Minneapolis Probation Violation Lawyer
The vast majority of criminal defendants are placed on probation rather than sent to jail. This is especially true for people charged with first-time offenses. Whenever the court places a defendant on probation, there is a jail or prison sentence stayed or “suspended” in order to provide incentive for the defendant to successfully complete probation, stay out of trouble, and prove to the court and community that he or she deserves a break. As an example, a defendant who pleads guilty to a misdemeanor offense will commonly receive 90 days of jail (the maximum punishment for a misdemeanor) stayed/suspended for a period of 1 year. This means the court does not send the defendant to jail for 90 days, but instead “hangs” the 90 days over the defendant’s head as incentive to do well on probation. If the defendant violates any rule or condition of probation, the court may then send the defendant to jail for some or all of the 90 days originally suspended.
Common probation conditions include:
- Random testing for drugs and alcohol
- No contact with certain people (usually victims to a crime)
- No leaving the State without approval
- Paying restitution
- Sentence to Service (STS) or Community Work Service (CWS)
- Electronic home monitoring (house arrest)
- An order to remain law abiding
- An order to commit no “same or similar” offenses
- Keeping in contact with a probation officer
- Obtaining a chemical health evaluation and attending treatment
Probation Violation Penalties
Probation violations can result in having a suspended jail or prison sentence executed, or other alternative sanctions like more community service or additional house arrest. Probation violation hearings in Minnesota are generally a two-step process. First, a hearing is held where the defendant can either admit or deny the allegations (that is, the allegedly violated rule of probation). Second, if the defendant denies the allegation, an evidentiary hearing is held where he or she can challenge the evidence relating to the supposed probation violation. It is the State’s burden to prove that the probation violation actually happened by clear and convincing evidence (this is a lower standard than proof beyond a reasonable doubt). If the defendant admits the violation, the court will impose penalties as it sees fit under the law or will consider any agreements made between the defendant, the prosecution, and the probation department.
Contact Minneapolis Probation Violation Lawyer
Having experienced legal representation is important if you have been accused of violating probation. An experienced probation violation defense lawyer can work to represent your interests at your hearing in order to help you avoid serious penalties that may be imposed by the court. Contact our probation violation lawyer directly at (612) 338-5007 for a free consultation.