VOP that gets dismissed, the prosecution still has the ability to proceed with the alleged VOP, because the burden of proof for a VOP (preponderance of the evidence) is less than the burden of proof for a criminal charge (beyond a reasonable doubt). Also, often the probationer's conduct is what is at issue and not only a conviction. For example, if a person's new criminal allegation was for a drinking and driving offense that got dismissed, the VOP may be based on testing positive at the scene for alcohol (provided the probationer was ordered to not consume alcohol while on probation).
If the probation violation is based only upon not paying money that is owed, the Judge cannot order incarceration or revoke probation unless the Judge finds that the probationer did not make a good faith effort to pay, and that the probationer had the ability to pay what he or she owed without suffering a "manifest hardship". The Judge is supposed to consider the following factors to decide the existence of a "manifest hardship": if the probationer is employable; what financial resources the probationer has; what are the probationer's basic living expenses (clothing, food, shelter, child support, medical expenses, etc.); what the probationer has the ability to earn; if the probationer currently has a job; the probationer's employment history; whether or not the failure to pay was purposeful; the existence of any other special circumstances that are relevant to the Judge's determination. A experienced probation violation lawyer argue these factors, if applicable to your alleged probation violation.
At a VOP hearing, some allegations may need expert witness testimony. An expert witness is a person who is qualified by the Judge as having special knowledge in a particular field that may assist the Judge's determination as to a particular issue. For example, if the issue is whether a person tested positive to alcohol and the defense is the test was due to the fact came into contact with industrial alcohol at a job site, an expert witness's testimony may provide proof to the Judge that the positive test result was not due to the consumption of alcohol. When it comes to expert testimony, you need a well prepared and knowledgable lawyer to properly represent you and to present your defense to the Judge.
If convicted of a VOP, the probationer, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and the victim of the case that lead to the original probationary sentence all are allowed to provide statements to the Judge before sentencing. Your VOP attorney will be able to look closely at your situation, and advise you of action that you can take to give you the best chance of obtaining leniency.Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Probation Violation Representation in Macomb County?
- Highly respected by Judges and prosecutors
- Immediate steps taken to address your violation of probation;
- 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;
- Return of telephone calls and messages;
- Years of legal experience handling probation violation allegations;
- A professional and well staffed office environment in Troy Michigan;
- Well prepared advocacy that is results oriented.
There are some attorneys who claim to know how to defend VOPs, but in reality have very little experience. Defending probation VOPs the right way is a skill set that develops over years of practice with legal acumen, preparation, experience, and talent. Remember, hiring an experienced probation violation attorney may be one of the most important decisions for your family and your future.
Criminal defense lawyer Daniel Hilf provides outstanding legal help for all criminal matters, including:
- Probation Violation
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Domestic Violence
- Sex Offenses
- Retail Fraud
- Drug Offenses
If you have been charged with a VOP contact us immediately to help you.