Probation is the most common alternative to imprisonment. If the judge feels that the jail sentence can be suspended, they may consider probation. Probation is usually considered when the defendant agrees to a plea deal, or is a first-time offender, besides other circumstances. If you are on probation, you have to strictly adhere to the conditions of the probation. In case of a violation, your probation may be revoked, and that’s when you may want to hire a New Jersey probation attorney.
An overview of probation
In New Jersey, the period of probation varies between one and five years, which can be further extended, or ended sooner. The probationary sentence will usually require the person to follow the conditions imposed. This may include reporting to the probation officer assigned for the case, paying necessary fines as directed, community service, adhering to a curfew, and submitting drug test reports.
The case of probation violation
If the probation officer finds the violation not serious enough, they may just give warning. In most cases, however, the officer will file what is called ‘Violation of Probation (VOP)’ complaint. The person will need to go for a court hearing, and if they miss the same, an arrest warrant can be issued. You will not have the right to bail and will have to wait for the probation violation hearing, where the judge will listen to your side of the story.
The role of a probation attorney
Your probation attorney’s eventual goal is to keep you out of jail. Depending on the complaint, they may work on the explanation, negotiate with the prosecutor, or ask for stricter probation terms, so as your probation is not revoked. Keep in mind that you don’t have the right to a jury trial at this point, and therefore, hiring an attorney is even more important. Skilled probation lawyers know what it takes to mitigate the complaint. Considering that most people don’t know the consequences of their statements in court, mistakes are likely. When you have a probation attorney on your side, you can navigate through the laws and your options without missing important aspects.
Hiring the right probation attorney
Not all probation attorneys are the same. Before you look for lawyers specializing in criminal law, make sure they work on probation cases on a regular basis. You can ask for references, or check online to find reviews of top law firms and probation attorneys in New Jersey.