I Was Notified of a Probation Violation Hearing in New York. Do I Need an Attorney?
If you were recently convicted of a criminal offense in the State of New York you may have received probation in addition to, or lieu of, a term of imprisonment. While on probation you are required to abide by a set of standard conditions as well as any special conditions imposed by the court. If you violate one of those conditions your probation officer could file a formal violation of probation notice with the court. If that happens, you will likely be required to attend a hearing to determine if you did, indeed violate your probation. This may lead you to ask "I was notified of a probation violation hearing in New York. Do I need an attorney?"
People are often so relieved to find out they are not being sentenced to a lengthy stay in jail or prison that they fail to pay attention to the terms of their actual sentence. Specifically, the conditions of probation are often ignored as are the warnings about what can happen if you violate one of those conditions. Typically, a judge will actually sentence you to a term of imprisonment but then suspend that sentence, allowing you to serve the time on probation instead. That suspended sentence, however, can be reinstated if your probation is revoked as a result of a violation. Given the fact that you are, therefore, facing a potential return to jail should the court find you to be in violation of the terms of your probation it only makes sense to consult with an attorney as soon as you are notified that a violation has been filed In fact, if you even suspect that a violation might be filed you should consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney right away.
A probation violation hearing is less formal than a trial. The same rules of evidence do not apply and the burden of proof is lower than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" used at a criminal trial. The concept, however, remains the same. The State of New York, through the prosecuting attorney, will try to prove that you are guilty of violating your probation. Therefore, you need an attorney on your side fighting to prove that you did not violate your probation. Even if it is clear that you are in violation of the terms of your probation, your attorney can argue for a lenient and favorable outcome. With the right attorney on your side you may be able to avoid revocation of you probation.
If you have been notified of a probation violation hearing in the State of New York it is important that you consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney right away to evaluate the allegations and get started on your defense. Contact the Law Offices of Adam Thompson today by calling (212)267-2424 to schedule your appointment.
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