If person is on probation and failed to complete a condition of probation, or committed a new offense while on probation, then that person is in violation of probation. There may also be a warrant out for the person’s arrest. There are two types of probation: summary (informal) probation and formal (supervised) probation.
The consequences of violating probation can be severe. Probation violation warrants are issued without any notice to the person for whom the warrant is issued. This means that a person can be arrested at any time and taken into custody, at the place of employment or at your home. If a person is arrested for a new offense, that person is facing jail time on the new charge(s) and additional jail time on the probation case.
When a person is charged with a crime, that person has a constitutional right to a jury trial. At the jury trial, the district attorney has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for a jury to convict the accused. There is no right to a jury trial for a probation violation. However, a person does have the right to a probation violation hearing at which evidence may be presented in the person’s favor. The hearing is in front of a judge, who listens to the evidence to determine whether a person violated his or her terms of probation. The standard of evidence at a probation violation hearing is lower than that of a jury trial. In order for a judge to find a person has violated his or her probation, there must be a preponderance of evidence (more likely than not).
When a person is facing a probation violation, he or she needs an experienced attorney who has handled probation violation hearings in California. Our experienced attorneys are often able to resolve potential violations without the need for a formal probation violation hearing by talking to the judge about the case. If you or someone you know has violated probation or may have, contact our office to discuss your best course of action.