When people are convicted of crimes, they are often sentenced to a period of probation instead of jail or prison. Typically, a judge will issue a sentence, suspend that sentence, and order the defendant be placed on probation. During this period, the person on probation is subject to certain rules and restrictions, and any violation of the terms of probation can result in serious consequences—including the imposition of the original suspended sentence.
In some cases, the terms of a person’s probation are extremely general and require the defendant to simply obey all laws and pay all fines and fees by a certain date. Many people placed on this type of probation are unsupervised, meaning that they do not have to report to a probation officer. In other cases, however, the terms of probation can be specific and relate to the underlying offense. In addition, the person on probation may have to check in with a probation officer regularly and discuss his or her progress, employment status, and obtain approval for any travel. Some examples of conditions of probation a court may impose include:
- Payment of restitution to victims
- Attending school or holding a job
- Anger management counseling
- Drug or alcohol treatment
- Random drug or alcohol testing
- Participation in community service
This is not an exhaustive list, and Maryland courts have broad authority to impose conditions of probation tailored to a person’s underlying criminal offense.
If I Have Been Accused of a Probation Violation, How Can a Lawyer Help?
If you have been accused of violating the terms of your probation, it is important that you retain an attorney right away. Remember—you still have rights, even when you are on probation, and the representation of an attorney can go a long way toward protecting those rights. Your lawyer may argue that the conduct at issue was not actually a violation of the terms of your probation or may get you more time to fulfill conditions that you have not yet been able to fulfill (such as the payment of fines or the completion of community service).
If your alleged violation involves another criminal offense, it is imperative that you retain an attorney as soon as you can. In this situation, not only are you facing serious consequences associated with the alleged probation violation, you will also be facing a brand new criminal case.
Call Our Office Today to Speak with a Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a criminal case or have been accused of violating your probation, you should retain legal counsel as soon as you can. As a former prosecutor, Maryland attorney Randolph Rice understand the criminal justice system from both sides and can leverage his experience to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Rice, call our office today at (410) 694-7291 or send us an email through our online contact form.