Criminal Practice Areas:
If you are on probation (which is more correctly called community supervision, but we will use the term probation because that is still the most common term) it means that the confinement, or jail time part of your sentence, has been suspended and that you are under the supervision of the officers of the county probation department and the judge that sentenced you. You typically do not have to go to jail as long as you obey and follow all the terms and conditions of your probation. Among other things, this means first and foremost not committing any other criminal offense while you are on probation. It can also include monthly reporting to your probation officer, submitting a urine specimen when requested, making periodic payments to the probation department that are applied to your fine, court costs and restitution, if any, and the performance of community service restitution hours. Your conditions may also include a requirement that you enroll in and successfully complete various programs designed to promote your rehabilitation and encourage you not to commit other crimes in the future.
Probation Violation Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS AN MTR, OR MOTION TO REVOKE?
An MTR, or Motion To Revoke, is a Motion filed by the Prosecutor in the Court of the Judge where you were sentenced. It tells the Court what you are on probation for, when you were put on probation and what you have done or not done that is in violation of the terms and conditions of your probation. Your probation officer notifies the Prosecutor that you have failed to comply with you probation terms using a Violation Report.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN MTR IS FILED?
When a Prosecutor files an MTR, the Judge will review it and typically sign it. At that point a warrant goes out for your arrest. When you are arrested, you will be taken to jail and held without bond. The term for this "remanded without bond." You will stay in jail until you make bond or appear before the Judge on the MTR.
HOW CAN I GET OUT OF JAIL IF I AM REMANDED WITHOUT BOND?
In most counties, once you are remanded without bond, you will have to hire an attorney to go and ask the Court to set a bond. If you are able to make this new bond, you are released and given a Court date, at which time you will have to appear and address the allegations in the MTR that you have not complied with the conditions of your probation.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN I SHOW UP TO COURT?
When you show up to Court for the hearing on your MTR you should be represented by a lawyer. Your lawyer will negotiate with the Prosecutor to see if an agreement can be reached in fashioning a resolution that will address whatever shortcomings you are charged with. As with the initial plea bargain in the case, the goal for most people is the avoidance of having to do any jail time. This may or may not be achievable, depending on the nature of your violation. There is a wide variety of possible outcomes that can be agreed upon. You may be continued on probation with additional conditions; or, if you have any jail time built up before you appear for a hearing, you may be terminated unsatisfactorily and released from probation in exchange for the time you spent in jail awaiting the hearing. There are really too many possible outcomes to try and list them all.
If an agreement cannot be reached, you are entitled to a hearing where you can call witnesses. And your lawyer will have the opportunity to cross examine any witness called to testify by the State. That witness is usually the probation officer. The State is only required to prove the allegations by a preponderance of the evidence instead of beyond a reasonable doubt and you are not entitled to a jury, only the Judge will hear the evidence and decide the outcome of the hearing. Needless to say, when you are facing an MTR, you will want an experienced and creative attorney at your side in order that a resolution can be found that will satisfy the demands of the State and accomplish your goals as well. At the Law Offices of Daniel and Hudson, we have handled hundreds of MTRs to a successful conclusion for our clients. If you are facing such a case, we hope you will consider letting us be of service to you.
For a free, confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Daniel & Hudson at 210-222-2297. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.