Written by attorney Brian P. Dimmer

My "Briefest" Probation Revocation Hearing Ever

I will start this legal guide out by saying that somewhere around 66% of probationers face revocation proceedings at some point during supervision. I also find that many probation agents turn to revocation to deal with technical violations of the probationer's rules of supervision.

I have titled this guide, "My 'Briefest' Probation Revocation Hearing Ever" because last fall I discovered a helpful strategy to approaching revocation proceedings where the violations are technical rather than criminal as well as conduct that my client has already admitted. In these situations, I realized that I could file a memorandum or brief in opposition to the probation revocation, which outline my "Plotkin Analysis" and offered some counterpoints to the agent's revocation summary. I cited to HA 1.11(3) as an administrative basis for providing a brief in lieu of oral argument.

When the ALJ began the hearing, albeit by phone, the agent and I stipulated to the facts contained in our respective documents, and indicated that our arguments were also contained in these documents. The ALJ closed the hearing within five minutes, indicating that he would review these documents and issue a written decision within ten business days.

Less than ten days later, I received a written decision indicating that I had accurately provided the proper legal authority in defense of my client's claim that she had given a good faith effort to pay her restitution. The ALJ found that my client had violated the rules of her probation, but he did not revoke her.

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