According to a new report by The Council of State Governments Justice Center, about 45% of state prison admissions nationwide in 2017 were due to violations of probation or parole — either for new crimes or technical violations. A probation violation is a serious offense that often attracts further consequences, including additional prison sentencing or jail time. However, each case is usually unique and depends on the circumstances surrounding the violated terms of the probation or bail.
If you have been arrested and charged with a probation or bail violation in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, it is important that you retain a knowledgeable probation violation attorney immediately. The Law Office of Layne C. Savage provides experienced legal services and comprehensive representation to individuals facing bail or probation violation charges in Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; and the surrounding areas. Attorney Layne C. Savage can offer you the detailed guidance, advocacy, and strong representation you deserve.
Probation can be described as a non-prison sentencing option for defendants who are convicted of a crime. Probation reduces or eliminates the time that an offender must spend incarcerated. If at any time during the probation period a defendant refuses, ignores, avoids, or breaks the terms and conditions of the probation, the offense is referred to as probation violation. Probation may be violated in a number of different ways, including the following:
Failure to pay fines or restitution
Traveling outside the area without permission
Failure to report to the probation officer
Failure to complete community service
Any arrest for an unrelated crime
Committing another offense or crime
Failure to appear for a court date
Using, transporting, selling, possessing, or distributing controlled substances or illicit drugs
Visiting certain people or places associated with criminal activities
Bail is defined as the conditional release of a defendant in exchange for money or property, which is held by the court. This money or property is held with the promise that the defendant will appear in court when needed - this is the primary purpose of bail: to assure a person's appearance in court. However, if a defendant violates the terms and conditions of the bail, gets arrested again for an unrelated crime, or fails to appear in court, the bail may be revoked. If this happens, the offender will be taken immediately into custody.
Probation is a non-jail sentence (after a nolo contendere plea or guilty finding) for a period of time during which the person must be of good behavior. Probation can be supervised or unsupervised. However, if a defendant violates the terms and conditions of their probation, gets arrested again for an unrelated crime, or fails to appear in court, they face a Probation Violation. If this happens, the offender may be taken immediately into custody.
The consequences of probation or bail violations in Rhode Island can be severe depending on the nature and terms of the probation or bail orders. These consequences include:
According to Rhode Island General Laws Section 12-19-9, when a person placed on probation violates the terms and conditions of his or her probation, the police or the probation authority shall inform the attorney general. The court may order that the defendant is held without bail for a period of up to ten (10) business days.
A hearing shall be conducted within 30 days of the arrest to determine whether the defendant has violated the probation terms and conditions. At hearing, the State (prosecution / Attorney Generals Office) must prove by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the person breached a condition of their probation OR failed to keep the peace and be of good behavior. If the Court determines that the defendant violated probation by a fair preponderance of the evidence, the court may:
Remove the suspension and impose the previous sentencing.
Impose a new sentence if one has not been previously imposed.
Continue the suspension of a sentence previously imposed.
Convert a probation sentence without incarceration to a suspended sentence.
In Rhode Island, both the defendant and the person who deposits the money or security for bail can be affected by the bail violation. Possible consequences include:
Revocation of bail
Forcing the defendant to remain in custody pending trial
Forfeiture of the bond
Adding an additional prison sentence and/or fine for committing a criminal offense while on bail
The consequences of probation (including Pre-Trial Probation) or bail violations in Massachusetts can also be quite severe depending on the nature of the violation and the terms of the probation or bail order. These consequences include:
There are different types of probation violations in Massachusetts. These various types include:
Being charged with a new criminal offense while on probation
Failure to abide by probation conditions
Failure to complete court-ordered programs
Failing to appear in court
Failure to pay fees or restitution
The probation department may request a probation violation hearing alleging that you violated the terms and conditions of your probation. At the initial hearing, the probation department may request that the defendant is detained until a full hearing can be held on whether he or she violated the probation terms. At the final hearing, the court may:
Request a warrant for your arrest
Modify or extend terms and conditions to your probation
Take away any compliance credit you've earned
Revoke your probation and sentence you to a house of correction or prison
Impose statutory maximum penalties
Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 276 Section 58B, a person who has been released after a bail hearing and who has violated a condition of his release, shall be subject to a revocation of release and an order of detention. Also, a defendant who doesn't appear in court without a satisfactory excuse after release on bail may be punished by up to 1-year imprisonment, a fine of $10,000, or both.
Defending your probation or bail violation and new charges by yourself can increase your chances of receiving the maximum punishment. If found to be a violator, you could face steep consequences, including further sentencing, jail time, and fines. Thankfully, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side can offer you the detailed legal counsel and comprehensive representation you need.
The Law Office of Layne C. Savage is committed to offering reliable legal services and will defend individuals facing bail or probation violation charges (and the new charges), as well as those wrongfully accused of violating the terms or conditions of their probation or bail. Attorney Layne C. Savage will fight aggressively on your side to protect your rights, investigate the details of your case, and attempt to refute the charges against you so that you can continue to move forward with your life.
If you are facing probation or bail violation charges, don't face them alone. Contact the Law Office of Layne C. Savage today to schedule a free one-on-one case evaluation. Attorney Layne C. Savage will offer you the experienced legal guidance, advocacy, and comprehensive representation you need. She proudly represents clients throughout Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, and the surrounding communities.