Long Island Violation of Probation Attorney
We understand what you and your family went through when the judge charged you with a felony or misdemeanor crime and you feared the thought of time in prison. We understand you don’t want to take the chance of unnecessary prison time because of probation violation. You can hope the judge will give you another chance at trial, or you can trust our Long Island violation of probation attorneys to give you a better chance.
What Is Probation?
When a person is convicted of a crime in New York, that person faces the risk of spending years in jail. Because of reasons like the overpopulation of our jails, the costs of housing offenders, and the fact that many offenders pose little, if any, serious risk to society, New York judges are given the authority to issue a sentence of probation in place of a sentence of confinement. In most cases, however, the jail sentence is only suspended – this means that if the offender is unable to stay on the straight and narrow while on probation and under court supervision, that person’s trial may be revoked and his or her initial jail sentence imposed.
A person placed on probation, even if he or she never spends a single night in jail or prison, is still technically a convicted criminal with a criminal record. Anyone who successfully serves a trial sentence will still be required to notify potential employers of their status as a reformed criminal in the “criminal background” section of job applications.
While on probation, the convicted person, referred to by this point as a “probationer”, is assigned a trial officer to whom he or she will report. The probation officer has very broad authority over assigned probationers and has the right to search the probationer, the probationer’s property, enter the probationer’s home, order the probationer to complete a drug test and require the probationer to check-in on a regular basis. For all intents and purposes, the trial officer is to the probationer as the prison guard is to the prisoner.
Consequences of a Probation Violation
There are various factors involved in a probation violation, which is in place of an individual’s time in prison, and is determined by state and federal laws. Those factors include the nature of the violation, consideration of prior violations, and circumstances that led to the violation. Some common probation violations include:
- Failing to appear for a meeting with your trial officer
- Meeting people you are not supposed to meet with
- Failing to install an ignition interlock device in your car or moving around without a valid driver’s license if your conviction was related to alcohol
- Failing to submit to regular drug tests, breath tests or urine tests
- Failing to pay court ordered fines or restitution
- Violating any other court ordered restrictions
Breaking any of the court ordered restrictions counts as a technical violation, which is punishable by law. If the subject released on probation commits a new crime or offense, that is also counted as a probation violation and will be considered in continuation of the original case. Either way, you will need a criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charge and prove you didn’t violate any of the conditions of your probation.
If you have committed a technical violation, your trial officer will handle it. A minor violation or offense will often result in a warning. However, if the violation was serious, or if it was a repeat offense, then your probation officer will report you to the court. Once you are reported to the court, you will be required to attend a court hearing where a judge will determine your punishment based on the severity of the violation. Possible punishments include extension of the length of probation, jail sentence for a short period of time, payment of a fine or revocation of probation, which means you will be required to serve the initial jail sentence.
Depending on those factors, a trial violation can mean jail time, a fine, or an extended probation. That could mean time away from your family and job, strain that you put on your spouse to work longer hours to work off that fine, and strain on your marriage. That loss of income will affect your family’s means of living, and your spouse will need to be away from home more.
If you are facing charges because you violated your probation, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to avoid additional penalties.
What To Do If You’re Accused
Maybe you had to break your probation to help an elderly relative or a neighbor in your community, and now you want the chance to let the judge know that you had no other choice than to violate the terms of the probation or risk the person’s life. Or maybe it was something as simple as not being able to make it to a schedule hearing or meeting because of unforeseen circumstances.
Whatever the circumstances, you don’t want to risk time in prison or a longer probation. You want to get back to your normal routine. You have a decent job that helps you provide for your family, and you don’t want to risk them losing that needed income.
Nobody who has been accused of a probation violation, no matter the type or severity of the violation, is required to talk to anyone regarding the suspected offense. The right to remain silent permeates all aspects of our criminal justice system. Nobody, whether free citizen, probationer, or maximum security prisoner, is required to speak in regards to accusations against them. In general, the only requirement of a person to law enforcement is that a person identify him or herself at a law enforcement officer’s request. This is a requirement that can be easily met by presenting a valid government issued identification card. In New York, for example, a New York issued driver’s license or state ID card meets the requirement of identification. Once a person self identifies, he or she is under no obligation to say anything to police, probation, or other law enforcement agents.
If a person is accused of a probation violation, the accused is advised not to answer questions from investigators and to request legal counsel as soon as possible. Only by having an experienced Suffolk County and Nassau County probation violation defense attorney present during questioning can a suspect ensure that his or her side of the story will be heard that his or her rights will remain intact.
Hire A Long Island Probation Violation Attorney
If you go to jail or prison, your family will need to learn how to function without you. You don’t want to risk not seeing them, or them not having that extra income to help them with the bills. You don’t want to risk going to jail, and you don’t want to lose your job. Trust our Long Island violation of probation attorneys to sort out this mess for you. You can trust our lawyers, who fight for the best possible outcome for all of our clients. Our Long Island violation of probation attorneys at the Mirsky Law Firm understand what you’re going through and have the criminal defense experience necessary to fight for your freedom. Please call our Long Island violation of probation attorneys today or fill out the form on this site for a free consultation.