When you are on probation for committing a crime, the probation period is your chance to show that you can live by the laws of society and avoid getting into further trouble. Probation is an alternative to incarceration for certain crimes, and is essentially a last chance before going to jail or prison. As such, a probation violation can have serious consequences and you may find yourself incarcerated as a result of the violation.
When you are accused of a probation violation, however, you are entitled to due process under the law before you are simply sent to jail. This means you have a chance to defend yourself, to prove you did not commit the violation, or to argue for leniency if you did break the rules of your probation. The experienced West Palm Beach probation violation defense attorneys at Musca Law can help you if you have been accused of a probation violation by explaining your legal options and representing your interests in a way that will allow you to minimize or avoid the serious consequences of a probation violation.
Probation Violation Defense in West Palm Beach
In 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States heard a case called Morrissey v. Brewer, 389 U.S. 128 (1967). In that case, the court determined that a person accused of a parole violation would not just be sent to jail or incarcerated based on the word and opinion of his parole officer. Instead, the Supreme Court determined that the accused parole violator was entitled to due process of the law before his parole was revoked.
In 1973, the Supreme Court heard another case called Gagnon v. Scarpelli (1973) 411 U.S. 778, 786. This time, the case addressed what happened to probation violators. The court extended the rule from Morrissey and held that those accused of a probation violation were also entitled to due process of the law before they could be incarcerated or face other consequences for an alleged probation violation.
The exact definition of due process is largely left up to the states, but in general, due process means that you have a right to a hearing; the right to face your accuser and respond to accusations; and the right to present evidence as to whether the probation violation happened. You also have the right to present information about anything that justified the violation and that should indicate that less stringent penalties ought to be applied.
Under the rules set forth by Gagnon, your probation officer can’t simply revoke your probation now when you have been accused of a violation. Instead, you will have a hearing before the judge who was assigned to your initial case and who originally sentenced you to probation. The judge at the hearing will decide if a violation actually occurred and, if so, whether you should go to jail or what other penalties you should face.
In order to be successful in avoiding serious consequences of a probation violation, you should be represented by an experienced West Palm Beach probation violation defense attorney when accused of a probation violation. Individuals in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter or other areas in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach can get help from Musca Law with these legal issues.
Don’t gamble with your freedom, future and reputation. If you are facing accusations of a probation violation in Palm Beach County, call a probation violation lawyer in West Palm Beach at Musca Law for a free consultation. 239-277-5297. Phone answered 24/7.