Being placed on probation is an alternative to incarceration; however, it comes with some very strict requirements for how the person must behave and interact while they’re in society. The probationers are given these rules when they are placed on the program. There is a supervision officer who is charged with overseeing those on probation while they complete their sentences.
For the most part, everyone who is on probation must comply with the same terms. These typically include things like holding a job, living in an approved location, staying out of legal trouble and avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol. Some people may have to go through drug or alcohol testing, which may occur randomly or at each visit to the probation office.
When a probationer violates the terms of probation, they can face a charge for a probation violation, which is filed with the court by their probation officer. These cases are handled via a bench trial in front of a judge who will determine the fate of the individual.
Unlike other criminal matters that must be determined beyond a reasonable doubt, a probation violation must be determined by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the prosecutor only has to show that there is a likelihood of 50% or more that the violation occurred.
Because a probation violation hearing occurs without a jury, you must ensure that your defense is based strictly on the law. Your attorney can help you develop a defense strategy that accurately depicts your side of the matter. Try to get this started as quickly as possible since a rushed defense likely isn’t in your best interests.