Probation is a sentence most people facing criminal charges commonly plead guilty to. There are several reasons for this, such as to avoid jail or prison time. However, probation can be a snake in the grass. What that means is, probation seems like an easy way to avoid incarceration. However, if you violate one little term of your probation sentence like missing a meeting with your probation officer, not updating your address, not paying restitution and/or fines, dropping dirty, allegedly committing another criminal offense or even associating with a felon (like a friend or family member) can open you up to incarceration yet again.
As an ex-prosecutor, Attorney Travis Strobach has dealt with both ends of probation revocations. He realizes not everyone can perform every term of probation the first time. Some issues are less severe than others, meaning you may not be facing a harsh re-sentencing. But if you confess your violations you are facing a re-sentencing none the less. Remember though, the prosecuting attorney must still prove you violated your probation.
Unlike the original charge, a probation violation does not need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but by a preponderance of the evidence. This standard is a civil burden of proof, which is lower than in a criminal trial, but the consequences are the same. In layman's terms, preponderance of the evidence means the prosecution must prove to the finder of fact (the judge) that it is more likely than not you committed the violation of your probation. To explain this in a statistical term, 51% of the evidence must lead the finder of fact to find you violated your probation.
In a probation violation hearing the judge is the jury. There is no right to a jury trial, because you would have already been found guilty of the original offense, either by pleading guilty or by being found guilty after a trial. The only determination a judge will make is to decide whether you violated your probation or not. If it is decided you violated your probation, the judge will then decide what your sentence for that violation should be. For an attorney that has the experience and knowledge you need to fight for you in a probation revocation call Attorney Travis E. Strobach for your free consultation today (314) 651-9360