PROBATION VIOLATION ATTORNEY ORANGE COUNTY CA
If you have been convicted of a crime in Orange County and you are sentenced to probation, it means the judge has found that you qualify to have your jail or prison term suspended pending the successful completion of a probation period. If at any point you violate terms or conditions of your Orange County probation, you could have your probation modified, revoked or terminated, the latter of which may result in you being arrested, taken into custody and ordered to serve time in jail or prison. As important as it is to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side when accused of committing a crime, it is equally as important to have qualified legal counsel on your side when facing charges for a probation violation. If you have been arrested for violating the terms of your probation, contact our knowledgeable Orange County criminal defense lawyers at Seyb Law Group today to discuss your legal options.
Orange County Probation Violation Defense Attorney
A probation violation in Orange County occurs when you disregard some or all of the terms and conditions of your probation period, which are a requirement of your suspended jail term. In short, a violation of the probation granted to you as part of your criminal sentencing is a crime in itself, one that can result in serious penalties. The personal and professional implications of a criminal conviction can be severe, and if you are sentenced to probation in Orange County and you violate the terms of that probation, you could find yourself serving the rest of your probation period in jail. Fortunately, when facing probation violation charges in Orange County, you still have many of the same rights as defendants in criminal court, and with the help of a criminal defense attorney, you may be able to minimize the consequences of such a violation. For instance, even if the judge determines that you violated your probation, our lawyers may be able to persuade the judge to simply modify your probation, rather than revoke it. Consult our criminal defense lawyers today for a free evaluation of your probation violation case.
When a person is convicted of a criminal offense in Orange County, the judge will decide on sentencing, and probation is one of several penalties typically imposed by the court for a criminal conviction in Orange County. Probation is essentially a suspended jail term that gives the individual the opportunity to serve the sentence at home, with his or her family and in the community, rather than in jail, or it could be imposed in combination with a shorter jail term and other penalties, like court fines, community service and mandatory participation in certain classes or treatment programs. There are two types of probation under Orange County law:
- Formal probation (felony probation) – typically granted to offenders who commit felony offenses
- Informal probation (summary probation) – typically granted to offenders who do not commit violent or drug-related crimes
The main difference between formal and informal probation is that under formal probation, an individual is required to register with the Orange County Probation Department, where he or she will be assigned a probation officer who will oversee the supervision of the probation period. If you are assigned a probation officer, his or her job will be to work with you, monitor you and ensure that you are able to comply with the terms of your probation. For informal probation, also known as summary probation, the individual is not assigned to a probation officer, but he or she is still required to comply with the terms of probation.
California Probation Violation Penal Code § 1203.3 PC
Probation violation laws in Orange County are governed by California Penal Code § 1203.3 PC, which states the following: “The court shall have authority at any time during the term of probation to revoke, modify, or change its order of suspension of imposition or execution of sentence. The court may at any time when the ends of justice will be subserved thereby, and when the good conduct and reform of the person so held on probation shall warrant it, terminate the period of probation, and discharge the person so held.”
Probation periods in Orange County can be from a few months to several years, depending on the severity of the underlying criminal offense, although longer probation periods are also possible if the crime warrants an extended sentence. If you have been granted probation as part of your criminal sentencing, and you successfully complete the requirements of your probation program, you could have your criminal case dismissed. However, if you violate the terms of your probation, you could suffer serious consequences. Behavior that could constitute an Orange County probation violation depends on the terms and conditions of the probation period, and could include the following:
- Failing to appear at required court hearings
- Failing to report to your probation officer, as required
- Possessing or selling illicit drugs
- Failing a drug test
- Failing to maintain employment
- Failing to pay fees or fines ordered by the court, including restitution
- Failing to complete counseling, education or treatment ordered by the court
- Failing to complete community service ordered by the court
- Leaving the state without your probation officer’s consent
- Violating a restraining order or protective order in a domestic violence situation
- Engaging in other illicit activities
- Committing any other crime
The terms and conditions of your probation will likely depend on the crime you were convicted of and whether your probation is formal or informal. For instance, an Orange County probationer convicted of grand theft would probably be allowed to have a drink while serving probation, but a probationer convicted of drunk driving may not. If your probation requires community service and you fail to complete the community service, you could be arrested for a probation violation. Under PC § 1203.3, if you are found guilty of violating your probation in any way, the court has the authority to revoke, modify or change its order of suspension or execution of your sentence.
What Happens During a Violation of Probation Hearing?
If at any time, you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of your Orange County probation, you can be arrested and taken into custody, at which point you may be permitted to post bail pending a violation of probation (VOP) hearing. At a VOP hearing, which is in some ways similar to criminal court, your criminal defense attorney and the prosecution will present evidence and testimony relating to the alleged probation violation. The main difference between this hearing and your criminal court proceeding is the fact that, because you have already been convicted of a crime and because the sole purpose of the hearing is to assess your probation for that standing conviction, the prosecutor does not have to prove his or her case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” All the prosecutor must do to get your probation altered, revoked or terminated and send you to jail, is convince the court that you are guilty of violating at least one term or condition of your probation. Another important difference between these two proceedings is that there is no jury at a VOP hearing; the judge alone will decide your fate.
Penalties for a Violation of Probation in Orange County
Orange County probation periods are strict, and if you violate the terms of your probation, you could face considerable consequences, possibly including an extended probation period or a jail sentence. A probation violation occurs when you behave in such a way that is contrary to the conditions set forth by the court in your Orange County probation order, and the judge is tasked with deciding how to punish a probation violation. The penalties associated with an Orange County probation violation can vary, depending on a number of factors, including the nature and extent of the violation, any history of previous violations, your prior criminal history and any recommendations made by the Orange County probation department. Based on these factors, a probation violation in Orange County could result in the following penalties:
- Considerable fines, and
- An extended probation term, or
- A sentence to serve a jail term.
The judge has a great deal of discretion in determining the consequences of an Orange County probation violation. If you are found to have violated the terms of your probation, a judge will decide the case based on the conditions of your probation and your criminal history, including any previous probation violations. If you are found guilty of a probation violation, the judge may impose an additional probation period or sentence you to serve a jail term, depending on the circumstances of the violation. For a first probation violation offense, the judge may decide to reinstate your probation with or without changing the terms and conditions of the probation period. However, the judge also has the power to extend the probation; revoke the probation temporarily, order 30 or more days in jail, and then reinstate the probation; or terminate the probation altogether and order you to serve the remainder of your probation period behind bars.
Orange County Probation Violation Defense
By granting you a term of probation instead of time in jail, the Orange County court is granting you leniency in return for the promise of good behavior, and it is imperative that you agree with and adhere to the terms and conditions of your probation period to avoid being sent to jail. If you do violate your Orange County probation, you could be ordered to serve an extended probation period or possibly even serve the jail sentence attached to the initial conviction. Fortunately, our criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group have extensive experience representing clients in court for Orange County violation of probation proceedings and we can help you get the best possible outcome in your POV hearing. We understand that every probation violation case in Orange County is different, with unique circumstances that can hold significant weight in determining the outcome of your violation of probation hearing, and we will use every resource at our disposal to help you avoid a jail sentence.
How Hiring a Probation Violation Defense Attorney Can Help
Facing a criminal conviction in Orange County can be devastating and a skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney will always attempt first to get a defendant acquitted or get the criminal charges dismissed. However, in some criminal cases, the evidence is irrefutable, and a conviction is unavoidable, in which case a good defense lawyer will try to keep you from serving time in jail by negotiating with the prosecution to secure a plea bargain that includes probation. Being granted probation as part of your Orange County sentence is one of the best possible outcomes you can get in your criminal case. While serving probation, you will be allowed to remain in your home, continue taking care of your family, working or going to school, and fulfill your sentence by staying out of legal trouble and meeting the terms and conditions of probation set forth by the court. However, if you violate your probation, the consequences can be devastating for you and your family. Whatever the circumstances of your Orange County criminal conviction, if you are arrested for violating the terms and conditions of your probation, a defense attorney with experience handling probation violation cases can help.
Contact Our Probation Violation Defense Attorneys
The penalties resulting from a probation violation can be severe and long-lasting, but that doesn’t mean you should give up hope. Discussing your case with a knowledgeable defense attorney should be your first course of action when facing probation violation charges in Orange County or the surrounding counties. Contact our Orange County criminal defense attorneys at Seyb Law Group today, if you or a loved one has been accused of violating your Orange County probation. Our legal team has more than 60 years of combined criminal defense experience and we are committed to defending the rights of the criminally accused in the community. To find out how we can help you get the best possible outcome at your violation of probation hearing, contact Seyb Law Group today.