Say something happened to someone you know... you had nothing to do with it, but because they blamed you in a statement to avoid revocation themselves, your PO revocates you on the assumption you did something just because someone else said you did? There's no proof either way who was responsible and there were no charges pressed against anyone. The person doing the blaming gave several conflicting stories and none of them make sense. Shouldn't you be innocent until proven guilty...not guilty until you can prove you are innocent. How can you fight this??
Criminal Defense Attorney
Probation means you have already been convicted of a crime. A judge decided that you did not need to be imprisoned to protect society, but you are subject to being searched or locked up at any time if someone thinks that decision might have been wrong. You have one foot in the jail cell already!
When talking to clients considering probation, I often compare it to being like moving back home with a step-parent who doesn’t like you. That step-parent gets to set your hours, tell you who your friends are, tell you where you can and cannot live, and talk to your boss at work. If he/she thinks you are breaking a rule, you can be put into jail until a decision is made. It is a significant change in your liberty.
That is, you are already guilty. You can fight it, they need to prove a violation to revoke you, but they can hold you in jail. You need a lawyer to help with this. If you can afford one, get one. Jane Krueger Smith or Ed Burke are good on these cases. If you can't afford one, contact the public defender as soon as possible.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Attorney Kenyon's post has some great information. I would add to it that the burden of proof that your agent must meet is NOT "beyond a reasonable doubt," because a revocation hearing is not a criminal hearing; it's a civil one, and thus the burden is "by a preponderance of the evidence." Put another way, if one must be 99% certain of the facts to convict you in a criminal matter, one need only be 51% certain to revoke you at a revocation hearing. So IF the Administrative Law Judge believes that you more likely than not committed the violations alleged, and IF those allegations warrant revocation, you could be revoked even if it's not a stone-cold lock you committed the violations.
Is it unfair at times? Sure. But unfortunately probation is viewed as a privilege, not a right, and so they're more stringent about the things that get you thrown back in. I would echo Attorney Kenyon's advice to get a good lawyer and start fighting it sooner rather than later.
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