Violation of Probation in Ocean County NJ
A grant of probation in lieu of serving hard jail time can be a phenomenal result in the face of many serious criminal charges, but it is important to recognize that probation comes with its own risks. If you violate any of the many court-ordered terms of your probation, you may be required to attend a violation of probation hearing, at which a state prosecutor can argue that your term of probation should be extended, more terms should be imposed on you, or, in a worst-case scenario, that you should be incarcerated. Facing a violation of probation hearing in Ocean County or anywhere else in New Jersey means you run the risk of having your probation terminated and being sentenced for the original charges, making it imperative to have an experienced criminal defense attorney handling this matter on your behalf. Our firm has a passionate team of lawyers who have the knowledge and extensive experience you want representing you at a Violation of Probation hearing in Ocean County, New Jersey. With local offices in Point Pleasant, we can assist with your probation violation regardless of where it came from, including if you were violated by your probation officer in Toms River, Jackson, Brick Township, Manchester, Lacey, Barnegat, Berkeley Township, or another town. Contact us online or call (848) 238-2100 for a free consult and all of the answers to your questions today.
What if You Violate Probation in NJ?
New Jersey law empowers judges with a tremendous amount of authority and individual discretion, or leeway, in how they can structure and supervise your term of probation. Typical grants of probation run for at least one year and a maximum of five years, although that term can be extended (or terminated early) under certain circumstances. Your terms of probation may require you to pay fines and fees, pay victim restitution, seek and hold employment, submit to drug tests, and obey all laws. If you violate any of these terms, even a term that you believe is minor or inconsequential, a state probation officer or case worker can file a complaint identifying your violation of probation with the court that originally sentenced you. This complaint will explain exactly how you supposedly violated probation. You will be required to appear in response to this complaint in what is called a Violation of Probation (VOP) hearing. If you fail to appear, a warrant may issue in your name.
What Happens in Court for a Violation of Probation in New Jersey?
You are entitled to have an attorney at your violation of probation hearing. The hearing proceeds in two stages: a trial before the judge, not a jury, to determine if you violated your probation (unless you decide to admit you violated probation) and a sentencing phase if you are found by the court to have violated any probationary terms. A state prosecutor will handle your VOP trial and may argue at your sentencing. They must only prove that you violated probation by a preponderance of the evidence, that is, that it is more likely than not that you violated probation, as opposed to the higher standard of proof that applies in a criminal trial.
If the court determines that you have violated probation, the judge will then sentence you based on your violation. A sentence may be more lenient if you have admitted a clear probation violation, but that is not invariably the case. The judge has the ability to modify the terms of your probation, resentence you on the original charges, terminate probation and order you to serve jail time, continue your probation on the same terms, or extend the term of your probation. In order to obtain the best outcome in court for a probation violation, it is highly advisable to have an attorney representing you.
Need a Lawyer for Ocean County Probation Violation
At Proetta & Oliver, our diligent team of attorneys knows how to handle probation violations in Ocean County and we are here to provide you with aggressive defense. We can argue against the idea that you violated probation in many ways, and also present a case as to why the court should not resentence you or send you to jail if you did violate. In some instances, we may even be able to get a violation of probation dismissed once we have had a chance to review the facts of your case. The most important thing to know is that your probation can continue without any additions or modifications if the hearing goes in your favor. Our lawyers are available 24/7 to discuss your case free of charge. Don’t hesitate to call (848) 238-2100 now.