Probation Violations – What am I Facing?

Probation is part of the sentence that a Judge imposed on you, and you are required to successfully complete it, or you will have a Violation of Probation (VOP) filed against you. There are only two outcomes to a VOP, you are violated and re-sentenced, or you beat the violation. If you are found guilty of the VOP, the Court can re-sentence you up to the maximum term permitted by the charge(s) you pled guilty to, or were convicted of.

As an example of what a maximum sentence looks like, if you were sentenced on a third degree crime and given three years of probation and then knowingly or unknowingly violated the terms of your probation, you can be re-sentenced to a prison term of up to 5 years with 2 ½ years of parole ineligibility. In most cases, an experienced criminal trial attorney can work out something far less than this ‘maximum’ sentence, often to an extension of the probation with no jail (let alone no prison) sentence.

The sentence a Judge will impose for a VOP depends on many factors. What was the basis for the probation officer filing the VOP? Was this your first violation? Were you completing all of the other conditions the Judge imposed? Were you re-arrested on some other offense? Each of these and the other grounds that can be the basis for you being violated are based on the conditions imposed by the Court when you were originally given the probation sentence. How well you adjusted to the program and the conditions is a large part of what the Judge will rely on when considering what your re-sentence will be.

If you are served with a VOP notice, consult immediately with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to determine what you options are to keep your freedom. Call Howard Bailey at 973-982-1200 for a free consultation before you make any decisions on what to do.