Buffalo Probation Violation Attorney
New York takes violations of probation very seriously. The person on probation has been given the opportunity to remain free in the community, but only if the “General Conditions of Probation” are met. If you’ve been accused of a probation violation, you need to contact an experienced Buffalo probation violation attorney immediately. Your future depends on it.
For an understanding of what violations of probation are, knowing exactly what probation is gives the best starting point.. Probation is one possible sentence upon conviction of a crime, or violation of certain Family Court determinations. Probation is generally served while free in the community. There are situations where probation requires an initial period of incarceration before release into the community.
When put on probation, there are General Conditions of Probation ordered by the Court, setting forth the particular standards the probationer must follow during the period of probation, which may include all of the following, and more:
- Retaining or obtaining employment, remaining in school or completing job training program
- Obeying all laws and not being arrested again
- Installing ignition interlock device in your vehicle (generally with alcohol related crimes)
- Remaining within the county at all times without specific permission from probation to leave the county
- Pay child support pursuant to court order (generally for Family Court probation)
- Report to probation officer as scheduled
- Obey instructions of probation officer (such as attendance at drug treatment programs or psychological treatment)
- Complete a specified number of community service hours
- Obey a specified curfew
- Allowing warrantless searches
- Regular alcohol use testing and drug testing as requested or instructed
- No association with disreputable people, even specific people and/or not going to particular locations or places
- Timely payment of restitution
- If conviction requires, registration with sex offender registry
- Any other conduct the court and prosecutor determine is appropriate in your case
Violation of Probation
If the probationer does not follow the General Conditions of Probation, then the probationer has violated probation. Violations of the probation may put the probationer in jail for the balance of the period of probation or a lesser penalty. The penalty assessed for violation is, in large part, dependent upon the severity of the violation(s). The probation officer assigned to your case has a certain amount of discretion with regard to minor violations and may only issue a warning for a violation, or the violation can be reported to the court and the probationer must appear before the sentencing judge for a hearing on Violation of Probation (VOP).
These hearings, in simple terms, have two parts. The first is to determine whether or not the probationer has, in fact, violated the terms of probation. The Probation Department’s attorney argues against the probationer, trying to prove that there was a violation of probation. If the court finds that there was one or more violations of probation, the second part of the hearing takes place which is a potential re-sentencing of the probationer. The judge has discretion to assess various penalties once it is found that violation of probation occurred. The judge can leave the probationer on probation under the same terms or set different terms in order to remain on probation. The judge can incarcerate the probationer for the balance of the term of probation or incarcerate for a shorter period after which the probationer could be returned to probation, under the same or different terms, for the period of time determined by the court.
The more severe the violation of probation, or multiple violations with a disregard for the General Conditions, result in more severe penalties than what might be considered less serious violations. If a probationer does not want to be incarcerated or further penalized once on probation, it is wise to comply with the General Conditions of Probation without fail.
Remember that probation is an act of leniency in sentencing, and both the assigned probation officer and court will not hesitate to make the penalty more severe when given the opportunity through probation violations. The judge is not limited to incarcerating you for only the remaining period of probation, but has the authority to incarcerate the probationer for the longest sentence available for the original crime. This is why it is crucial that you have strong legal defense from an experienced probation violation attorney who if familiar with handling these types of serious cases.
Defending You Against Probation Violations
If you or a loved one is on probation and has violated their terms of probation, it is wise to contact a dedicated Buffalo probation violation attorney to discuss the options available. You could be facing serious jail time, and you need strong defense like Attorney Drew Fritsch to defend your rights and to defend your freedom.