Probation is a wonderful tool that allows a person who would otherwise be incarcerated to be released into society as long as that person abides by all terms set by the court for that probationary period. It keeps the offender out of an already overcrowded penal system. However, while probation conditions can sometimes be harsh, they are important. Sometimes, offenders want to know what will happen if they violate the terms of their probation. Here is what you need to know about probation violations in Oklahoma City.
Probation In Conjunction With Deferred And Suspended Sentences
Probation can be used as part of sentencing. Its use depends somewhat on whether the judge and prosecutor think that probation will be successful and whether the defendant poses a risk to society. If the offender poses no real risk, then probation may be recommended as part of an offender’s sentencing package.
Probation can be used as part of a plea bargain in some cases. Thus, a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for probation instead of jail or prison time. Most often though, probation is used in conjunction with deferred and suspended sentences.
Probation In Deferred Sentences
In a deferred sentence, there is no actual conviction if the offender complies with all the court-ordered probation terms for the duration of the sentence that would have been imposed. If the offender successfully completes their probation, a plea of “not guilty” is entered and the case is dismissed. There is no conviction, but the arrest remains on an offender’s record.
Suspended Sentences Are Different
Suspended sentences are different in that a defendant is found guilty and convicted. Instead of jail or prison time, the offender is given probation for the time that the sentence would have been imposed.
Again, if the offender completes their probationary term successfully, they need not serve any time in jail or prison. However, the conviction remains on the offender’s record.
Probation Supervision: Typical Conditions And Costs
Probation in Oklahoma can be supervised by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Community Sentencing, or the District Attorney’s office. In all cases, the offender is required to check in with their probation officer as directed.
Here are some typical conditions that may be imposed:
- monthly proof of residence;
- monthly proof of employment or your search for employment; and
- current contact information.
- Attend all scheduled meetings with the probation officer;
- Avoid all negative contact with law enforcement; and
- Pay all probation fees in a timely fashion.
In addition to the above, the offender must comply with any court orders regarding attending classes, counseling, substance abuse treatment, and the like. The offender must pay for these out of their own pocket and must provide proof of attendance and completion as required by the court.
Motions To Revoke And Motions To Accelerate
When an offender violates a term of probation, that gets reported to the District Attorney’s office. Depending on the circumstances, the prosecutor can then bring a motion to either revoke a suspended sentence or accelerate a deferred adjudication. Both motions require a hearing. If successful, probation ends and the offender is then remanded into custody.
If the motion is granted on a suspended sentence, probation is revoked and the defendant can be sentenced to serve the full amount of time of the original sentence. When a motion to accelerate is successful, the offender can be sentenced to serve the maximum time the law allows for that crime even though the offender’s deferment period was for a shorter period of time.
The Parole Violations Hearing
At the hearing, the prosecutor. must show that the terms of the probation were violated, but only by a preponderance of the evidence. That means that all the prosecutor must show is that it is more likely than not that the terms were violated. This is a lower burden of proof than for most criminal proceedings.
Like all hearings, the judge considers the evidence presented at the hearing. The judge will consider a number of factors, including:
- the violation itself (accidental or intentional);
- offender’s finances if the violation was a failure to pay probation costs;
- the offender’s prior criminal history, including other crimes; and
- past probation violations.
The hearing is also the offender’s opportunity to offer testimony about the circumstances regarding the violation and the offender’s commitment to their probation.
An Oklahoma City attorney can help the court understand what happened and why. Also, they can help the court understand what adjustments might help the offender comply more easily with their probation.
If you or a loved one are facing repercussions for a probation violation, get the help you need today.
Consultation: Oklahoma City Probation Violations Attorney
Our lawyer is well positioned to advise you accordingly, as he has the necessary training and experience. He has the wit and tenacity to match the skill of the Oklahoma City prosecutors.
For a consultation with an Oklahoma City probation violations attorney, call Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City at 405-888-5400.
You can also submit an email question from the top right corner of this page. We will respond to all questions as soon as possible.