Los Angeles Probation Violation Attorney
When being sentenced for a crime, either a misdemeanor or a felony, the judge has the option of ordering a probation term. Probation is a way for the state to rehabilitate criminals in lieu of punishing them. In certain instances a good lawyer can file a motion for early termination of your probation. There are two different types of probation, informal probation and formal probation.
You can be placed on informal probation, also referred to as summary or misdemeanor probation, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor, including a DUI. Informal probation can last as little as one year or as long as five years, during that time you won’t be required to report to a probation officer. The judge is allowed to impose any condition that he or she deems appropriate as a part of the informal probation term. These conditions can include anything from taking a drug related class to paying restitution fines.
The goal of informal probation is rehabilitation. This is achieved by ensuring that you don’t commit any more crimes while serving your probation term. Informal probation is a way for the state to hold you to a higher standard of scrutiny. Any violation during your informal probation term can be used against you in court.
Formal probation, also referred to as felony probation, is reserved for more serious convictions. The duration of formal probation is the same as informal probation, up to five years, but during that time you are required to report to a probation officer. The judge determines how often you are required to report, but it’s typically once a month. The probation officer is responsible for administering drug tests and knowing your whereabouts during your probation term.
The consequences for violating formal probation are typically severe and include a state prison sentence. Violating a probation term, either formal or informal, can be achieved through a myriad of actions. These actions include, failure to adhere to any condition the judge imposed or committing a new crime, either a felony or a misdemeanor.
If you are concerned that you have not met the requirements of your probation, either formal or informal, and are facing increased sentencing then it’s important to seek counsel. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you through your probation violation hearing and convince the court to not impose any additional charges.
If you have successfully completed your probation term, either formal or informal, and want to clear your record of the offense, then it is important to utilize a criminal defense attorney. Expungement is a way to have your case dismissed in place of a guilty plea. For more information on expunging your conviction, look at our Expungement Article.
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How to Win Your Case
We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:
- Don’t ever talk to the police
- Do not discuss your case with anyone
- Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
- Tell police you need to contact your attorney
- Never consent to any search by the police
- If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
- Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
- Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
- Information on your cell phone is evidence
- Early Intervention is the key