Santa Clarita Probation Violation Defense Attorney
Being accused of violating the terms of probation is a serious matter. While these allegations can lead to probation being revoked, they may also result in new criminal charges and cases for the accused.
At the Law Office of Gary Symonds, our Santa Clarita lawyers are effective at defending and representing people in various types of probation violation cases. Bringing more than four decades of legal experience to every case they take on, our attorneys are ready to:
- Discuss your situation and point out your best defense options
- Advocate your rights and present the strongest possible case on your behalf
- Prioritize your case and help you fight for a favorable outcome.
What is Probation?
In order to understand what actions would violate the terms of probation, it’s first important to know what probation is. Essentially, probation is court-ordered supervision that imposes specific restrictions and requirements on a person convicted of a crime.
These probationary terms can vary from case to case (depending on the nature of the offense and the specifics of a case), and judges generally have the discretion to alter or tailor these terms as they see fit. Commonly, probation terms:
- Are longer and stricter for felony offenses (versus misdemeanor offenses)
- Can be imposed in place of serving jail or prison time (i.e., be offered in exchange for a suspended jail sentence).
Probation Violations: Common Examples
A range of different actions can qualify as a probation violation, with some of the most common examples including:
- Failing to meet with or report to the probation officer
- Missing any court date associated with the case (i.e., failing to appear in court)
- Failing to pay restitution or other court-ordered fines
- Failing a drug test or refusing to submit to a drug test – A drug testing requirement is often associated with DUI and drug cases.
- Failing to complete court-ordered community service and/or treatment programs
- Failing to register as a sex offender – This registration requirement is commonly associated with sex offense cases.
- Attempting to make contact with a victim – This term may arise in domestic violence, assault and sex offense cases.
- Being accused of any new crime(s).
These, of course, are not the only ways in which probation can be violated. In fact, failing to comply with any provision or term of probation can constitute a probation violation.
California Probation Violation Hearings: What to Expect
When someone is accused of violating probation in California, a probation violation hearing will usually be scheduled. During this hearing, each side (i.e., the prosecutor and the accused individual) will have an opportunity to present its evidence and case.
Here are some of the most important facts to understand about California probation violation hearings:
- The accused has many of the same rights that apply in a criminal trial setting – These rights include (but are not necessarily limited to) the right to:
- Have a lawyer’s representation
- Present evidence and/or witnesses to support their case
- Take the stand and testify in their case.
- There are different standards of proof for probation violation hearings – In criminal trials, the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the evidence must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offense(s) in question. In contrast, the standard of proof in probation violation hearings is a preponderance of evidence. This effectively means that it’s only necessary for a prosecutor to prove that it’s more likely (than not) that the terms of probation were violated in a probation violation hearing.
- A judge will make the final decision in the case – This is different from criminal trials for which juries will issue the final decision (i.e., the verdict). When judges set forth a decision in a probation violation hearing, it will be one of the following:
- Probation will be reinstated according to the same terms.
- Probation will be reinstated with different (and usually stricter) terms.
- Probation will be revoked, and the accused person will be sent to jail (or prison) to serve out the remainder of his or her sentence.
Get Help Now: Contact a Santa Clarita Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Office of Gary Symonds
If you have been accused of violating your probation, contact a Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Gary Symonds by calling (661) 253-3700 or emailing us via the contact form on this page.
Our attorneys can explain the laws and what to expect as you move forward. They can also:
- Protect your rights and interests at every point as your case proceeds
- Present you and your case in the best possible light
- Help you fight for justice and the best possible outcome to your case.
Backed by more than 45 years of courtroom experience, our lawyers have the skills and resources – as well as established relationships with judges and prosecutors – to bring your probation violation case to the best possible outcome.
Initial consultations are free, and they are not restricted by any time limits. This offering is intended to help the accused get important information and advice so they can take the right steps to protect themselves as they proceed.
From offices based in Santa Clarita, we provide superior advocacy and the highest quality defense representation to clients throughout Northern Los Angeles and the state of California.