Probation Violation Attorney Detroit MI
When charged with a probation violation, you should obtain a trusted probation violation lawyer to represent you, such as attorney Daniel Hilf. A Probation violation (also referred to as a VOP or a violation of probation), if established in Court, places you at the mercy of the Judge who placed you on probation. Some Judges may be willing to give you a break and other Judges believe that incarceration may be the answer. The advice and advocacy of your lawyer may be the difference between going home and serving time. For cases in Detroit at the 36th District Court, Frank Murphy, or Federal Court, always have a probation violation lawyer to defend you, because the potential consequences are too high for you and your family.
The options that the Court has when it comes to a VOP sentence includes any of the following:
- a dismissal of the VOP;
- a warning to not violate again;
- loss of a special diversionary status previously ordered by the Court that kept the conviction off your record (HYTA; 7411; 771.1; 769.4a; etc.) With the loss of that diversionary status, in some cases is causes driver's license issues;
- prison or jail for anywhere up to the maximum possible sentence allowable by law;
- added or modified probationary conditions (increased drug/alcohol testing, tether, community service, counseling, financial penalties, etc.);
- extension of the length of probation;
- a combination of any of the above listed options.
Whenever charged with probation violation, you ultimately must decide how to handle it. One choice is to not have a hearing and admit to the probation violation. With this option you are allowed offer the Judge any explanation that you have for violating probation. Another choice is to have a contested hearing. To fully and properly exercise either of these options it is advisable to hire attorney Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC. Attorney Hilf will offer you with great legal advice and implement a strategy to deal with the probation violation in the best possible way.
For a probation violation hearing you have Constitutional and statutory rights:
- 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;
- 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;
- Presumption of innocence;
- Right to be represented by a lawyer;
- 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 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;
- The right to appeal.
These rights only have significant meaning if you have proper legal representation to assist you in exercising these rights. To properly fight a violation of probation you should always choose to have a lawyer represent you. In order to formulate a compelling defense to a probation violation who does not back down, and who is committed to helping you get the best possible result under your circumstances.
With every probation violation there is an arraignment, where the Judge has the option of setting bond. Defense counsel may request that the VOP hearing date is moved for a number of reasons including: need to find and subpoena witnesses; need for additional legal preparation; need to hire an expert witness; scheduling conflicts; waiting the outcome of a pending criminal case. The court has discretion to approve or deny the adjournment request.
If the reason for the probation violation is a criminal charge that gets dismissed, the prosecution still has the ability to go forward with the alleged violation. The reason is because the burden of proof for a probation violation (preponderance of the evidence) is much lower than the burden of proof for a new criminal charge (beyond a reasonable doubt). Also, the probation violation is sometimes pursued on the basis of the alleged conduct. For example, if a person's new criminal offense was for a drug possession charge which got dismissed, the violation may be based upon the person's alleged positive drug test.
If the reason for the probation violation is for failure to pay money owed, the Judge cannot place the person in jail or prison or revoke probation unless the Judge finds that the Defendant has not made a good faith effort to pay what is owed, and also that the Defendant had the ability to comply with payment without suffering a "manifest hardship". When considering the existence of a "manifest hardship" the Judge is supposed to look at a number of different factors, including: employment history; what the Defendant is able to earn; if the Defendant is currently employed; if the Defendant is employable; whether or not the failure to pay was willful; what financial resources the Defendant has; what are the Defendant's basic living expenses (child support, shelter, food, medical expenses, clothing, etc.); the existence of any other relevant special circumstances. A VOP lawyer, if highly experienced, will help you address these factors with the Judge, if applicable to your case.
At hearing, some violations may call for the assistance of an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who has special knowledge in a particular area that may assist the Judge as to an issue. For example, if the issue is whether a person falsely tested positive to alcohol because they were exposed to it in the workplace, an expert witness may be able to convince the Court that the positive test result was not due to the voluntary consumption of alcohol. When it comes to preparing expert testimony at a VOP hearing, you need a zealous and talented attorney to properly represent you.
At VOP sentencing (if a plea or conviction occurs after a VOP hearing) the Defendant, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and the victim of the underlying case all are allowed to address the Court. Your lawyer, if experienced, can give you excellent advice about how to possibly reduce any sentence by providing you with a comprehensive sentencing strategy, and by providing a compelling statement to the Judge.Why Choose Hilf & Hilf For Probation Violation Representation in Wayne County?
- Years of legal experience handling probation violation allegations;
- Return of telephone calls and messages;
- Will provide sound advice and recommendations as to the best way to defend the violation of probation accusations;
- 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;
- A professional and well staffed office environment in Troy Michigan;
- Immediate steps taken to address your violation of probation;
- Highly respected by Judges and prosecutors;
- Compassionate, caring legal representation.
There are many VOP attorneys who claim to handle probation violations on a regular basis, but in reality do not have much experience. Defending VOPs is a talent that develops over years with courtroom experience, legal acumen, and proper preparation. Remember, retaining the best probation violation attorney may be one of the most critical and life changing decisions for you to make.
Hilf & Hilf, PLC Attorney Daniel Hilf provides great legal assistance for the following types of criminal matters:
- Probation Violation
- Sex Offenses
- Domestic Violence
- Retail Fraud
- Drug Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Criminal Offenses
If you have been charged with a probation violation, contact us immediately today to discuss your situation.