Probation Violation Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
Being granted probation is one of the most common alternatives to jail, and many people who are facing criminal charges are grateful to avoid incarceration. However, there are several rules and restrictions surrounding probation and if you’ve been found in violation of these, it could mean you’ll be sent to jail.
Sometimes a probation violation is committed unintentionally while other times you may think you’ll be able to get away with something and no one will notice. The fact is, probation violations are taken very seriously. And if you are in violation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately for help. If you’d like legal assistance and reside in Omaha, Nebraska, or the surrounding areas of Sarpy County, Saunders County, Dodge County, and Washington County, contact my firm today. No matter the details of your situation, Greg Nelson Attorney at Law is committed to providing you with honest and valuable service.
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Common Ways Probation Is Violated
There are a number of ways a person can violate their probation. Some of the most common include:
failure to report to probation officer
failure to pay fines
failure to appear for a court date
traveling outside the area without permission
arrest for an unrelated crime (committing a new crime)
having contact with people who are prohibited by the terms of your probation
Any violation can result in very serious consequences which is why you’ll need knowledgeable criminal defense representation to make sure your best interests are being addressed.
Types of Violations
There are two main types of violations where a person doesn’t follow the rules of their probation:
Technical violation: Also called “rule violations,” these refer to instances where the person on probation may have technically broken the terms of their sentence, but they haven’t actually committed a new crime. Examples of a technical violation include failing to show up to an appointment with your probation officer, failing a mandatory drug test, failing to attend school or a job if that was a term of your probation, or leaving the county or state without permission.
Substantive violation: This type of violation typically refers to someone committing a new offense. While both violations should be taken seriously, a substantive violation can have additional negative impacts because you’ll not only face consequences for violating your probation, but you’ll also run the risk of being convicted of a new crime at the same time. In these instances, one situation can make the other worse. For instance, a judge may be less lenient on you if you’ve shown that you’ve not only broken the terms of your probation, but that you’ve also used this as an opportunity to commit a new crime.
Consequences of Probation Violation
When you’re found to be in violation of your probation, the officer in charge or the prosecution can request a probation violation hearing. Once a judge receives this request, they’ll review it for accuracy and to see if it warrants an actual violation. If it does, you’ll receive a bench warrant or a request to appear in court. But if you fail to appear in court on the appointed date, you run the risk of being forcibly taken in under the terms of your bench warrant.
At your hearing, the prosecution will have the burden of proof on them to provide evidence that clearly proves you violated your probation. As the probationer, you have the rights to appoint legal counsel, present your own evidence, and cross-examine any witnesses the prosecution brings up. As far as sentencing goes, the judge generally has the option of two different consequences:
They can decide to keep you on probation though they may make modifications to it based on the nature of the offense.
Two, they can decide to revoke your probation which means you’ll be ordered to fulfill your suspended sentence.
In all cases, the judge will consider the nature of the violation, whether you’ve had any violations in the past, and how serious the offense was.
If you’re already on probation you’ve had some experience with the criminal justice system and you know there are penalties more severe than the one you’re currently serving. Therefore, if you’re at risk for violating your probation or have already violated your probation and are concerned about the repercussions, the best thing you can do for yourself is to contact an experienced attorney right away.
Probation Violation Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
Probation violations should be taken as seriously as first offenses because both have the possibility of landing you in jail. Reach out to my firm, Greg Nelson Attorney at Law, in Omaha, Nebraska, and we’ll start working together on your next steps. I’m proud to represent defendants throughout the state.