Probation Violation Attorney in San Diego

San Diego Probation Violation Lawyer
Those convicted of misdemeanor and felony offenses in San Diego are often placed on probation in lieu of, or in addition to a county jail sentence.  Felony probation is more likely to include jail time, but does not have to.  Felony probation is typically formal probation, and probationers must report to probation officers with the San Diego County Probation.  SD County Probation supervises over 22,000 people.  Misdemeanor probation is typically informal, or summary probation.  Misdemeanor probationers generally do not need to report to a probation officer, but must obey all laws, court orders and may be required to periodically attend court for progress reports and to show compliance with orders of the court.

Most misdemeanor offenses are punishable by up to 6 months or a year in county jail.  If you or a loved one is on misdemeanor probation and picks up a new case, the charges could become quite serious, with a strong likelihood of jail time.  Misdemeanor probation violations typically involve (1) picking up a new misdemeanor or felony case, (2) a failure to appear in court (e.g. to show proof of enrollment or completion of a DUI, drug or domestic violence class), failure to complete community service/community labor, and failure to pay fines and restitution.  Regardless of the violation, you are entitled to a hearing on the issue of whether there in fact was a probation violation.  There are defenses, and the consequences are subject to negotiation with the prosecution and the discretion of the court.  Having a knowledgeable, passionate advocate on your side is important.

Felony probation violations are very serious.  In felony cases, the court has to find compelling reasons not to impose a state prison sentence.  Probation is seen by the court as a privilege to avoid a long time in custody.  Felony probation violations can occur whenever a probationer (1) picks up a new misdemeanor or felony case, (2) fails to appear in court, (3) fails to report to probation, (4) failure to register (e.g. as a narcotics offender or sex offender), (5) failure to comply with programs and conditions ordered by probation officer, and (6) failing drug tests.  Felony probation violations can carry very serious consequences.  Some grant's of suspension include what is known as a suspended sentence (or "joint suspension").  This means that the court has already imposed a prison term, but stayed the execution of the prison sentence if the defendant is successful on probation.  Any violation can trigger imposition of the prison sentence.  Even in cases without a suspended sentence, the judge may elect a prison term in the sentencing range for the conviction offense.  Avoiding being sent to prison is the most important aspect of felony violations of probation. 

Failing to appear in court while on probation is likely to trigger a probation violation, and possible jail time.  If you have failed to appear in court on an open case, or while on probation, it is important to get back into court to clear the warrant as soon as possible.  Failures to appear are common in both misdemeanor and felony cases, with defendants missing progress reports and other court dates.  Due to felony probationers reporting to the probation department, there are fewer court dates for felony probation.  Misdemeanor DUI and domestic violence probation typically will have the most court dates, with special court dates to pay fines and fees, show proof of enrollment, progress and completion of schools and classes.

Picking up a new criminal case is likely to trigger a probation violation.  "Obey all laws" is always a condition of probation, and being arrested for a new offense will likely be a violation of that term.  Avoiding a conviction in the new case is the best way to defend against a violation of probation.  Additionally, it is possible to negotiate with the prosecutor and/or persuade the judge to reinstate probation without sentencing you to more jail or prison time.  If you or a loved one is on probation and has been charged with a new criminal offense, understand that the consequences could be more severe than they would for someone who was not on probation at the time of arrest.

Failing to perform community service or community labor, failure to enroll in or complete drug, DUI or domestic violence classes, failure to pay fines, fees and restitution can all be probation violations.  If you have unfulfilled obligations to the court, you can go into court to seek an extension.  The sooner you do this, the better.

A felony probationer's reporting obligations will be determined by the probation department.  When a probationer fails to report to the probation officer as directed or fails to pay the mandatory fees and costs of supervision, the probation officer can calendar a possible violation of probation hearing and the defendant will have to appear in court.  If you have to appear in court for a probation violation, it is best to have a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense attorney by your side.

Getting a probation violation not only carries jail or prison time and other possible conditions, but a violation can make expungement and early termination or probation much more difficult.  Avoiding a violation in your criminal case can help to make expungement easier down the line, and will not stop you from seeking an early termination of probation.

If you are facing a probation violation in San Diego, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar for a Free Consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney.  Whether you are on probation for DUI or Robbery, a violation has consequences that you should do your best to avoid.  If you have questions about probation, expungements, motion to terminate probation or a probation violation hearing, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Loncar for a free consultation with a San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney.

Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney
San Diego DUI Lawyer
T: 619-930-9515
By Nicholas Loncar  


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