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Probation, described in Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-901, is an alternative to prison or jail. It is a supervised release that requires the individual to comply with all its terms. If an offender fails to do so, the judge could send them to jail or prison to serve the rest of their sentence.
Probation is a privilege and an act of trust, and courts and prosecutors take probation violations seriously. The consequences can be harsh. Working with a skilled defense attorney can minimize the impact of a probation violation. A Scottsdale probation violation lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can present evidence in mitigation of a violation and convince a court to allow you to continue your term of probation.
Probation orders generally contain multiple conditions that an offender must fulfill. The order will likely have conditions specific to the offender, but all probation orders contain certain provisions.
Someone on probation must report to their probation officer (P.O.) periodically and may have court hearings they must attend. They must refrain from possessing a firearm or committing a new crime. People on probation usually have fines they must pay and missing a payment could be a probation violation. Missing a drug test or consuming alcohol could also be probation violations.
Failing to adhere to the terms of a probation order could result in an offender’s arrest and, eventually, prison. A determined Scottsdale probation violation attorney could work to preserve an offender’s probation and keep them out of jail.
Technical violations of a probation order are failures to adhere to the order’s minor terms. Technical violations could include:
If a P.O. believes an offender violated their probation, they file a Petition to Revoke Probation in court. A judge will issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest, and the offender will be held in jail until the arraignment on the probation violation charge. Until the arraignment, the offender is non-bondable—meaning they cannot get out of jail on bond. The judge will decide at the arraignment whether to keep the offender in custody as a non-bondable prisoner or release them.
At the arraignment, a diligent probation violation lawyer in Scottsdale could speak with the prosecutor and P.O. and try to reach a Disposition Agreement. A Disposition Agreement could reinstate probation, often with added conditions. In some cases, an offender might have to agree to Intensive Probation Services, a period of close supervision. If the parties cannot agree, the court will schedule a disposition hearing where the judge will hear evidence of the violation.
Some probation violations are not technical but major breaches of the offender’s obligations under the probation order. Getting arrested for committing another crime is an example of a non-technical violation. Possessing a firearm is also a non-technical violation of probation.
The procedure is the same for technical and non-technical violations, except that non-technical violations almost always require a hearing. Hearsay is admissible in probation violation trials, and the PO and prosecutor need only show that a violation likely occurred.
A proactive Scottsdale probation attorney could present evidence to mitigate the violation, such as:
However, if the judge decides it is more likely than not the offender committed a significant breach of their probation, they will likely order the offender to prison to serve the rest of their sentence.
People often find being on probation limiting and suffocating. However, it is the price of remaining free from prison. Violating the terms of a probation order could cause a judge to revoke probation.
If your P.O. sought your arrest because of a probation violation, contact a Scottsdale probation violation lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group immediately. In many cases it is possible to restore a probation order after a technical violation. Call now to speak with one of our former prosecutors, now dedicated criminal defense attorneys.