A lot of New Yorkers think that a criminal matter ends once a defendant is found guilty or innocent. While this may be true to a certain extent in that penalties will be imposed or not, there may be ongoing issues that can leave an individual in need of a criminal defense advocate.
One example arises when an individual is accused of a probation violation. Generally speaking, those who negotiate a plea deal may be able to have their sentence suspended pending the successful completion of probation. Others may be sentenced to prison, but then released on probation following a certain amount of time served. Regardless, probation always comes with certain terms that must be adhered to lest one wants to face the imposition of additional penalties. This may include an executed sentence that was once suspended. The consequences, of course, are dependent upon a finding of guilt and the severity of the violation.
There are many ways that probation can be violated. For example, those who do not report to their probation officer, fail to pay restitution, test positive for illegal drugs and get arrested for another criminal offense will be accused of violating their probation. Once a violation is alleged, the matter will be set for a hearing where a judge will ultimately make a determination as to whether the probation was actually violated. It is worth noting that the standard of proof for a probation violation is a preponderance of the evidence, which is much easier for the prosecution to meet than guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The penalties that can be imposed upon a violation finding can include prison, extended probation or additional probation terms. Those accused of a probation violation are allowed to have legal representation at their hearing, though, which can allow them to present evidence and strong legal arguments to support their position. Therefore, those who are accused of a probation violation should carefully consider their legal options, as the outcome of a probation violation hearing can have enormous consequences on one’s life.