Introducing the Defendant to Violation of Probation Hearing for Felony Offenses in New Jersey.
VIOLATION OF PROBATION.Whether you are disputing all the charges or simply willing to agree that you did in fact inexcusably fail to comply with any or all of the probation condition as listed in the Statement. Here, you have the following options:
(a) Request a Hearing.If you are disputing the charges listed by the Probation Department, you should enter a plea of not guilty and request a hearing. Please note that you are entitled to such a hearing, where the Judge, without the presence of a jury, would hear testimony from the Probation Officer and yourself about any disputed facts and make his own finding to decide whether you are in fact guilty of the listed charges.
(b) Plea to Selected Charges.If you are disputing some but not all of the charges listed, it may be possible to plead to the selected charges only, and ask the Court to ignore the contested charges. Again, please note that you may be found in violation of probation based even on a single charge.
(c) Plea to All Charges.If you are not disputing the charges listed by the Probation Department, you may simply plead guilty to them and move on to the "sentencing" portion, below.
(d) Request an Adjournment.If you are unable to proceed due to legitimately justifiable circumstances (such as a pending new charge that you are waiting to resolve) it may be possible to ask for a postponement of the hearing. The likelihood of this being granted varies and depend on certain details you should discuss with your attorney in preparation for court.
SENTENCING.If the Court finds you violated probation, what your sentence should be and why. Some sentencing results may include the following:
a. Continued probation;
b. Continued probation with a sanction (consisting of jail time);
c. Adjourned sentencing for strict compliance -- where the Court gives you an opportunity to show that you will not violate anymore and will comply with Probation conditions without a blemish. If Probation indicates you have done everything perfectly since we came to court initially, you are likely to receive a favorable disposition by the Court, such as continued probation without sanctions or revocation.
d. Revocation of probation with a resentencing to jail for the original charge;
e. Termination of probation (granted under rare circumstances if all financials are paid).
PreparationRemember that at sentencing your attorney, with your assistance, will have an opportunity to present all mitigating circumstances surrounding your life and compliance with probation to the Court for consideration of his sentence. Thus, it is important for you to bring all documentation supporting and confirming any fact you want to present to the Court.
Please note that if your violation is based on a new offense, the Court Rules allow the Court to incarcerate you without bail after a Violation of Probation has been filed until the new charges are resolved.
It is very important to discuss your violation of probation with your attorney as soon as you realize one has been filed. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you about things that can be accomplished before the court date that could improve your situations significantly.