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Bay Area Probation Attorney
Probation Violation Attorney in Bay Area, California
A criminal conviction in Alameda County doesn’t always result in jail time. Instead of being sentenced to jail, you could be sentenced to probation in Alameda County. This means that the Alameda County judge has determined that your jail or prison sentence can be suspended, providing you successfully complete the requirements of your probation.
They key here is “successfully complete.” If you violate the conditions of your Alameda County probation, then your probation can be modified, or revoked and terminated. If you are convicted in Oakland and your probation is revoked and terminated, then you are required to serve the sentence you received following your conviction. For many people, that means being arrested and taken into custody, and then doing jail or prison time.
While people intuitively understand that it’s critical to have an Oakland criminal defense attorney at their side when they’ve been charged with a crime, few realize that mounting an effective legal defense for a probation violation can mean the difference between freedom and incarceration. If you’ve been arrest for violating the terms of your probation, your first call should be to the seasoned Alameda County criminal defense attorneys at Silver Law Firm.
K.M. – Oakland
Alameda County Probation Violation Defense Attorney
When you’re offered probation in Alameda County, you do get to avoid the penalties associated with your conviction – so long as you meet every condition of your probation for the entirety of the length of your probation. If you violate one or more conditions of your probation, that is a crime in and of itself – one that has serious repercussions. The good news is that an Oakland criminal defense attorney can help minimize the consequences of your probation violation. Instead of the judge sentencing you to a jail or prison term, for example, your Alameda County probation violation defense attorney may be able to convince the judge to modify your probation rather than revoke it. Remember, if you’re facing probation violation charges in Alameda County, you have the same rights as criminal defendants. The probation violation defense attorneys at Silver Law Firm will help you assert your rights and will fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
When you’re convicted of a crime in Alameda County, the judge consults with standardized sentencing guidelines in determining the consequences. It’s no secret that jails and prisons are overcrowded, and that jail and prison sentences derail people’s lives in ways that are often unrecoverable. Those are two reasons why sentencing guidelines allow for discretion in granting probation in lieu of imprisonment in Alameda County. At its essence, probation suspends a jail or prison sentence, instead allowing the person convicted to stay in their community and prove to the court that they can abide by the law. Probation is sometimes granted instead of jail time, and sometimes granted as an adjunct to a shorter jail sentence. Often, probation is one part of a sentence, along with elements such as fines, community service, treatment program participation, and so forth.
In Oakland and the rest of Alameda County, there are two types of probation: formal and informal. Formal probation is typically granted to those who have been convicted of felony offenses, while informal probation is typically granted to those whose crimes are not violent or drug-related.
If you are subject to formal probation, then you are required to register with the Alameda County Probation Department. Once you register, you are assigned a probation officer. They will act as your supervisor during your probation period, and will ensure that you comply with the terms of your probation. In contrast, if you are sentenced to informal probation, then you do not need to register and do not have an assigned probation officer. You are, however, required to comply with the terms of your probation.
California Probation Violation Penal Code §1203.3
In Alameda County, a person’s probation violation is governed by California Penal Code §1203.3. It says, “The court has the authority at any time during the term of probation to revoke, modify, or change its order of suspension of imposition or execution of sentence. The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of probation, and discharge the person held.”
In Oakland and the rest of Alameda County, probation can last from a few months to several years. If you are convicted and sentenced to probation, and then successfully complete the requirements of your probation, your criminal charges may be dismissed. On the other hand, if you violate the terms of your probation, then you can suffer severe consequences. Alameda County probation violations vary, depending upon an individual’s probation conditions, but might include:
- Skipping a required court hearing
- Not checking in with your probation officer
- Leaving the state without permission
- Not obtaining or holding a job
- Failing a drug test
- Selling or possessing illegal drugs
- Violating a restraining order
- Failing to pay court-ordered fines, fees, or restitution
- Not participating in required community service
- Not completing a court-ordered counseling, education, or treatment program
- Committing any other crime
The terms of your probation depend upon the nature of your conviction, which means that Alameda County probation violations vary from person to person. For example, if you are convicted of grand theft in Oakland and are given probation, chances are that you are allowed to have drinks with friends. If you are convicted of drunk driving, abstinence could be a condition of your probation, so drinks with friends are out. If you’re supposed to report for roadside cleanup as the community service component of your probation and you fail to do so, then you can be arrested for a probation violation. California Penal Code §1203.3 gives the court complete authority to modify or revoke your probation, and to compel you to serve your original sentence.
What Happens During a Probation Violation Hearing?
While the court can compel you to serve your original sentence for a probation violation, that’s not an automatic outcome. There are important steps than can change the trajectory of your future. If you are arrested and taken into custody for a probation violation, you are taken to Oakland’s jail. There, you may be allowed to post bail pending a violation of parole hearing.
Your Alameda County violation of parole hearing has similarities to a traditional criminal court hearing. The prosecution presents evidence of your parole violation, and you have the right to present a rigorous defense. That’s where the skill of your Oakland criminal defense attorney comes in.
One difference between a criminal trial and a violation of parole hearing is the standard of proof. Unlike a criminal trial that mandates certainty beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor in a violation of parole hearing must simply convince the judge that you violated one condition of your parole. In addition, a violation of parole hearing does not involve a jury; the judge alone decides your future.
Penalties for a Violation of Probation in Alameda County
If you violate the terms of your probation in Alameda County, then you can face serious consequences. Your Alameda County probation order outlines the conditions of your probation, and it is up to an Alameda County judge to decide the punishment for a probation violation. Then penalties for a probation violation can vary, depending upon factors like the nature and extent of the violation, your previous history of probation violations, your criminal history, and the recommendation of the Alameda County Probation Department. The penalties for a probation violation can include fines, an extended probation term, or a jail sentence.
For an initial probation violation, the judge may decide to admonish you and allow you to remain on probation with the initial terms intact. They may instead lengthen your probation or change the conditions of your probation. They also have the option to temporarily revoke your probation, sentence you to 30 or more days in jail, and then reinstate your probation. In the worst-case scenario, they can completely terminate your probation and order you to serve your sentence in jail or prison.
Alameda County Probation Violation Defense
When the Alameda County court sentences you to probation instead of forcing you behind bars, they’re striking a deal: you promise to abide by the law and meet the conditions of your probation in exchange for your freedom. If you violate the conditions of your parole, the consequences can be dire: you can lose your freedom, your livelihood, and life as you know it. The Oakland criminal defense attorneys at Silver Law Firm have depth and breadth of experience representing clients in Alameda County violation of probation hearings. With their help, you can get the best possible outcome in your parole violation hearing. They understand that each Alameda County parole violation case is unique, and that your individual circumstances can influence the judge’s ruling. Your Silver Law Firm attorney will use every resource at their disposal to help you avoid going to jail or prison.
How Hiring a Probation Violation Defense Attorney Can Help
The Alameda County criminal justice system is complex. Once you’ve been arrested for a crime, having a skilled Oakland criminal defense attorney at your side during your case can result in having the charges dismissed, negotiating for lesser charges, or obtaining an acquittal at trial. In cases where the evidence against you is irrefutable, then a plea agreement can be in your best interest. Included in that plea agreement are negotiations about penalties. Your Alameda County criminal defense lawyer will do everything in their power to avoid a jail or prison sentence and instead secure probation. Next to a complete dismissal of charges, probation is the best possible outcome. When you’re on probation, you can live in your community, work or attend school, be with your family, and live your life.
However, if you are arrested for a probation violation, all of that can disappear – and disappear quickly. That’s why your first call should be to a seasoned Oakland probation violation attorney.
Contact Our Probation Violation Defense Attorneys
While probation violation penalties can be devastating, it’s important to press forward. When you or a loved one has been arrested for a probation violation, call Silver Law Firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our seasoned Alameda County criminal defense lawyers will provide you with a straightforward assessment of your case. Time is not on your side. We are committed to defending those accused of probation violations, and will fight tirelessly on your behalf. To discuss how Silver Law Firm can help you obtain a favorable parole violation hearing, call us today.