Criminal Defense Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI

Probation ViolationsIf you’re on probation in Grand Rapids, MI you will want to be aware of the precise terms to avoid violating your probation. If you have been accused of a probation violation, you’re going to want to have a lawyer to represent you at the hearing. A criminal defense lawyer Grand Rapids, MI trusts can defend you against the charges you are facing.

What happens if I violate probation?

If your probation officer believes that you have violated probation, he or she will file a petition with the court alleging what you did to violate probation and ask the court to address the violations. The allegation could have arisen in different ways, perhaps you could be arrested on the scene at the time of the violation, or perhaps you could be brought back to court to face the violation. Once the petition is filed, you may either be arrested on the warrant, or the court may ask for you to come back to court to be arraigned on the charge.

What can I expect in court on a probation violation?

Your first appearance in front of the court will be for a probation violation arraignment. The magistrate or judge will tell you the rights that you have and indicate what the alleged violation is. The court will ask for a plea, to which your response should be “not guilty” in order to proceed with the case and get a lawyer, if you do not have one already at that point. The court will also address bond at that point, and may set a higher bond, or may deny bond altogether. It really depends on many factors, including the severity of the allegation.

After the arraignment, you will have to appear for a hearing on the violation, unless plea agreement is reached. During the hearing, the prosecutor will have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you committed the probation violation alleged. The judge is the decision-maker. You do not get a jury, but your lawyer gets the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses against you. Your lawyer may also present some witnesses and evidence that is helpful to you. Because the standard of proof is so low, probation violation cases can be tough

What sentence am I facing on a probation violation?

If the judge finds that you are guilty of a probation violation, the judge may sentence you.  The sentence is on the underlying charges, so the judge has some sentencing options. The court may revoke probation, and you could face incarceration in the amount of time that you have left to serve on your sentence. For instance, if it is a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail, and you have 4 days credit, you could serve 89 days in jail (minus credit for good time). The judge could also give you some term of incarceration and extend your probation, or add conditions to your probation, like additional counseling or more community service.

Because you could be facing some serious consequences for a probation violation, it is important that you get a lawyer to represent you. Reach out to a Criminal Defense Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI trusts to discuss how to best defend your pending case. Give Blanchard Law a call at (616) 773-2945 to speak to a lawyer today.