Probation Violation Attorney Oakland MI
When facing a Court date for a probation violation, you should hire a probation violation defense attorney to represent you, such as lawyer Daniel Hilf. A probation violation (also referred to as a VOP or a violation of probation), if established in court by admitting to a violation or after a hearing, places you at the mercy of the Judge. For a VOP the Judge is given the opportunity to sentence you again on the charge that led to your probation. Some Judges may be more lenient and may be willing to give you another chance depending on the severity of the alleged violation. Other Judges are conservative and believe the solution to a probation violation is to terminate probation and order incarceration. The legal work your probation violation defense attorney provides may be the difference being continued on probation without jail and being led away in handcuffs.
The Judge, for most probation violation convictions, has a selection of choices:
- a dismissal of the VOP;
- the issuance of a warning to not violate probation again in the future;
- modified or added probationary conditions (tether, community service, substance abuse counseling, increased drug/alcohol testing, financial penalties, etc.);
- added time to probationary status;
- loss of Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), 7411, 769.4a, 771.1, or other diversion program;
Whenever you are before a Judge for probation violation, you have to decide how you are going to address it. One way is to admit to the Judge that the probation violation is true. The other way is to deny the violation of probation as being true and to have a hearing. With either decision the best way forward is to hire probation violation defense counsel to represent you. If retained, lawyer Daniel Hilf will provide you with solid legal representation, strong advice, and help you develop a defense strategy to face the probation violation in the best possible way.
For all probation violations you have 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 significant worth if you have a competent probation violation defense lawyer to help you exercise these rights. Self representation should never be an option. In order to prepare and present the best explanation or defense for a VOP 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 bond and informs you of the alleged violations. Probation violation defense counsel may seek to adjourn the VOP for a number of reasons including: need to subpoena defense witnesses; lawyer scheduling issues; waiting for the resolution of a pending criminal matter; need for additional time to prepare; desire to consult with an expert witness about a possible defense. The Judge is free to allow or reject to the delay.
If the probation violation is due to a criminal charge that gets dismissed, the Judge and prosecution can still go forward with the alleged VOP. The reason for this is 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 VOP is brought because of impermissible conduct. For example, if a person's new criminal offense was for OUIL, and that charge gets dropped, the violation may be based upon the person's alleged possession of alcohol (if the person was ordered not to possess alcohol while on probation) or driving an automobile (if the person was ordered not to drive).
If the VOP is for failure to pay, the Judge cannot place the probationer in custody or revoke probation unless the Judge finds: the probationer has not made a good faith effort to pay what he or she owes; and that the Defendant had the ability to comply with the monetary payment order without suffering a "manifest hardship". When deciding if whether or not a "manifest hardship" exists, the Court is supposed to consider: if the probationer is currently employed; 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; the probationer's employment history; if the probationer is actually employable; what are the probationer's basic living expenses (food, shelter, child support, clothing, medical expenses, etc.); the existence of any other relevant special circumstances. A VOP attorney, if properly experienced, will help you present the above factors with the Judge, when the issue is relevant to your circumstances.
At a VOP hearing, some defenses call for expert witness assistance. An expert witness is someone with special knowledge in a particular field (for example: medical, scientific, engineering, etc.) that may assist the Judge. For example, if the issue is whether a person falsely tested positive to alcohol, 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 difficult, and without a doubt you need an experienced VOP defense lawyer to properly argue your defense.
If convicted of VOP, the Judge will listen to statements from the probationer, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and the victim of the original case that lead to probation (if the victim wishes to present a statement), before ruling on the sentence. An experienced VOP lawyer can give you good advice to possibly reduce or avoid any jail sentence by developing with you with a carefully planned VOP sentence strategy.Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For VOP Representation in Oakland?
- 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;
- 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;
- Compassionate, caring legal representation.
There are some VOP attorneys who claim to know how to best handle VOPs, but in reality have very little experience. Violation of probation defense is an ability that develops over time with planning, experience, and legal acumen. Finding the right VOP lawyer may make the greatest difference in your future.
Attorney Daniel Hilf provides strong and outstanding legal work for the following types of criminal matters:
- Probation Violation
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Retail Fraud
- Drug Offenses
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal Traffic
If you have been accused of a VOP or a new crime, contact attorney Daniel Hilf