Probation is one type of sentencing that can follow a criminal offense. It entails compliance with conditions set by the court, which usually include going to appointments, refraining from using drugs or alcohol, doing community service, paying restitution to victims, and other punitive actions. Maryland residents who are currently on probation or are in danger of violating their probation should use the services of a Maryland probation attorney to assist them with their case. If you are on probation in Maryland, contact the Baltimore probation violation defense attorneys from the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. We can help you avoid serious consequences following a violation of the conditions set by your probation and advise you on what you can do as you move forward with your life; keep reading to learn more.
Probation Sentencing and Requirements in Maryland
After you have been found guilty of a crime, your case will move to a sentencing hearing. During this hearing, a judge will decide on the penalties that you will face. Probation is one possibility.
When an individual is on probation, they must follow very specific conditions set by a judge. Almost all individuals that are on probation have to meet with a probation officer as part of the conditions of their sentence; during these meetings, the probation officer will ensure that the individual is sticking to the conditions of their probation and will ask them questions about their daily life.
Other conditions of probation may entail avoiding more criminal charges, participating in an educational program that is relevant to your crime, attending counseling sessions, avoiding drugs and alcohol, attending school or work on a regular basis, performing community service, and more.
Probation can last months or years, depending on the severity of the crime. If you successfully complete your probation period, you will be released from government supervision and permitted to go about your life as it was without having to serve the underlying “suspended sentence.”
Probation Violations in Maryland
Failing to adhere to the conditions set for your probation can make the penalties for a crime ultimately more severe. Individuals that are going through probation should be aware of the different types of probation violations in Maryland, how probation violation hearings work, and the penalties for violating your probation in the State of Maryland.
Common Probation Violations
In Maryland, there are two types of probation violations: technical violations and violations of law. Technical violations of probation are violations of the conditions set by the probation. This may mean missing a meeting with a probation counselor, failing a test for drugs and/or alcohol, failing to appear for drug and alcohol counseling, failing to perform community service, failing to pay restitution to victims of the crime, failing to pay court fines, skipping work or school, leaving the state without permission, or moving to a new residence without informing a probation officer. Violations of law involve other criminal violations of probation terms that are also legal orders, such as making contact with a previous victim in defiance of a court order forbidding such contact.
Probation Violation Hearings
If you violate the conditions of your probation, your probation officer may file the violation with the court. In some cases, the probation officer will work with you if the circumstances of the violation lead them to believe that you won’t commit the violation again, though this isn’t guaranteed. After the violation is filed with the court, it is likely that you will be arrested and will be kept in jail until your probation violation hearing.
During your probation violation hearing, any evidence that shows that you violated probation will be presented, and you and your legal representative will have the chance to challenge it. A judge will make the final decision about the violation and any changes to the conditions of your probation going forward.
A lawyer with experience working with probation violation cases can help you throughout the probation violation hearing process. For example, a probation violation attorney can work with your probation officer and convince them to refrain from filing a violation with the court. A Maryland probation violation defense lawyer can also speed up the violation hearing process, which can shorten the amount of time that you’ll spend waiting in jail.
Penalties for Probation Violations in Maryland
Penalties for violating the conditions of probation include a warning or small fine, depending on the severity of the violation. Jail time is also a possibility. Maryland has limits on the amount of time that someone can spend in jail for a violation of probation.
A first violation can result in jail for up to 15 days, while a second violation can result in jail for up to 30 days and a third offense can result in jail for up to 45 days. If you commit a violation of law, your probation is likely to be revoked entirely, and you may be forced to carry out the sentence that was originally issued for your crime.
Contact Us for More Information About Maryland Probation Conditions
If you believe that you have violated the conditions of your parole, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with a skilled Baltimore criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The Maryland probation violation attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice are available to represent you as you negotiate a probation situation that works for you. Call us at (410) 694-7291 today to learn more or to schedule a free and private consultation with a legal representative.