Violating one’s terms of probation is a serious offense. Judges do not like it when a defendant who was granted probation fails to comply with the terms of probation. It is literally a “slap in the judges face”.
THE LAW OFFICES OF CASTILLO & ASSOCIATES handles violations of probation (VOP) on a regular basis and obtains favorable dispositions for his clients.
Terms of Probation – Being placed on probation is like a formal agreement between the defendant and the sentencing judge that, instead of being sent to jail for the maximum sentence, the probationer will comply with the orders of the court and complete certain obligations to the court in a timely way. Common Southern California probation terms include: fines, jail time, community service or work program, drug or alcohol programs, drug testing, future court dates to file progress reports or certificates of completion, etc.
Notice of Possible Probation Violation – Bench Warrant – If a probationer does not live up to the agreement, by not doing something that was ordered by the judge, then the court is notified and a Bench Warrant or other notice will be issued requiring the appearance of the probationer before the judge to answer why something may not have been done. If you have received such a notice or you have heard that there is a warrant for your arrest you need to contact THE LAW OFFICES OF cASTILLO & ASSOCIATES immediately
Probation Violation Hearing – If probation may have been violated, a hearing is usually held in front of the same judge who placed the probationer on probation. It is absolutely critical that the probationer not miss this important court date. Otherwise, another warrant of arrest will be issued and it is less likely that the court will lean toward giving the probationer a second chance if the probationer does not even show up for his or her probation violation hearing.
At that hearing, THE LAW OFFICES OF CASTILLO & ASSOCIATES can present to the court any mitigating circumstances that would explain the failure to appear or the delay in complying with the judge’s earlier court orders. The judge will determine if a violation has actually occurred but the amount of proof required to prove a violation is much less than a criminal trial. The judge only has to lean toward finding that it is likely there is a probation violation by a “preponderance of evidence”, (or more than fifty percent proof).
Probation Violation Penalties – In addition to the original sentence, the court may impose additional penalties upon a probationer. These additional penalties, if any, will often depend upon severity of the conduct that resulted in the notification of the court of a possible probation violation. If the court finds that the probationer has a new arrest, especially if that arrest is for the same or similar conduct, or if the probationer has failed to comply with an order of the court, the court may impose more severe penalties, including whatever jail time remains available, or additional: community service, longer drug/alcohol programs, more frequent court progress reports, etc.
THE LAW OFFICES OF CASTILLO & ASSOCIATES routinely obtains favorable dispositions in violation of probation cases with no additional penalties being imposed. Mr. Castillo will request that the judge grant additional time for his clients to complete whatever needs to be done. If you or a loved one has violated their probation, contact our office immediately