Right to a speedy trial? What can I do if my son is sitting in jail on a VOp for 19 Months without a trial?
he has been sitting in jail now ,Its 19 months and no trial date.
8 attorney answers
First, a Violation of Probation Hearing is an evidentiary hearing conducted by the court to determine if a defendant has violated his or her probation based on an affidavit submitted by the probation officer. It is NOT a trial. Second, if a violation of probation is alleged, the defendant is held on a no bond status unless the court hears facts to determine if a bond or any other release is warranted after an evidentiary hearing. Your question is leaving out some important facts. If a new crime is alleged to have been committed because your son was arrested, he is entitled to a trial on the new arrest. Violations of probation can be very complex which is why you need to speak with an attorney who understands the procedural complexities of what constitutes a violation. That attorney also has to know how to handle an evidentiary hearing, or, at the very least, knows how to negotiate a favorable outcome. Your reference to 19 months without a VOP should not be confused with a right to speedy trial. Again, a VOP is not a trial. Was your son taken into custody in a county or state other than where he was placed on probation? If so, there are extradition issues that can delay a case for many months, especially if he is fighting that extradition. Again, speak to an attorney with experience. This is very complex criminal litigation. If you are correct in saying that he has been held for 19 months without a VOP, and his lawyer has not taken several continuances, then he has due process issues and that is a whole other can of worms that requires even more skill to navigate. I will not engage in bashing Public Defender's on this site or any other for that matter. There are good, bad and mediocre attorneys everywhere. When it comes to defending violent crime, homicides, capital litigation and any other very serious criminal matters in this state, there are many very experienced and aggressive assistant public defenders that are more than qualified to get results and often do. That being said, you should always weigh your options by speaking to a private criminal defense attorney to see if your case is better handled by counsel retained for your specific needs. I will tell you right now, based on your question, I would seek an attorney immediately to protect whatever rights your son has in order to get a favorable outcome. Best of luck.
19 Months without a hearing date is an outrage. You need to talk to an attorney. There should be a real good reason for taking that long. I find it hard to believe that a Judge would allow him to sit on a VOP docket without setting it for a VOP Hearing after three months. The prosecutor does not get to decide if your son stays in jail. The Judge decides if he should get a bond not the prosecution.
Your son needs to speak with his attorney about setting a VOP hearing in his case. To sit that long awaiting a VOP hearing seems unreal to me. I will say that in my experience, parents mean well, but don't always know the whole story of what's going on. If your son is just as much in the dark as you, I suggest you hire a private attorney to represent him, if he doesn't already have one. The attorney can represent your son's interest and get the case moving along.
If you want results then hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer.
I am not trying to be insensitive or rude, but (as you should have discerned by now) no one else in the system - not the Judge, certainly not the prosecutor and to some degree not even his PD - is going to do anything to speed up your son's case, much less effort at moving Heaven and Earth in his interests.
I am not knocking his PD. In fact, when it comes to the subject of PD's I am adamant that although they generally cannot afford to offer up the time and personalized attention that a private lawyer brings to the table (albeit at a price), PD's are almost all excellent attorneys, generally being extremely well-versed in both the law and their courtrooms.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not easy to either get hired as, or to remain employed as, a PD. It takes brains, ethics, effort and commitment. It is an often times thankless job and attorney's who are not committed to it simply do not last. For those who do, however, their client's benefit not only from the day-to-day knowledge of their individual courtrooms (including but not limited to knowing the tendencies of their Judge, their prosecutors and the other instrumental court personnel) but also from the vast resources that the PD brings to the table (investigators, experts, etcetera) without further expense to the client.
Still, if you want speed (no lawyer can guarantee results, only quality of effort) then you must find a way to go private.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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He doesn't get a trial for a probation violation. He gets a hearing with his judge, which it sounds like he did if "it was revoked" as you say. If he's had no court hearings and is not serving time on any other charges, you might want to get him an attorney.
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Speedy trial rights do not apply to violations of probation; while stated above in lengthier replies, I'm not sure that a non-lawyer would necessarily make the connection that a VOP not being a trial means there is no right to a speedy VOP hearing. 19 months waiting for a VOP hearing is excessive if your son is not incompetent to proceed or if he has no new charge that the attorney feels should go to trial first (or that the VOP has a better chance at success being heard at the same time as the trial); none of us know the procedural history and the specifics of your son's case (or cases) or competency to be able to fully answer your question beyond "speedy trial rights do not apply to VOPs."
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Sorry to hear about your situation. Whatever is going on is not working for your son. You should consult an attorney to see what can be done. He/she would be able to examine the facts and situation of your son's case and give an informed opinion. We simply don't know enough from the information here to render a proper opinion. Good luck to you!
The answer above is not legal advice nor establishes an attorney-client relationship between you and J & J Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a local lawyer in your area to obtain confidential legal advice based on your specific situation and the facts in your case.
Your Son needs a Lawyer in his area to defend him. As another response indicated, there is no trial for a Violation of Probation (VOP). There is the option of having a Final VOP Hearing where the Judge (not a jury) is the fact finder. At the Final Hearing the State would have to satisfy the conscience of the Court that your Son willfully and substantially violated his probation for the Judge to find him in violation. This is a very low burden of proof.
As another response indicated, your words "reinstated and revoked" indicate that the VOP may have already been resolved. That is unless you were referring to a Bond for the VOP only.
An Attorney in your Son's area who is well-versed on all of the surrounding circumstances of his case should advise him of his options. 19 months is a grossly excessive & unreasonable amount of time for him to be sitting in jail if he is only held on a pending VOP. Best of luck to you & your Son!
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