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Probation Violation Attorney Pontiac MI

Top Referred Probation Violation Attorney near Pontiac

Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen faced with an allegation of probation violation, you should retain a trusted 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, places you at the mercy of the Judge who is allowed to re-sentence you on your original conviction charge.  Some Judges may be willing to give you a second chance and other Judges have no sympathy whatsoever.  The work your lawyer performs may be the difference between going home and going into custody.  For cases in Pontiac at the 50th District Court or Oakland County Circuit Court, always have a probation violation lawyer to defend you, because the potential consequences are too high for you and your family.

The Judge, for most violations of probation sentences, can make any of the following decisions:

  • a dismissal of the probation violation;
  • a warning to not violate probation again in the future or else!;
  • lengthen the time period on probation;
  • loss of HYTA, 7411, 769.4a, 771.1, or another similar diversion status;
  • jail or another form of confinement;
  • changing or adding to the conditions of probation (community service, substance abuse counseling, tether, increased drug/alcohol testing, financial penalties, etc.);
  • a combination of the above decisions.

Whenever dealing with a violation of probation, you have to make a decision.  One decision is to waive a hearing and admit to the Court that you did violate probation.  The other possible decision is to deny the probation violation and demand a VOP hearing.  When making this decision, you need the help of a skilled VOP lawyer.  If retained, attorney Daniel Hilf will provide you with professional legal representation, helpful advice, and the development of a strategy to face the probation violation in the best possible manner.

For all probation violations the probationer has the following rights:

  • to have a VOP hearing in front of your Judge (there is no right to a jury trial);
  • to defend the alleged violations at a VOP hearing, understanding that the rules of evidence due not fully apply (hearsay testimony is allowed for probation violations);
  • to be advised of the maximum allowable incarceration and/or penalty;
  • to be advised, in writing, of the reasons why you were violated;
  • if in custody, to have within 14 days of arraignment a VOP hearing.  If the violation of probation is based on a new criminal arrest, the Judge can allow for delay of the the VOP hearing to await to outcome of of the new arrest; 
  • to be presumed innocent of all allegations;
  • to have competent legal representation defend the VOP on your behalf.  The probationer has the ability to hire the lawyer of his or her own choice, and usually will be allowed additional time to do so upon request;
  • to require the prosecution to try to meet the burden of proof by a "preponderance of the evidence" that at least 1 accusation of probation violation is probably true;
  • to be in the courtroom and observe all VOP proceedings;
  • to assist the in the defense of the VOP;
  • to question or otherwise cross examine prosecution witnesses at the VOP hearing;
  • to subpoena witnesses for the VOP hearing, and to have the witnesses testify in Court;
  • to offer testify at the VOP hearing;
  • to remain silent during the VOP hearing, and not testify;
  • to appeal in the manner allowed by Michigan law.

These above listed rights only have worth and value if the probationer has a competent lawyer.  Self representation the worst choice for a probationer, and should be avoided.  

With every probation violation there is an arraignment, where the Judge informs the probationer of the nature of the alleged VOP.  The Judge has the option of setting a personal, cash, or surety bond as he or she sees fit.  VOP counsel may seek a delay in the probation violation due to: the need to subpoena and secure defense witnesses; lawyer conflicts and scheduling issues; waiting for the resolution of a criminal matter; need for additional preparation time; desire to consult with an expert witness about a possible defense.  

If the justification for of the probation violation is criminal activity that gets dismissed, the Judge is free to still pursue the alleged violation.  One reason for this is because the burden of proof for a criminal conviction (beyond a reasonable doubt) is higher than the burden of proof for a probation violation (preponderance of the evidence).  Also, often the violation is based on prohibited conduct that is at issue with a new criminal accusation.  For example, if a probationer is accused of DWI, and that accusation gets dismissed, the reason for the violation may be for the person's alleged use of alcohol (if the person was ordered to not consume alcohol) or driving a car (if the person did not have a valid license or was ordered not to drive).

If the probation violation is due to not paying money owed, the Judge cannot place the probationer in jail or revoke the term of probation unless the Judge finds that the probationer has not made a good faith effort to pay what is owed and that the probationer had the ability to comply with the payment order without suffering a "manifest hardship".  When deciding the existence of a "manifest hardship", the Judge considers: 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.  

At a probation violation hearing, there defenses based on testimony from expert witnesses.  An expert witness is someone recognized with specialized knowledge in a particular discipline (for example: scientific, medical, engineering, etc.) that may help the Judge in deciding a relevant issue.  For example, if the issue is whether or not a probationer falsely tested positive, an expert witness may be able to lend support to the defense that the probationer did not intentionally use alcohol based upon source being exposure to industrial cleaners at work.  Presenting expert testimony at hearing can prove very difficult, and the probationer definitely cannot do it without an experienced VOP lawyer.

If convicted of VOP, the  Judge before sentencing listens to statements from the probationer, defense counsel, prosecution, probation officer, and sometimes others before deciding on the sentence.  An experienced, zealous VOP lawyer can give the probationer important advice by providing a carefully formulated probation violation strategy to fight for the best outcome.

Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Violation of Probation Representation at 50th District Court or Oakland County Circuit Court?

  • Years of Pontiac and Oakland County Circuit Court probation violation defense representation;
  • Well prepared and aggressive, with a results oriented approach to VOPs;
  • Highly respected by prosecutors and Judges in Oakland County;
  • Compassionate, expert legal advocacy;
  • A professional office environment in Troy Michigan to discuss your situation;
  • Immediate assistance provided to address your probation violation allegation;
  • Return of telephone calls, messages, and emails;
  • Will provide strong advice and solid recommendations as to the best way to deal with the VOP accusations;
  • If you are convicted, will provide zealous legal representation to help possibly mitigate the Judge's sentence.

Top Rated Pontiac Violation of Probation Defense Lawyer

VOP defense is an skill that develops only with case preparation, proper planning, litigation experience, legal acumen, and talent.  Hiring the best probation violation defense lawyer for your case is definitely worth the expense.

Attorney Daniel Hilf provides outstanding legal representation.  Contact attorney Hilf for:

If you have Court for probation violation or new criminal conduct, contact attorney Daniel Hilf