I recently handled a probation revocation matter in Lafayette Parish District Court. My client’s probation…
Probation Revocation is when the district attorney’s office is attempting to revoke your probation and force you to serve time in jail. If you receive probation as part of a criminal sentence, the jail time associated with the charge is “suspended” provided you meet certain conditions. If you do not fulfill the requirements of your probation, then the original jail sentence is reinstated. I wrote in a previous blog (“Six Tips for Avoiding Probation Violations“) about possible reasons you could have your probation revoked – failing to meet with your probation officer, not attending required classes — but the primary condition of All probations, is that you cannot got into any more trouble with the law. When you do, you can rest assured that the state will attempt to violate your probation and make you serve the rest of your sentence.
Getting a New Charge While on Probation
Being charged with a new crime is the most difficult revocation issue. I have a client who was charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile, and since he was on probation for simple robbery at the time of this alleged crime, the state moved to revoke him. My client was picked up and put in jail, where he had to remain until his revocation hearing. This is because defendants are not allowed to bond out of jail while they are waiting for the probation revocation hearing.
Preparing for the Revocation Hearing
At the hearing, the state will present evidence that you have revoked your probation. You and your criminal defense attorney are also able to put on evidence in your defense. This is the time to put on an aggressive defense because your freedom is on the line – you need to get ready for the revocation hearing like it is a criminal trial. You will need to gather evidence, including witnesses, documents, and expert testimony, that will contradict the state’s evidence. You need to do anything and everything possible to convince the judge that you are not guilty of the new offense or have not violated any of the other conditions of your probation.
If your attorney does not present any evidence, you are likely to be revoked. This is why it is important for you to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience preparing for probation revocation hearings. In the case I mentioned above, we were able to convince the judge that my client had not participated in a new crime (carnal knowledge of a juvenile), so the judge denied revocation and my client was released from jail.