If you are on probation and there is reasonable cause to believe that you have violated a written condition or regulation of probation, then your probation officer or the State may petition the court to revoke your probation. Once a petition to revoke is filed, the court may issue a summons directing you to appear or it may issue a warrant for your arrest to bring you into custody.
No later than 7 days after a summons is served or after an initial appearance after an arrest, the court must hold an arraignment for the probation violation. At that arraignment, the court must inform you of each alleged probation violation, to which you may enter admissions or denials. If you do not admit to a violation, then the court must set a probation violation hearing.
The probation violation hearing must be held no less than 7 days and no more than 20 days after the revocation arraignment, unless you request otherwise, and the court agrees. A violation must be established by a preponderance of the evidence. That is a significantly lower burden than it would take to convict a person and is the burden of proof used in civil cases. It simply requires proof that a violation is more likely than not to have occurred.
During the hearing, the court may receive any “reliable evidence,” including hearsay, provided that the evidence is not otherwise privilege. That means that the court can consider evidence it would not normally consider in a criminal case.
If the court finds that you violated a condition of probation, it may revoke, modify, or continue probation no less than 7 and no more than 20 days after determining that a violation occurred. During this final “disposition hearing” is when you can present evidence to attempt to convince the court to continue probation rather than sentence you to a term of incarceration.
Having an attorney on board for your probation revocation proceedings is incredibly important. Often an attorney may counsel you to admit to certain violations in order to help convince the judge to not sentence you to prison. And if a revocation hearing needs to be held then you need an aggressive, experienced attorney by your side to help prove that you did not, in fact, violate the terms of your probation.
Getting the right help makes all the difference. Don’t face the possibility of jail or prison by yourself. If you are on probation and a petition to revoke your probation has been filed, call AZ Defenders or contact us online and arrange your free consultation. The sooner we are on board the sooner we can help, and together we can find a winning strategy tailored to your case.