Probation is a favorite tool of criminal courts. It provides an alternative to jail time and allows the court system to save time and court costs, because it is usually offered as part of a plea bargain and prevents the need to go to trial. People are often willing to accept plea bargains and probation instead of entering a plea of not guilty. In these cases, evidence generally implicates them in a crime and they desire to avoid the harsh results that a full blown trial may bring.
Defendants in these cases may be eager to accept probation instead of a trial and/or jail; but sometimes they may not grasp the full requirements of probation which when not followed, results in a violation. If unable to satisfy the various conditions of their probation sentences, especially if required to make regular payments bad things can result. Violation of probation is a serious charge that can result in swift action from the Judge that placed you on probation. Many judges and prosecuting attorneys are uninterested in hearing your side of the story and simply enter a guilty verdict, ordering you to serve any suspended time immediately.
Probation requirements tend to be strict, and violating any one of the conditions of your probation can result in immediate action. Your violations may include:
- Missing a meeting with your probation officer
- Not fulfilling work or education requirements
- Failing to fulfill community service hours
- Drinking alcohol
- Using drugs or failing a court-ordered drug test
- Possessing drugs or firearms
These are all common probation requirements, and the courts offer little leniency on these conditions. Unfortunately, the real world often gets in the way of your ability to fulfill these requirements.
- You may be unable to find a job or be admitted to an education program because of your arrest record.
- Your landlord may evict you from your home, leaving you with no time to get permission to move from your probation officer.
- You may be fired or laid off from your job and unable to pay fines and restitution.
- You may be unaware of someone’s criminal record and continue to be friends with them.
- Friends or family members may have drugs or firearms in your presence.
- Your drug test may register a false positive from medications you take or foods you eat.
Despite your best efforts, you may commit a violation of probation unknowingly. Unfortunately, the courts are rarely understanding of economic hardships or other emergencies in your life.
In a case of violation of probation, defendants must seek experienced legal counsel. Defendants who are not adequately prepared to provide evidence in their favor are likely to be unable to convince a judge to continue their probation. Judges often add more probation time, add more burdensome fines or may simply order you to serve time in jail.
The legal team at Robinson & Associates understands the severity of your charge. We are ready to defend your rights to keep you out of jail. Our firm has more than 20 years of experience defending people from a variety of criminal charges.
It is important to act quickly if you are facing a violation of probation charge in Maryland. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. The criminal defense attorneys at Robinson & Associates will provide you with an immediate case evaluation and consultation for free. They will explore your legal options and make sure that you know your rights. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at 443-524-7395.