Probation Violation Attorney Lake Orion MI
When accused of a probation violation, you should hire a probation violation defense 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 in court by admitting to it or after a hearing, places you at the mercy of the Judge who is given the opportunity to sentence you again on your original charge. Some Judges are more lenient and may be willing to give you another chance depending on the severity of the alleged violation. Other Judges believe the solution to a probation violation is to terminate probation and incarcerate. The legal work your probation violation defense lawyer performs may be the difference between sleeping in your own bed and being led from the courtroom in handcuffs.
The Judge, for most probation violations, has a wide variety of choices to address a conviction for probation violation:
- a dismissal of the violation or violations;
- issue a warning to not violate again in the future;
- added or modified conditions of probation (tether, community service, substance abuse counseling, increased drug/alcohol testing, financial penalties, etc.);
- added time to probationary status;
- loss of HYTA, 7411, 769.4a, 771.1, or other diversionary status;
- take away your freedom and incarcerate you.
Whenever you are before a Judge for probation violation, you have to make a choice. One possible choice is to admit to the Judge that you did violate your probation. The other possible choice is to deny the violation of probation and have a hearing. With either choice the best way forward is to retain probation violation defense counsel to defend you. If hired, attorney Daniel Hilf will provide you with solid legal representation, sound advice, and help you develop a strategy to face the probation violation in the best possible way.
For all probation violations you can exercise all of the following rights:
- the right to a hearing in front of your Judge to contest the probation violation (there is no right to a jury trial);
- to defend the case, understanding that the rules of evidence due not apply the same way as they did at trial (hearsay testimony is allowed for probation violations);
- to be advised of the maximum possible punishment;
- if in custody you have a right to a probation violation hearing within 14 days after the arraignment. If the probation violation is based on a new arrest, the Judge can postpone the probation violation hearing to await to outcome of of the new arrest;
- to be advised, in writing, of the nature of the probation violations before the Court;
- to be presumed innocent at the probation violation hearing;
- to have competent legal representation. You are free to retain the lawyer of your choice;
- 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
- to be in the courtroom to see and hear the witnesses testify;
- to assist your lawyer;
- to cross examine prosecution witnesses;
- to subpoena your own witnesses;
- to have witnesses testify for you in Court;
- 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;
- to remain silent, and to have your silence not used against you;
- to appeal, to the extent provided by the Michigan Court Rules.
These rights only have value and worth if you have a competent lawyer help you exercise your rights. Self representation is always a bad option. In order to prepare and present the best possible defense or explanation for a probation violation you need an attorney who specializes in probation violation defense, 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 and informs you of the nature of the alleged violations. Probation violation defense counsel may seek a delay in the probation violation for a number of different reasons including: need to subpoena defense witnesses; need for additional time to prepare; desire to consult with an expert witness about a possible defense; lawyer scheduling issues; waiting for the resolution of a pending criminal matter. The Judge is free to grant or to say no to the adjournment request.
If the basis of the probation violation is a criminal charge that gets dismissed, the prosecution and the Judge can still pursue the alleged violation. The reason that a dismissal does not automatically terminate a probation violation is due to the fact that the burden of proof for a probation violation (preponderance of the evidence) is much less than the burden of proof for a new criminal allegation (beyond a reasonable doubt). Also, often the violation based on impermissible conduct and not solely upon a criminal conviction. For example, if a person's new criminal offense was for driving under the influence of alcohol, and that charge gets dropped, the violation may be based upon the person's alleged consumption of alcohol (if the person was ordered to not consume alcohol while on probation) or driving (if the person did not have a valid license).
If the basis of the probation violation is failure to pay, the Judge cannot place the probationer in jail or revoke the term of probation unless the Judge finds both of the following: the probationer has not made a good faith effort to pay; and that the Defendant had the ability to comply with the payment order without suffering a "manifest hardship". When deciding if a "manifest hardship" exists, the Judge is supposed to consider: if the probationer is currently employed; the probationer's employment history; if the probationer is actually employable; what the probationer is able to earn from his or her job; whether or not the probationer's failure to pay was willful; what financial resources the probationer has to pay; what are the probationer's basic living expenses (child support, food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses, etc.); the existence of any other relevant special circumstances. A probation violation defense attorney, if properly experienced, will help you address these factors with the Judge, when the issue is relevant to your circumstances.
At a violation of probation hearing, some defenses may require help from an expert witness. An expert witness is someone who has some sort of special knowledge in a particular area (for example: medical, scientific, engineering, etc.) that may help the Judge in his or her determinations. For example, if the issue is whether a person falsely tested positive to alcohol because they were exposed to industrial alcohol fumes at a work site, an expert witness may be able to lend support to the defense that the probationer did not knowingly and voluntarily use alcohol. Presenting expert testimony at a probation violation hearing can prove tricky, and you definitely need an experienced probation violation defense lawyer to properly present your defense to the Judge.
If convicted of probation violation, at sentencing the Judge can listen to statements from the probationer, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and the victim of the original case that lead to probation, before deciding on the sentence. An experienced probation violation defense lawyer can give you important advice to possibly avoid or reduce any jail sentence by providing you with a carefully planned probation violation sentence strategy.Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Probation Violation Representation in Oakland County?
- Years of probation violation defense representation;
- A well staffed, professional office environment in Troy Michigan;
- Immediate help provided to address your probation violation allegation;
- Return of emails, telephone calls, and messages;
- Will provide great advice and strong recommendations as to the best way to face the violation of probation accusations;
- If convicted, will provide great advice, thoughtful recommendations, and zealous advocacy to help possibly mitigate the Judge's sentence;
- Well prepared and diligent, with a results oriented approach to cases;
- Highly respected by Judges and prosecutors;
- Compassionate, caring legal representation.
There are some attorneys who claim to know how to best handle probation violations, but in reality have very little experience. Probation violation defense is an ability that develops over time with preparation, planning, experience, legal acumen, and talent. Retaining the right probation violation defense lawyer may make the greatest difference in your future.
Attorney Daniel Hilf provides strong, solid, and outstanding legal advocacy for the following types of criminal matters:
- Probation Violation
- Criminal Traffic
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Retail Fraud
- Drug Offenses
- Domestic Violence
If you have been accused of violation of probation or a new criminal offense, contact attorney Daniel Hilf