FAIRFAX LAWYER DEFENDS THOSE ACCUSED OF PROBATION VIOLATIONS
Jail sentences and fines are only two of the penalties that judges in Virginia may impose on convicted criminal offenders. Many of the people convicted of crimes in this state are sent back to their communities to serve probation.
Probation allows convicted offenders to remain in their homes, keep their jobs, and provide for their families. However, when a probationer violates the terms and conditions of probation, the consequences can be severe, and a judge may order the probationer to jail or prison.
If you are serving probation in Virginia and you are accused of a probation violation, what happens? How can you defend yourself? Can you avoid jail or prison if you are found guilty of violating probation? You’re about to learn the answers and find the help you need.
HOW DOES PROBATION WORK?
In the Virginia system, probation emphasizes personal accountability while offering a practical alternative to the state prison or the county jail. It’s not for everyone. The most violent criminal suspects – and those with lengthy criminal records – are almost never granted probation.
If you are convicted of a crime and sentenced to probation, adhere to its terms and conditions. The last thing you need is to be charged with a violation of probation or “VOP.” Listed here are some of the typical terms and conditions of probation in Virginia:
- regularly meeting with a probation officer
- not committing any crime, not owning a firearm, and not using any illegal drugs
- not leaving the state without permission
- keeping a job (or finding one)
- avoiding known criminal acquaintances
- submitting to unannounced searches and drug screenings
- attending and participating in court-ordered classes, treatment, or counseling
WHAT CONSTITUTES A VIOLATION OF PROBATION?
Violation of probation or VOP is a criminal charge. Here are some of the more common probation violations:
- failure to appear as scheduled in court
- failure to report to a probation officer
- failure to pay any fines, fees, or restitution ordered by the court
- failure to perform community service or complete court-ordered treatment or counseling
- fraternizing with criminal acquaintances
- committing any crime including possessing, using, or selling illegal drugs
- not completing community service or court-ordered drug or alcohol counseling
- not retaining or not obtaining employment
- unauthorized out-of-state travel
WHAT HAPPENS IF A PROBATION VIOLATION IS SUSPECTED?
The consequences of a VOP conviction will hinge on the nature of the violation, the nature of the original, underlying crime, and whether it’s your first alleged violation or a subsequent offense. Listed here are some of the potential penalties for VOP convictions in Virginia:
- Probation may be revoked, and the probationer may be ordered to jail or prison.
- A short jail sentence may be ordered.
- Additional conditions may be added to the probation.
- The period of probation may be extended.
CAN YOU FIGHT A VIOLATION OF PROBATION CHARGE?
If you’re charged with a violation of probation and ordered to appear at a VOP hearing, you must be defended by an attorney with extensive VOP experience. To convict you, the state must prove that you intentionally violated probation or that you did so through carelessness and negligence.
The right Fairfax probation violation attorney will investigate the alleged violation, interview witnesses if necessary, and gather evidence on your behalf. Your attorney may be able to convince the judge that you did not violate the terms of your probation.
If you owe money to the court for unpaid fines, your lawyer may be able to arrange a better payment plan. If you failed a drug or alcohol test, your attorney might challenge the test results or the credentials of the person who conducted the test.
A PRIVILEGE AND AN OPPORTUNITY
When you’ve been convicted of a crime in Virginia, probation is a privilege – not a right. It’s an opportunity to get things right without going to jail. You do not want to lose that privilege and opportunity.
Take full advantage of probation – if that’s your sentence – and avoid any further legal trouble by adhering strictly to your probation’s terms and conditions. That’s the best course.
IF YOU FACE A VOP CHARGE IN FAIRFAX
Nevertheless, if you are facing a VOP charge, you cannot face it alone. Fairfax criminal defense attorney Scott C. Nolan will represent you at a VOP hearing and bring the matter to a fair and just resolution.
Since 2000, attorney Scott C. Nolan has represented clients charged with crimes ranging from traffic violations to violent felonies in Northern Virginia’s state and federal courts. He knows how important it is to avoid a VOP conviction.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call his law offices or contact him online. Scott C. Nolan has established a reputation for legal excellence, and he offers aggressive, effective representation to clients accused of violating probation in Fairfax and across Northern Virginia.