Criminal Defense: Probation Violations
Violations of probation can happen very easily, and can occur if your probation officer has any reasonable grounds to believe you violated any of the terms of your probation in any material way. If there is suspicion you violated your probation requirements, any law enforcement officer may then arrest you, or the judge can issue a warrant for your arrest.
Community Control is supervised custody in the community, home or another place that has specific rules and requirements. For example, halfway houses are considered community control. Community control is daily supervision and surveillance by law enforcement officers, including weekends and holidays.
Community control is more strict than probation, and is available to offenders who commit certain crimes that would not otherwise be available for probation. For example, those who commit serious felonies or felony offenders who have a criminal background may be eligible for community control, but would not be eligible for probation. However, violating terms of community control can result in the same penalties as probation violations.
Possible Terms of Probation
Not following the requirements of your probation can be a violation of your probation and lead the severe consequences. The terms of your probation may require you to do the following:
- Attend classes or counseling
- Find an appropriate job
- Make your home available for observation by your probation or parole officer
- Not leave a specified county, city or state
- Pay any fees
- Pay restitution
- Perform community service
- Submit to random drug or alcohol testing
- Support anyone legally dependant on you
- Timely report to probation and parole supervisors
You may also be prohibited from doing the following:
- Associating with any other persons involved with criminal activities
- Carrying a firearm or weapon
- Violating any other laws while on probation
- Visiting a place where alcohol or controlled substances are sold
Ohio Probation Hearings for Violations
If you have been arrested for violating probation, you will be permitted to have a hearing in front of a judge. However, since you have already been sentenced to probation for committing a crime, you will not be entitled to a jury.
Once your hearing is set after an arrest for violating probation, the sentencing judge will hear the facts of your alleged violation, and determine if you did in fact violate any of the terms or conditions. Since a probation violation is not like a new criminal charge, you can be forced to testify against yourself and witness testimony can be used against you.
The prosecuting attorney in a probation violation hearing does not need to prove you violated probation beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidentiary standard for probation violations is a preponderance of the evidence, which means it was more likely you violated probation than you did not. Therefore, it will be easier for a prosecutor to win a probation violation hearing than to win a new criminal case if you are not adequately represented at the hearing.
Penalties for Violating Probation
The punishments for violating probation can be more extreme than your initial sentence, and can often include any of the following:
- No right to bond after arrests, which means you will have to sit in jail until your hearing
- The time already served on probation will not count towards your sentence
- Additional charges and punishments added to your initial sentence
- A guilty conviction for the original offense, which may affect your eligibility toward sealing or expunging your record later
- Possible sentencing of the maximum punishment for the original offense
It is important to hire an attorney to represent you in order to avoid the most severe penalties and repercussions.
Jeffrey G. Edleman
Attorney At Law
260 S. Main St., Suite 216
Amherst, OH 44001
T: (440) 823-4077
F: (440) 984-3338