Probation Violation in Orange County
Understanding Your Rights & Legal Options
Are you facing a probation violation in Southern California and are unsure what to do next? Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony probation violation, Law Office of Michael L. Guisti is here to help you through the process and secure the best possible outcome for your case.
While misdemeanor and felony probation have different restrictions and requirements, (which can vary from major personal restrictions to simply appearing in court once a year) any slight violation from your probation can result in a probation violation. A violation will typically carry serious penalties with it, making it crucial that you take legal action right away.
What to Do If You Face a Probation Violation
If you are suspected of a probation violation, you will face a probation violation hearing, for which a judge will issue an arrest warrant to bring you into court. If a judge has issued a warrant for probation violation you should attempt to clear the warrant by voluntarily appearing before the judge. This will be treated more favorably than being brought to court by the police, which often results in a harsh penalty.
Some of the most common misdemeanor and felony probation violations include:
- Failure to pay a fine or restitution
- Failure to appear for a court date
- Failure to comply with a court order
- Failure to report to a probation officer
- Committing a new crime
- Not submitting to or failing a drug test
At Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we take our clients directly to court and talk with the judge in order to keep them out of jail.
"Police came to my house to arrest me for a probation violation. I was told by the court everything was okay, but something got messed up. I need to thank Michael L. Guisti for going to court for me, clearing everything up and getting me out of jail. It was very kind of Michael to help with me during this problem."
Avoiding Common Violation Mistakes
The simplest mistake most people make in violating their probation is missing mandatory classes. In your probation guidelines the judge may have ordered several provisions, such as attending various classes like AA or anger management; however, because class times are often inconvenient, clashing with work schedules, these requirements may be almost impossible to fulfill.
Having said that, always try to complete as many of your probation requirements as possible. Our lawyers will explain your situation to the judge and work to reenroll you in the required program(s) that are better suited to your schedule.
The Hearing and Your Rights
A probation violation hearing operates much like a court trial, except that a judge rather than a jury presides over the hearing and makes the final decision.
In a hearing, you have certain due process rights, including:
- The right to be represented by an attorney
- The right to call witnesses and to use the subpoena power of the court to compel witnesses to testify on your behalf.
- The right to cross-examine and confront witnesses
- The right to present any mitigating or extenuating circumstances that contributed to the alleged probation violation
- The right to testify on your own behalf
At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will decide whether or not you violated any terms and conditions of your probation. In the case that you were in violation of such terms, the judge will consider other factors regarding the nature of your violation before coming to a decision. Even in the worst case scenario, our attorneys will work to see your jail time turned into an alternative sentence like community service and/or freeway roadwork.
Keep in mind that you cannot have your record expunged if you are convicted of parole violation. If you are at risk of having your expungement denied, you may have to apply for a Governor's Pardon or a Certificate of Rehabilitation. Give our firm a call if you would like more details regarding expungement.
Do Not Go to Your Probation Hearing Alone
Remember, just because you violated probation doesn't mean you should go directly to jail. At Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, our experienced probation attorneys will handle your hearing in the best possible way to reduce your case or dismiss your charges. We have over a decade of experience dealing with probation violation cases throughout Orange County.
Contact our office at (714) 530-9690 to learn more.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.