Anyone currently on probation in Minnesota has to be very careful. Failing to meet the conditions of probation can land you in some legal hot water in the form of something called the revocation of stay.
Not familiar with that term? You’re not alone.
If you or someone you love is trying to complete their probation, then it’s an important term to be familiar with since it can have huge consequences on your future as well as your freedom.
Here’s what you need to know about the revocation of stay, what probations violations may qualify an offender for it, and how an attorney can help.
Probation Revocation: What Is It?
When you are convicted of a crime or accept a plea bargain, then you may receive probation. This court-imposed sentence allows you to avoid spending time in jail but imposes a new set of requirements you must follow in order to stay out of prison.
The terms of probation are unique to every person and often take into account the type of crime perpetrated as well as the defendant’s criminal history. Common requirements of probation include but are not limited to:
- Abstaining from the use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Getting a job and keeping it
- Performing community service
- Payment of fines and/or restitution
- Seeing the court-appointed probation officer regularly
If you fail to follow the guidelines imposed by the court for probation, then you may face what is called a revocation. Basically, you are in danger of being sent to jail to serve your sentence instead of probation (also known as community supervision).
This is where it’s essential to have an experienced attorney representing you in court. This will ensure the best case is made for why your probation may have been violated and so that you have someone available to negotiate a new pleas bargain on your behalf if needed.
Probation Violation Law in Minnesota
In order to have probation revoked in Minnesota, the court must show that:
- The conditions of probation were violated
- Determine whether the violation was intentional
- Determine that the need to incarcerate outweighs considerations favoring probation
What types of violations can lead to revocation of probation in Minnesota? It usually has to include serious misconduct such as:
- Several failures of drug/alcohol testing
- Refusal to comply with drug/alcohol testing
- Conviction of a new felony while on probation
- Violation of a no-contact order
- Loitering in places you are not allowed according to the rules of your probation
- Absconding from court supervision
These are only a few examples, but they highlight the type of factors a judge will consider when a violation of the terms of probation has occurred and revocation is on the table.
Fighting Probation Violations
Hearings regarding probation violations are not cut and dry. There are certain situations, such as emergencies, that can lead to violations of the conditions of probation. Certainly, it’s not an excuse but it also may not rise to the level of revocation if your case can be made to the court.
Contesting a probation violation can be quite difficult and legally complex, but having the proper representation in court is a huge step in the right direction to helping convince the judge that another chance at probation is necessary and keep you out of jail.
Probation is a serious issue and one you should do your best to follow. When things happen that can put your freedom in jeopardy, then understanding the process that follows can help.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.