What is a Los Angeles Probation Violation?

Many of our clients believe that a probation violation is a minor charge and does not require the need for a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer. This is absolutely untrue. In fact, a probation violation requires the need of a legal expert as much as, if not more, than other criminal charges because it can potentially affect future criminal proceedings.

When you have been found guilty, or have pled guilty for a criminal charge, you will be given a sentence. More often than not, part of that sentence is probation. There are two types of probation; summary probation and formal probation.

Formal probation requires that you check in with an officer and report your activities. Summary probation is informal and does not require that you check in with anybody, but that you do not get convicted or arrested for any additional crimes and that you adhere to laws and procedures. Probation orders can also have specific requirements on each individual person depending on their criminal history and the charge they have been convicted of.

A probation violation will incur when a person has violated the terms of their probation. A probation violation is an additional charge and will give the Judge authority to revisit the previous sentence. A probation violation charge does not have the right to trial by jury, it must be decided by a Judge.

Lets consider an example. David has been charged with petty theft and eventually found guilty. David was arrested stealing DVDs from Walmart. Upon being convicted, the Judge placed David on three years summary probation. The Judge specified that David was not to enter the same Walmart again, and David was not to get arrested for any crime or any nature whatsoever.

David does not listen to the probation terms and instead goes to the Walmart thinking he will quickly be in and out. While in Walmart he gets into an altercation with another customer and the two engage in some pushing. Security is called and the two are separated. David is arrested and charged with assault and a probation violation.
When David appears before the Judge, the Judge is not keen on giving David a favorable sentence. The Judge adds mandatory jail time to David’s conviction of assault, and extends his probation to formal probation for five years.

A probation violation is a specified charge and requires the knowledge and experience of an attorney who has handled them for years. It takes knowledge of how a Judge is going to rule so that the attorney can be prepared with an argument and supporting evidence to assure that the probation violation is dismissed or given the lowest possible sentence.