The procedures and requirements for individuals on probation can be confusing, and successfully completing the process can be daunting. An accusation of probation violation can negatively impact your life. In some cases, an individual will believe they are in compliance and will complete the process, only to be accused of breaking a rule. This carries the potential for revocation, which can cause you to be sent back to jail. We can provide a probation revocation lawyer to represent you in Green Bay, WI, De Pere, WI, and surrounding areas.
Often, the person accused of violating probation may not understand what they did wrong. Agents have been known to put pressure on people to waive their right to defend themselves. This is ill advised. You should immediately contact a probation revocation attorney at Brabazon Law Office. We have successfully defended clients accused of violating probation.
Probation may be given as part of the sentence when an individual is convicted of a wide range of crimes. A probation agent is assigned to the individual and will explain the conditions that the court has placed on that person. These conditions may include paying fines or restitution, counseling, obtaining an HSED or GED, full-time employment, school (or both), community service, curfew, and relationship restrictions.
If it is suspected that an individual violated the probation conditions, the person may be taken into custody without a hearing, even if the person broke no laws. The agent will take a statement and attempt to get an admission of guilt. There are rules about when the agent must take the statement. An investigation will be conducted and the agent will determine whether probation should be revoked.
When the agent determines that it is not necessary to revoke probation, they may consider a formal or informal Alternative to Revocation (ATR). A formal ATR may involve sending the person to a rehabilitation center or halfway house. In order for an ATR to be available, the plan must be able to be implemented within 60 days. When it is not possible, the ATR is considered to be "not available."
Certain procedures must be followed to revoke probation, including a series of hearings with specific time limits for the hearings. A preliminary hearing may be held for the agent to present evidence, including witnesses and written statements. The individual's probation revocation lawyer may present evidence and witnesses to challenge the agent's accusations.
A magistrate determines probable cause, which is evidence that makes it reasonable to believe the violation was committed by the individual. When the magistrate finds probable cause, a final revocation hearing is scheduled. During this hearing, the agent must prove the alleged probation violation and show that it is sufficient for revocation. An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will evaluate only the evidence presented at the hearing.
The ALJ Must Decide
- Whether the individual committed the act, which led to violating the conditions of probation.
- Whether the conduct constitutes a violation of the conditions of probation.
- If the conditions were violated, should probation revocation result from the person's conduct?
- Determine the dangerousness of the conduct, if further correctional treatment is necessary, and if an institutional setting is the best place for the individual to receive correctional treatment.
After the hearing, the ALJ will prepare a Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law, which describes the ALJ's determination to whether or not revoke probation. The documents must be sent to the individual, agent, and probation revocation attorney within 10 working days of the hearing. The probation will be reinstated if the ALJ determines revocation is unnecessary or if the original court withheld sentence. The decision may be appealed by the individual or Department of Corrections.
The sentencing hearing is held in the court where the original sentence was given. The district attorney, offender, attorney, and sentencing judge are given the agent's report and sentencing recommendation, but the recommendation is not binding. The district attorney, offender, or lawyer may make recommendations for sentencing and arguments to support their recommendations, but the judge has the ultimate authority to make the final decision.