Probation and Parole Violations
Criminal cases often don’t end with the conviction. Serving your sentence frequently means living up to complicated and sometimes challenging court requirements, including probation and parole. When addiction or other life circumstances cause you to fall short on these requirements, you could face a probation or parole violation. An experienced PV defense attorney can help explain your case and keep you from facing additional jail or prison time.
Understanding Your Probation Order or Terms of Parole
Probation and parole are two systems that supervise convicted criminal offenders outside of jail or prison. Probation is ordered by the judge as part of your sentence instead of, or in addition to, time in jail or prison. Parole is a privilege granted by a separate Parole Board within the Department of Corrections that allows for early release from prison. These orders include a variety of terms and conditions based on your particular case and circumstances, such as:
- In-person or telephone reporting with a supervising parole agent or probation officer
- Curfews or house arrest
- Driving restrictions or license suspension
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Wearing a GPS or reactive tether
- Installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- No contact orders regarding particular people or places (usually the victim of the crime)
- Mental health or substance abuse treatment
- Paying fines, court costs, supervisory fees, and restitution to victims
- Appearing at court review hearings
- Limitations on out-of-state travel
- Obeying all state and federal laws
- Obtaining and maintaining full-time employment or education
- Submitting to random inspections of your home or vehicle
- Community service
Parole and Probation Violations and Possible Outcomes
Probation violations (PV) are issued when you fail to meet the expectations of the sentencing court. They can include anything from “dropping dirty” to falling behind on your fee payment schedule. Initially, you may not even know what you did wrong. If you are found guilty of the violation, penalties might include:
- Continued supervision (essentially a warning)
- Extended supervision (increasing the length of your probation sentence up to a maximum of 5 years)
- Additional terms of probation (such as mandatory drug treatment after a failed drug test)
- Brief incarceration
- Work release (where you spend your nights in jail and your days at work)
- Additional community service hours
- Increased fines and costs
- Revocation of parole or probation and sentencing to jail or prison
You are entitled to a hearing on any allegation of probation or parole violations. This often happens quickly, and you may be incarcerated in the meantime unless you are able to post bail. This means you need an experienced probation and parole defense attorney to swiftly uncover the basis of the violation and build your defense. At the Peter J. Johnson Law Office, we have been representing criminal defendants for decades. We know how to defend you against alleged violations by focusing on your successes and efforts and how to negotiate with prosecutors and probation officers to keep you out of jail.
Drug Treatment Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts
Michigan law recognizes that sometimes substance abuse or mental health conditions can make it hard to successfully complete probation. To help veterans and other defendants avoid repeat offenses and long jail stays, the legislature created two special post-conviction programs: Drug Treatment Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts. Defendants who have no violent criminal history and are convicted of certain offenses can often qualify for supervision in these courts in place of traditional probation.
Defendants in these programs are treated more therapeutically and given access to more services to address the challenges inherent to breaking addiction or treating mental illness. When relapses occur or defendants act out, they are viewed in a clinical context as well as a legal framework. At the Peter J. Johnson Law Office, our criminal defense attorneys have been working with treatment courts from the beginning. If you are battling addiction or mental health issues, our attorneys will be your advocates throughout the supervisory period and give you the best chance at long-term success.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation with an experienced probation and parole defense attorney who will help you understand and defend against probation and parole violations that could further threaten your freedom.
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