Criminal Defense in Orange County

What to Expect at a Probation Violation Hearing in California

If law enforcement believes that you violated the terms of your probation, you will have to attend a probation violation hearing before a judge. If you were arrested for violating the terms of your probation, you've probably asked the question, "what should I expect at my probation violation hearing?" At the hearing, the judge will do one of three things: reinstate your probation, change the terms of your probation, or revoke your probation and replace it with an alternative sentence, such as jail.

According to California Penal Code §1203, probation suspends the execution of a legal penalty (incarceration, etc.) and replaces it with supervision from a probation officer. A judge can impose probation in addition to or in place of a jail sentence.

Probation involves more than supervision, though; it is typically is accompanied by fines, public service, mandatory employment, and mandatory drug testing.

What will my probation violation hearing be like?

You have the right to legal representation at your hearing. Additionally, your defense attorney can call witnesses to testify for you. You also have the right to testify on your own behalf and to combat any evidence brought against you by the prosecution.

If you were unable to maintain the conditions of your probation because of "extenuating circumstances," your lawyer can help you show the judge that conditions outside of your control kept you from abiding by the terms of your probation.

Unlike a criminal trial, your probation violation hearing will not be subject to a jury. Instead, a judge will oversee the hearing and determine its outcome. Additionally, the prosecution does not need to demonstrate that you violated your probation "beyond a reasonable doubt." Probation violation hearings are not subject to the same rules of evidence as criminal trials.

In order to prove that you violated the terms of your probation, the prosecution only needs to demonstrate your guilt by a "preponderance of the evidence" – that you most likely violated your probation.

After the judge considers the facts and evidence presented by both sides of hearing, he / she will make a determination to modify, reinstate, or revoke your probation.

If you were arrested for a probation violation hearing, the legal team at The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs encourages you to seek immediate legal help. The firm has more than three decades of legal experience helping people like you stand up for their rights and freedom in court. Contact us today if you need legal guidance regarding a probation violation hearing in Orange County, California.