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Probation Violations

Northwest Indiana Violation of Probation (VOP) Lawyer

If you have violated your probation, and the Prosecutor has filed a Petition to Revoke Probation, often referred to as a PTR, the judge is likely to have several options when dealing with your situation. The judge’s options include anything from prison to work release or home detention, to allowing you to remain on probation.  With Stracci Law Group’s accomplished team of lawyers at your side, however, you will be well positioned to receive the most favorable outcome; possibly having the prosecutor withdraw the allegations or the judge ordering your return to probation instead of sending you to prison. Even when such an outcome is not possible, our lawyers will thoroughly review your situation with you and will fight to reach the best possible outcome for your individual situation. 

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Probation Violation?

Can a lawyer help with a probation violation? Given the seriousness of the potential consequences of a probation violation, you absolutely need a lawyer. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Stracci Law Group have secured successful outcomes for numerous clients who faced probation violation charges. We serve clients in Hammond, Crown Point, Valparaiso, and other communities throughout Northwest Indiana.

Terms of Probation

If a judge sentences you to probation, you might have to:

  • Report to your probation officer; 
  • Maintain employment;
  • Refrain from possessing firearms;
  • Refrain from breaking the law;
  • Refrain from leaving the state;
  • Refrain from consuming alcohol and illegal substances;
  • Submit to random drug testing;
  • Computer community service; 
  • Complete required counseling, such as substance abuse, mental health, and/or anger management; and
  • In certain cases, pay restitution; 

Check the terms of your probation to verify precisely what terms apply to you.

So how long do you go to jail for violating probation? The answer depends on many factors, and the likelihood of incarceration is ever-present, although not inevitable. The Judge may order you to execute all or part of your sentence that was suspended at the time of the initial sentencing hearing for your underlying conviction.

Can you get a lawyer for a probation violation? Yes, you can, and a good lawyer can make all the difference in what happens to you. 

Probation Violations and Consequences

Common probation violations include:

  • Missing a meeting(s) with your probation officer;
  • Failure to appear for a home visit;
  • Drug or alcohol use;
  • Failure to maintain employment;
  • Failure to complete community service requirements; 
  • Failure to complete mental health or substance abuse counseling requirements;
  • Failure to pay restitution or fines; and
  • A new arrest, even for a minor offense. 

If you violate the terms of your probation, your probation officer might report you to the judge. The judge might tighten the conditions of your probation, or even revoke your probation altogether and send you to jail or prison.

Technical Violations of Probation

Technical violations of probation are violations that would not be against the law for someone not on probation 一 associating with certain people, or leaving the state without permission, for example. The bad news about technical violations is that you enjoy fewer rights:

  • The prosecutor does not have to prove you guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” (the standard of proof is much lower: only a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means the judge only has to find that there is a greater than 50% chance that the probation violation allegation is true).
  • You have no right to a jury trial.

Substantive Violations of Probation

You commit a substantive violation of probation by committing a new crime while on probation. This might happen if you are pulled over for operating while intoxicated while on probation. In this case, you have two problems: (i) your OWI charge; and (ii) your probation violation charge based on having been charged with OWI while on probation. 

The bad news is that the State can rely on the relaxed standard of proof for the probation violation aspect of your new crime. That means, for example, that after hearing evidence on the OWI, the judge presiding over the probation violation can find you guilty of violating probation based on the lesser standard of proof due to your OWI without you ever being convicted of the OWI itself. 

What Should I Do If I Violated a Condition of Probation?

If you are facing a probation violation allegation, the State of Indiana might issue a violation of probation warrant against you. You will have the right to a hearing. If you promptly hire one of our seasoned attorneys, we will begin by trying to avoid having a warrant issued at all; or in the alternative, attempting to persuade the State that you should be allowed to post a bond and be released from jail. If the State will not agree, we will promptly turn our efforts to persuading the judge to release you pending the hearing which resolves the allegation that you violated your probation. 

The attorney will then try to work out an agreement with the prosecutor and probation officer, if that is in your best interest. If not, there will be a hearing during which we will tell your side of the story, which may include presenting witnesses and/or evidence. We will also cross-examine the State’s witnesses and contest whatever evidence it may attempt to present. The ultimate goal will be to either have the judge find that you did not violate your probation or to mitigate any finding that you did violate probation so that the judge finds that it is not necessary to send you to jail or prison. 

Do You Need a Lawyer for a Probation Violation? Call Stracci Law Group!

Can a lawyer help with a probation violation? Of course. How much help you receive depends on which lawyer you retain. At Stracci Law Group, our lawyers have successfully represented a multitude of clients who were facing incarceration due to probation violations. But you need to act quickly. Contact Stracci Law Group today at (219) 525-1000 or contact us online.

Probation Violation Lawyers Near Me

If the State of Indiana is charging you with a probation violation, you need to move quickly to begin preparing a response. Instead of fruitlessly searching for “violation of probation lawyers near me,” call Stracci Law Group immediately at (219) 525-1000 or contact us online. Stracci Law Group serves Crown Point and other Northwest Indiana cities, including Hammond [46320, 46323], Gary [46402, 46404], and Merrillville [46410, 46411].

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FAQ

What is the effect of a violation of probation?

It is difficult to determine the consequences of a probation violation because every case is different. The judge might return you to probation, impose stricter terms of probation, or order you to serve your sentence on home detention or in work release or jail/prison.

Сan you violate probation and not go to jail?

It is certainly possible to avoid jail time even with a probation violation. An attorney will have the opportunity to negotiate a resolution on your behalf or challenge the alleged violation at an evidentiary hearing. More serious probation violations, such as the commission of additional crimes, are more likely to lead to jail time.

Сan a probation violation be “dismissed'' or “thrown out”?

Yes, a judge can “dismiss” or “throw out” a probation violation. Also the prosecutor can withdraw the allegations against you before the judge ever rules on them. It may take a persuasive lawyer, however, to convince a judge or prosecutor to take such an action.

Сan an attorney negotiate a probation violation?

Yes, in Indiana, an attorney can negotiate the consequences of a probation violation. This is one of the primary reasons why you should retain an experienced Northwest Indiana probation violation attorney.

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