Probation Violation Attorney Farmington MI
When confronted with a probation violation, you should hire a trusted probation violation lawyer to help you, such as attorney Daniel Hilf. A probation violation (also referred to as a VOP or a violation of probation), if established to the satisfaction of the Court, places you at the mercy of the Judge at sentencing. Some Judges may be more willing to excuse the probation violation and other Judges may feel disrespected and that they have to take a harder approach. The advocacy that your lawyer performs on your behalf may be the difference between going to sleep in your own bed and losing your freedom. For cases at the 47th District Court in Farmington Hills or Oakland County Circuit Court always have a probation violation lawyer to defend you, because the result can be severe.
The Court has options when it comes to a probation violation sentence include any of the following:
- a warning or caution to not violate again in the future;
- added or modified probationary conditions (community service, counseling, increased drug/alcohol testing, financial penalties, etc.);
- additional time on probation;
- loss of a diversion that kept the conviction off your record (7411; HYTA; 769.4a; 771.1; etc.) With the loss of that diversion status, in some cases, there are consequences to the driver's license;
- jail or prison for up to the maximum possible sentence allowable by law.
- any or all of the above;
Whenever facing a probation violation, you have to decide how you want to handle it. You can admit to the violation or violations, or you can have a hearing in front of your Judge. For either decision, it is strongly recommended that you hire lawyer Daniel Hilf of Hilf & Hilf, PLC to represent you in Court. Attorney Hilf provides sound advice and helps you implement a well thought out strategy to face the probation violation, if retained.
For a hearing on a VOP you have several 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 real meaning if you have legal counsel to help you exercise these rights. To effectively contest a VOP you should never choose to represent yourself. In order to best try to convince a Judge you need an aggressive lawyer who is experienced with probation violation proceedings, such as attorney Daniel Hilf.
With every probation violation there is an arraignment, where the Judge has the option of setting bond and ordering incarceration. Defense counsel may seek a delay in the probation violation hearing for a variety of reasons including: need to locate and subpoena witnesses; need for additional legal preparation; need to consult with and retain an expert witness; scheduling issues; waiting for the result of a pending criminal matter. The Judge can either grant or deny the adjournment request.
If the new criminal cases was the reason for a probation violation is dismissed, the prosecution still can forward with the alleged violation in many instances. The reason for this is based upon the fact that the burden of proof for a new criminal allegation (beyond a reasonable doubt) is much greater than the burden of proof for a probation violation (preponderance of the evidence). Also, often the violation is sought based on the alleged conduct and not based upon a conviction. For example, if a person's new criminal offense was for an Impaired Driving which got dismissed, the violation may be based upon the person's allegedly driving a car (if the person was ordered to not drive while on probation).
If the probation violation is based only upon failure to pay, there is a defense based upon being indigent. The Judge cannot jail the person or revoke probation unless the Judge finds that you have not made a good faith effort to pay, and that you had the ability to comply with the payment order without suffering a "manifest hardship". When deciding if there is a "manifest hardship" the Judge is supposed to consider: if you are employed; employment history; if you are employable; what you are able to earn; whether or not the failure to pay was willful; what financial resources you have; what are you basic living expenses (food, clothing, shelter, child support, medical expenses, etc.); the existence of any other relevant special circumstances applicable to you. An experienced VOP attorney will help you address any applicable defenses that you have with the Court.
At hearing, some defenses may require testimony from an expert witness. An expert witness is basically someone who is determined to have special knowledge that may assist the Judge concerning a particular issue. For example, if the issue is whether a person falsely tested positive to alcohol because they inhaled alcohol fumes at their job, an expert witness may be able to show the Court by a preponderance of the evidence that the explanation offered is true and the positive test result was not due to voluntary consuming alcohol. When it comes to presenting expert witness testimony at a VOP hearing, you need great legal representation.
At sentencing (if a plea occurs or if convicted after a VOP hearing) the Defendant, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and the victim of the underlying case all are allowed to speak before the Judge. Your VOP lawyer can give you great advice how to possibly reduce any sentence by providing you with a comprehensive VOP sentencing strategy, if the VOP lawyer has proper experience.Why Choose Hilf & Hilf, PLC For Probation Violation Representation in Oakland County?
- Return of telephone calls, emails, and messages;
- A professional office environment in Troy Michigan;
- Immediate steps taken to address your violation of probation;
- Highly respected by Judges and prosecutors;
- 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;
- Years of legal experience handling probation violation allegations;
- Compassionate, caring legal representation.
There are some lawyers who claim to defend VOPS, but in reality do not have much experience. Defending violations of probation is a legal skill that develops with courtroom experience, strong legal acumen, advanced preparation, and talent. Remember, hiring the right probation violation lawyer may be the best decision for your future.
Criminal defense lawyer Daniel Hilf provides sharp legal assistance for the following court cases:
- Probation Violation
- Retail Fraud
- Sex Offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Domestic Violence
If you are facing a probation violation, contact us immediately.