Probation Violation Attorney Royal Oak MI
When a probation violation allegation arises for a Royal Oak related case, you should retain a trusted, highly competent probation violation defense lawyer to help you, such as attorney Daniel Hilf. A conviction for probation violation (also referred to as a VOP or a violation of probation), while on felony or misdemeanor probation, places you at the mercy of the Judge when it comes to imposing a sentence. Some Judges may be willing to listen to you and give you a second chance. Other Judges have absolutely no sympathy whatsoever and have no hesitation to incarcerate. For Royal Oak misdemeanor probations at the 44th District Court, those Judges do not always give second chances when it comes to probation violation convictions. For felony Oakland County Circuit Court cases, there are some very strict hanging Judges who commonly impose jail or prison if convicted of probation violation. The job your lawyer performs for you may prove to be the difference between staying free and immediately going into custody. You are advised to hire a zealous VOP lawyer immediately.
For most violations of probation sentences, the Judge has the ability to make any of the following decisions:
- a dismissal of the violation charges;
- continuation of probation with the Court;
- extend your probation with costs;
- loss of diversion status;
- a jail sentence (for misdemeanor and felony probationers) or a prison sentence (for felony probationers);
- add more conditions to probation to make it more difficult (substance abuse counseling, increased drug, increased alcohol testing, community service, tether, financial penalties, etc.);
- formulate a sentence with a combination of any or all of the above conditions.
Whenever dealing with a violation of probation, you're forced to choose which path you want to follow. One path is to waive your right to a hearing and admit to the Court that you did violate probation. The other path is to deny that you violated probation and demand a VOP hearing. When making the decision of which path to follow, you need the help of an experienced VOP attorney. If hired, lawyer Daniel Hilf will represent you professionally, and give you helpful advice, in order to develop a comprehensive strategy to face the probation violation in the best possible way.
For all VOPs the probationer is entitled to the following rights:
- to have a contested hearing in front of the Judge you're on probation with to oppose the probation violation;
- to be advised of the maximum possible jail/prison penalty and fine;
- to be given a written notice advising you of the reasons behind the allegations of probation violation;
- to have a speeding hearing, within 14 days of arraignment, if you are incarcerated;
- to be presumed completely innocent of all probation violation allegations unless proven in Court otherwise;
- to hire the VOP defense lawyer of your choice. Most Judges will allow you more time to hire a VOP lawyer if you make the request;
- to have the prosecutor attempt at hearing to prove to the Court by a "preponderance of the evidence" that at least one of the accusations of probation violation are probably true;
- to be in the courtroom to see and hear all testimony, examine exhibits, and otherwise help in your defense;
- to question any witnesses that testify that you violated your probation;
- to have your lawyer subpoena witnesses to testify concerning your defense to the allegations;
- to testify yourself at the probation violation hearing and offer a defense;
- to remain silent and not testify during the entire VOP hearing, and have the Court not consider this against you;
- to appeal any conviction for probation violation to a higher Court, to the extent permitted by law.
Please be cautioned that the above listed rights only mean something if they are fully and properly exercised by a competent VOP defense lawyer working on your behalf. Going it alone and having no legal representation is a very foolish decision.
With every VOP there are due process criminal procedure rights which include a VOP arraignment, where the probationer is advised in writing and by the Judge of any alleged violations. At arraignment the Judge can choose to set a bond in an amount that will ensure the probationer will return to Court and to protect the community from potential negative behavior. The VOP lawyer may motion the Court for a continuance or adjournment in the probation violation proceedings due to: the need to subpoena and secure defense witnesses for hearing; waiting for the resolution of a criminal matter; need for time to gather evidence and prepare the hearing; existing scheduling issues; desire to speak with an expert witness about a possible defense.
If the reason behind the VOP is a new charge that gets dismissed, the Judge can still order the probation violation proceedings to proceed forward, 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). The probation violation also can continue if it's based on negative behavior related to the dismissed criminal charge. For example, if a probationer is accused of domestic violence, and that accusation gets dismissed in Court because the alleged victim did not appear at trial, the reason for continuing the violation may be based upon hearsay statements of the alleged victim to the police (which are admissible at a probation violation hearing).
If the probation violation is a money or restitution issue, the Judge cannot revoke probation or order a term of incarceration unless the Judge finds that the probationer failed to make a good faith effort to pay the amount owed and that the probationer had the ability to fully comply with the payments without encountering a "manifest hardship". "Manifest hardship" under Michigan law means the Court's consideration of the following items: 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; if the probationer is currently has a job; the probationer's work history; if the probationer is actually able to gain employment; what are the probationer's basic living expenses (medical expenses, food, shelter, child support payments, clothing, etc.); the existence of any other relevant special circumstances.
At a VOP hearing, sometimes the testimony of an expert witness is critical to the defense. An expert witness is someone accepted and qualified by the Court that has specialized knowledge in a particular discipline or arena (for example: medical, psychological, engineering, scientific, etc.) that may assist the Judge in deciding the validity of an issue or a defense. For example, if the violation is based upon whether or not a probationer intentionally used alcohol, an expert witness may be able to provide scientific support that the probationer did not intentionally use alcohol and that the positive reading was likely from exposure to industrial cleaners at work. Presenting expert testimony at a VOP hearing can prove both important and difficult, which is a strong reason to find an exceptional VOP lawyer in these instances.
If convicted of probation violation, the Judge is obligated to hear from the probationer, defense counsel, and prosecutor before deciding on what the sentence should be. An zealous VOP lawyer is necessary, because the probationer needs advice and a carefully formulated probation violation strategy to persuasively fight for the best outcome.
Why Choose Attorney Daniel Hilf For Your VOP Lawyer at the Royal Oak 44th District Court or Oakland County Circuit Court?
- Years of Royal Oak 44th District Court and Oakland County Circuit Court VOP defense representation;
- Results oriented zealous approach to VOPs;
- Respected by prosecutors and Judges in Royal Oak and Oakland County Courts;
- Thorough, compassionate, top tier VOP advocacy;
- A Troy Michigan office to privately discuss your VOP;
- Immediate help, advice and a plan to address your VOP;
- Return of messages, telephone calls, and emails to answer your concerns and questions;
Top Rated Royal Oak, Michigan Violation of Probation Defense Lawyer
VOP defense is not something that any lawyer can do. It is a finely honed skill set that properly develops only with extensive case preparation, vast litigation experience, wise legal acumen, and talent. Hiring the best possible VOP defense lawyer to defend your case and stand with you in Court is definitely worth the time and expense.
Lawyer Daniel Hilf provides outstanding help for all criminal law issues in or related to Royal Oak. Contact attorney Hilf for:
- Probation Violation
- Other Criminal Offenses
- Sex Offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Criminal Traffic
- Retail Fraud
- Domestic Violence
If you have Court scheduled at 44th District Court in Royal Oak or Oakland County Circuit Court for probation violation or alleged new criminal conduct, contact attorney Daniel Hilf