The intent behind probation is to discourage further criminal behavior while providing an opportunity for rehabilitation. Under Kentucky law, it can be imposed as an alternative to imprisonment or in addition to imprisonment. Probation is based on a number of conditions unique to each offender’s situation and can be revoked if the conditions are violated. The terms can be quite complex, making it easy for offenders to disregard them without meaning to do so. Even relatively simple matters such as failing to report a change of address can constitute a violation.
The founder and managing partner of our firm, Dan Carman, has wide-ranging experience from when he served in the United States Marine Corps as defense counsel, prosecutor, legal assistance attorney, and in-house counsel for an infantry battalion. This background gives him a valuable understanding about both sides of the legal process, which can be very beneficial to his clients. He knows how the Kentucky Criminal Justice system operates and will personally handle your case each step of the way. Call his office at (859) 838-1415 or complete this convenient online form for a free initial consultation.
Because it’s not jail time, some people don’t take the idea of probation very seriously.
A sentence of probation is a type of punishment that lets an offender stay in his or her community under the supervision of a probation officer. As of December 2014, the Kentucky Department of Corrections, Division of Probation and Parole, had 631 sworn officers overseeing 46,349 offenders.
There are many kinds of potential probation violations, which are dependent on the conditions of the offender’s release. The more common ones include:
- Being arrested, regardless of whether the arrest culminates in a criminal charge
- Committing another crime
- Failing to appear in court
- Failing to attend or complete services such as alcohol dependency treatment, drug dependency treatment, anger management counseling, or safe driving classes
- Failing to register as a sex offender
- Failing to report a change in personal details like employment status or address (having a residence and a job is a basic building block to probation success)
- Failing to maintain contact with/report to the probation officer
- Having contact with known criminals
- Not complying with requests for search and seizure
- Not following restrictions on weapons
- Not making timely and complete fine or restitution payments
- Not observing a domestic violence protective order
- Not passing an alcohol or drug test
- Not staying within a designated area
- Not taking an alcohol or drug test.
For an action to violate probation, it must be intentional and carried out. For example, an offender who misses a court date due to car trouble likely won’t face a revocation warning, but an offender who skips the appearance on purpose to go out drinking with friends probably will. When a probation violation is suspected, the probation officer has a variety of options:
- Give the offender a verbal warning
- Send the offender to treatment
- Instill a curfew
- Require more frequent updates/reports
- Place the offender under electronic monitoring.
If the officer prefers not to exercise discretion and institute a non-trial alternative, then a judge has to determine the appropriate punishment. To start the process, the officer sends the offender a written notice of the grounds; a preliminary hearing is then held to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause. If so, the case proceeds to a revocation hearing. The standard of evidence required for proving the violation is lower than what is required at a criminal trial. If the judge rules against the offender, there are several sentencing possibilities besides incarceration, such as imposing fines, adding extra probation time, or requiring counseling.
We Can Help
If you are being accused of violating your probation or are worried that you may have unintentionally flouted the terms, speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately who understands the revocation process. A knowledgeable advocate in your corner who will thoroughly review and investigate your situation can make all the difference. KY probation violation lawyer Dan Carman provides aggressive representation with proven results to clients throughout the state in communities such as Richmond, Winchester, Georgetown and Nicholasville. A native of Lexington and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Dan is dedicated to helping those in his community who may find themselves struggling against criminal accusations. Contact him today by calling (859) 838-1415 or filling out this online contact form.