Probation Violation Attorney Rochester MI
When a probation violation allegation arises, you should retain a trusted, highly competent lawyer to help you, such as attorney Daniel Hilf. A probation violation (also referred to as a VOP or a violation of probation) places you at the mercy of the Judge, if proven or admitted to. A conviction for VOP allows your Judge to impose a new harsher sentence for your original conviction. Some Judges may be willing to give you a second chance and other Judges have no sympathy whatsoever. For Rochester misdemeanor probations at the 52-3 District Court, those Judges have a reputation for being extremely tough when it comes to probation violation convictions. For felony Oakland County cases, there are some Judges who commonly impose jail or prison if convicted of probation violation. The work your lawyer performs may be the difference between staying free and immediately going into custody, so you are encouraged to hire a VOP lawyer immediately.
For most violations of probation sentences, the Judge has the ability to make any of the following decisions:
- a dismissal;
- continuation of probation with a warning;
- make your probation longer;
- loss of 7411, 769.4a, HYTA (Holmes Youthful Trainee Act), 771.1, or another similar diversion status;
- jail (for misdemeanor and felony probation) or prison (for felony probation);
- add conditions to make probation more difficult (substance abuse counseling, tether, increased drug/alcohol testing, community service, financial penalties, etc.);
- a combination of any or all of the above.
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 hearing in front of your Judge to oppose the probation violation;
- to be advised of the maximum possible penalty;
- to be given a written document advising you of the reasons for the violation of probation;
- to have within 14 days of arraignment a VOP hearing if you are in custody;
- to be presumed innocent of all probation violation charges unless proven otherwise;
- to hire the lawyer of your choice. Most Judges will give you additional time to obtain your lawyer if you make the request;
- to have the prosecutor attempt to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" that at least 1 of the accusations of probation violation is probably true;
- to be in the courtroom to see and hear all testimony and assist in your defense;
- to question any witnesses called against you at the VOP hearing;
- to have your lawyer subpoena witnesses to testify for you;
- to testify at the VOP hearing in your own defense;
- to remain silent and not testify during the entire VOP hearing;
- to appeal any VOP conviction to a higher Court, as permitted by Michigan law.
Please be cautioned that these rights truly have meaning only if properly exercised with a competent VOP defense lawyer. To worst decision for a VOP is to go it alone and have no legal representation.
With every VOP there is process which includes an arraignment, where the Judge informs the probationer of any alleged violations. The Judge at arraignment has the discretion to set a bond in an amount that will ensure the probationer will return to Court and to protect the community. The probationer's defense lawyer may motion the Court for a delay in the probation violation due to: the need to subpoena and secure defense witnesses for hearing; existing scheduling issues; waiting for the resolution of a criminal matter; need for time to gather evidence and prepare the hearing; desire to speak with an expert witness about a possible defense.
If the justification for of the probation violation proceedings is due to alleged criminal activity that gets dismissed, the Judge can still allow the probation violation proceedings to continue. The main reason for this is because the prosecutor's burden of proof for a criminal conviction (beyond a reasonable doubt) is higher than the prosecutor's burden of proof for a probation violation conviction (preponderance of the evidence). Also, the violation can be based on negative conduct with a conviction. For example, if a probationer is accused of driving while drunk on probation, and that accusation gets dismissed in Court, the reason for continuing the violation may be for the probationer's alleged use of alcohol (if the probationer was previously ordered to not consume alcohol) or driving a car (if the probationer was previously ordered not to drive).
If the probation violation is based upon not fully paying back money owed to the Court or in restitution, the Judge cannot revoke the term of probation or order incarceration unless the Judge finds that the probationer has not made a good faith effort to pay the amount owed and that the probationer had the ability to fully comply with the payment order without suffering a "manifest hardship". "Manifest hardship" involves the Court's consideration of all of the following: if the probationer is currently has a job; the probationer's work history; if the probationer is actually able to gain employment; how much the probationer is able to earn from his or her job; whether or not the probationer's failure to pay was purposeful or out of his or her control; what financial resources, if any, the probationer has to pay; what are the probationer's basic living expenses (medical expenses, child support, food, shelter, clothing, etc.); the existence of any other relevant special circumstances.
At a violation of probation hearing, there are defenses that are supported by testimony from expert witnesses. An expert witness is someone accepted by the Court to have specialized knowledge in a particular discipline (for example: medical, engineering, scientific, etc.) that may assist the Judge in deciding the validity of a violation or a defense. For example, if the violation is based upon whether or not a probationer falsely tested positive for alcohol, an expert witness may be able to provide scientific support to the defense that the probationer did not intentionally use alcohol due to exposure to industrial cleaners at work. Presenting expert testimony at a VOP hearing can prove important but difficult. The probationer definitely needs an experienced VOP lawyer to present a defense involving an expert.
If convicted of VOP, the Judge is required to listen to statements from the probationer, defense counsel, and prosecution before deciding on the sentence. An experienced, zealous VOP lawyer is helpful by providing the probationer with important advice and a carefully formulated probation violation strategy to fight for the best outcome.
Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Violation of Probation Representation at the 52-3 District Court or Oakland County Circuit Court?
- Years of 52-3 District Court and Oakland County Circuit Court VOP defense representation;
- Aggressive, results oriented approach to VOPs;
- Respected by prosecutors and Judges in Rochester Hills and Oakland County;
- Compassionate, professional VOP advocacy;
- A professional office environment in Troy Michigan to privately discuss your alleged VOP;
- Immediate steps taken to address your VOP allegation;
- Return of telephone calls, messages, and emails in a timely manner;
- Solid advice and well thought out recommendations provided to help you.
Top Rated Rochester Michigan Violation of Probation Defense Lawyer
VOP defense is a finely honed skill set that fully develops only with case preparation, proper planning, litigation experience, legal acumen, and talent. Hiring the best VOP defense lawyer for your case is definitely worth the time and expense.
Attorney Daniel Hilf provides outstanding help for all criminal law issues. Contact attorney Hilf for:
- Probation Violation
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Retail Fraud
- Domestic Violence
If you have Court at 52-3 District Court or Oakland County Circuit Court for probation violation or alleged new criminal conduct, contact attorney Daniel Hilf