Were You Charged with California Crime Probation Violation Under Penal Code 1203.3?
The Ventura County Probation Agency currently supervises about 15,500 adults and 2,500 juveniles who are on probation in California. Probation, which may be sentenced in place of or in addition to incarceration in jail or prison for a misdemeanor or felony, involves supervision within the community subject to various rules and conditions. If a probationer violates any of these conditions, he or she can face serious criminal consequences, including incarceration.
Ventura County Probation Violation Lawyers Representing Adults and Juvenile Defendants
If you or one of your family members has been charged with probation violations in Ventura County or Santa Barbara County, The Law Offices of Bamieh & De Smeth, PLC may be able to help. Our aggressive team of defense lawyers have more than 20 years of experience representing defendants accused of probation violations in California, and have helped numerous clients avoid jail or prison time. We will represent you at your violation of probation (VOP) hearing and fight hard to prove your innocence.
Call our law offices right away at (805) 643-5555 to set up a free legal consultation. We represent probationers throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, including Oxnard, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Goleta, Camarillo, Lompoc, and other locations in the area.
What Are Some Common Conditions of Probation in California?
When a person is sentenced to probation, he or she is expected to comply with certain terms and conditions. If any of these terms or conditions are broken, the probationer can be sent back to jail or face other serious consequences, which are explained in the next section.
Some common reasons for people to be accused of probation violations in California include:
- Being in possession of contraband, such as illegal weapons or controlled substances.
- Failing a drug test.
- Failing to appear for court hearings.
- Failing to complete court-ordered community service.
- Failing to notify a probation officer about a change of address, employment status, or other information.
- Failing to report to a probation officer, if the person is on “felony probation” or “formal probation.” (“Informal probation” or “summary probation,” which is sometimes sentenced for misdemeanors, does not require supervision by a probation officer.)
- Failing to seek out training, employment, or education.
- Failing to participate in court-ordered counseling or therapy.
- Failing to pay victim restitution for injuries, property damage, or other harm, despite having the financial means to make the payment.
- Getting arrested or charged with another crime while on probation, such as drug possession or driving under the influence (DUI).
- Tampering with the results of a urine test.
- Violating a restraining order.
What to Expect at Your Violation of Probation (VOP) Hearing in Santa Barbara County
If you are accused of violating your probation in Santa Barbara County or Ventura County, you will be scheduled for a probation violation hearing, also called a VOP hearing, at which you have the right to be represented by a Santa Barbara probation attorney.
Quality representation by a skilled defense attorney is especially critical for VOP hearings because the standard of proof for a probation violation is lower than it is for felony and misdemeanor crimes. Normally when a defendant is charged with a crime, the prosecutor must prove that he or she is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” By comparison, the standard of proof for probation violations is called a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means there need only be sufficient evidence to prove it more likely than not that the alleged offense was committed.
If you are found guilty of violating probation, the judge can order various penalties depending on factors like:
- The extent to which you were otherwise compliant with your conditions of probation.
- The severity of the probation violation.
- Your probation officer’s recommendations, in felony cases.
- Your record of criminal offenses.
Potential consequences of a violation include:
- Extension of the probationary period, which may last anywhere from one to five years depending on whether the offense was a felony or misdemeanor. Informal probation is generally one to three years, while felony probation is typically three to five years.
- Mandatory participation in community service.
- Mandatory counseling for substance abuse, anger management, or other matters relevant to the case.
- Modification to the terms of probation, making the rules stricter and more numerous.
- Total revocation of probation, meaning you will go to prison or jail.
A probation violation can have serious consequences. If you are facing these charges, it is in your best interests to seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Call the California probation violation lawyers of Bamieh & De Smeth at (805) 643-5555 for a free consultation today.