The Complete Probation Guide

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<ol><li> 1. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 2 Copyright 2015, William Umansky All rights reserved. No partof this book may be used or reproduced in any matter whatsoever withoutwritten permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. This book is designed to provideaccurate and authoritative information in regard to the subjectmatter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the published is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professionalservices. If legal advice or other expert assistanceis required, the services of competent professionalpersonnelshould be sought. Accordingly, no liability can be assumed regarding how the information is applied to your particular personalsituation. No client relationship has been created or can be inferred by purchaseof this book. </li><li> 2. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 3 Table of Contents IInnttrroodduuccttiioonn.......................................................................................................................................4 The Consequences of Probation ..........................................................................................................5 What a Violation of Probation Is..........................................................................................................8 Following the Terms of Probation........................................................................................................9 Types of Probation Violations............................................................................................................11 Why a Probation Attorney is Important..............................................................................................13 Best Practices for Getting Through Probation.....................................................................................17 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................18 </li><li> 3. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 4 Introduction If you are reading this material, that means you are concerned about being put on probation, or you want more information regarding your current probation. You may be someone that feels strongly about taking charge of your own matters and really want to do what it takes to complete the probation process yourself. Right now, you may be facing some potential problems maintaining a job, being approved for housing, or admittance to an institute of higher education because of just one charge you have had in the past. I know after 20+ years of practicing law that people with even just one criminal charge you may not have the opportunities in their future that they expected. I wrote this guide to help you understand your options and move forward with your life. If you would like to discuss your case with me, or any attorney of my firm, just call us. The meeting is free and we would be happy to sit down and talk to you. Call me today at 407-228-3838 -William Umansky The Lawman </li><li> 4. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 5 The Consequences of Probation Many repeat offenders call probation paper probably because the sentence of probation is provided on an order that a judge gives, which is created on paper. Paper is a silly term and makes it sound as if probation is a simple matter. This couldnt be any further from the truth. Probation violations are very serious. Once a judge signs a warrant, it will be sent to both state and nationwide for law enforcement to be on the lookout for you. At any point where you might have contact with law enforcement youre subject to arrest. In fact, you could be out of state - if you get arrested, youll end up in one of those state jails, awaiting what is called extradition back to Florida. You could be stuck up to several months, waiting transportation back to a Florida jail with no bond. Probation violations are not like regular criminal cases. In most criminal cases, youre entitled to a bond amount pursuant to the constitution. In a criminal case, (even for murder) you can have bond posted by your family and you can get out and await trial on your charge. This isnt the case with a probation violation. There is no Federal or State right to bond on a violation of probation, and you can literally sit in jail for months, until you actually see the judge for your prosecution violation hearing. </li><li> 5. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 6 Probation can be analogized to the sport of fishing. Think about the fisherman. The fisherman is the judge, probation officer, or the prosecutor. The line that they cast out in order to fish is the probationary period. The longer the line, the longer the period of probation that youre on. The hook is the violation. Think about the lure or the bait thats placed on the hook as temptation. It could be that you are ordered to pay a fine or court costs, but you would rather spend that money buying a gift for a new girlfriend. You were ordered to complete a class, but you would rather go gamble at Hard Rock Casino. Think about that temptation as fishermens bait. If you violate probation, youre the fish clamping down on the hook after taking the bait. And once you clamp down on that hook, the probation office, the judge, or the prosecutor begins to reel you in. No Bond You might not know this, but when a judge violates your probation, usually there is no bond. If you hire a lawyer in advance of the probation violation, that lawyer can prepare and file a bond motion to get you in front of the court, because in many cases, if its a minor violation, the judge will set a bond so you can go home. </li><li> 6. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 7 Supervision? Why me? Probation is a form of supervision: after you enter a plea to your criminal charge, you likely have to report once a month to a probation officer, unless you live out of state, where in some cases you can report in by mail, or by electronic means, such as e-mail or telephone. Successful completion of your probation is important because if you complete probation, often times you can avoid a conviction and the potential for jail or prison time that you could have served. What happens if I violate? What will happen then after you get picked up on a probation violation? In most cases, judges are not happy that you did not follow their conditions that they personally placed upon you. Initially, they usually wont give you a bond. When you get picked up on that violation of probation, youll be sitting in jail until either you resolve your case, or a lawyer is hired to do a bond motion. </li><li> 7. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 8 What does Violation of Probation mean? What is a violation of probation? What happens when you clamped down on that hook? If a probation officer believes you violated a condition of probation they will fill out an affidavit. They will outline in that affidavit those conditions that they believe you violated. That affidavit will then go in front of the judge for his or her signature. If you are placed on a county probation, which you will usually face the judge who was assigned to your initial case, unless the judge was reassigned, or in some circuits, they have a specific probation judge that will hear your violation of probation case. </li><li> 8. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 9 Following the Terms of Probation Following probation is important because there will be a number of standard conditions that you will have to complete. While youre on probation, you will be given a set of standard conditions. Standard conditions are those conditions that everyone has to complete on probation, such as: Not getting arrested again Not drinking alcohol to an excess (or if youre on a DUI dont drink alcohol at all) Not using illegal drugs or substances Not co-habituating with other people who commit legal offences Making sure you stay in touch with your probation officer at least once a month. Maintaining employment. If youre not employed, the other standard condition is to look for employment. Not to own or possess any firearms </li><li> 9. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 10 Both standard and specific conditions are important, because if you violate any one of these, you can end up in jail facing the initial sentence of incarceration that you could have gotten when you were placed on probation. Specific conditions are conditions that a judge can add to or delete from your probation and are tailored to your case. Specific conditions might be to: Complete a DUI class Complete a anger management seminar Perform community service hours Pay a fine Attend counsel Complete a life care plan Obtain a drivers license or a high school degree. Pay Restitution </li><li> 10. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 11 Types of Probation Violations There are two violations of probation: a substantive violation of probation and a technical violation of probation. Most people believe the substantive violation of probation is more serious, because it usually means that you usually were charged with a new law violation, which can sometimes include: New Felony arrest such as burglary Being arrested for driving while your license is suspended A new misdemeanor arrest like petty theft Possession of drugs Any time that youre charged with a new crime, while youre on probation, you face a substantive violation. Technical violations are as serious as substantive violations. A technical violation is everything other than a substantive violation. If the court ordered you to appear to your probation officer once a month and you decide youre not going to show, thats a technical violation. </li><li> 11. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 12 Another technical violation is that you: neglected to pay fines or court costs did not complete a class, like a domestic violence battery intervention program had to complete community service hours but didnt fulfill the commitment did not pay restitution failed to be home by curfew Technical violations and substantive violations are both violations that can end up resulting in you going back to jail, or prison, on more serious cases. </li><li> 12. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 13 Why a Probation Attorney is Important How can a lawyer help? If you know a violation of probation is coming, dont procrastinate. Be proactive; hire a lawyer. Lawyers can do several things right off the bat. They can contact your probation officer and ask the probation officer to ask the judge to summon you to appear as opposed to being arrested. Failing that, they can ask a probation officer, and sometimes the judge, to put a bond amount, on a violation of probation. The judge will review the affidavit and then sign a warrant typically for your arrest. In some cases, the judge will do you a favor and issue a summons to appear instead of an arrest. At this point, a lawyer can be helpful because they can sometimes contact the probation officer before he/she submits the affidavit violation of probation to the judge. The lawyer can ask the probation officer to make a recommendation that youll be summoned to appear as opposed to being arrested for the violation of probation. </li><li> 13. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 14 A lawyer can try to attempt an early plea resolution to your charge. If you sit in jail and wait for a public defender, you might not get a court day for 30, 60, or even 90 days. A lawyer cannot only file for a bond hearing, but also try to obtain a quick plea resolution (hopefully getting you back out of jail, and reinstating your probation to your former life). A Lawyer can defer your arrest on a violation of probation. In order to find a violation of probation, the judge has to find that you willfully violated your condition. Lets say you couldnt pay the fines and court costs because you got laid off, and cant find new work despite your best efforts to get a job. You didnt have any money to pay the fines and court costs restitution. Lets say community service hours werent completed because you had a new job that was 80 hours a week and you just couldnt find the time to get the community service hours done. You e-mailed your probation officer and asked him/her in advance for an extension, which the probation officer did not grant for you. If you can show the judge that your violation truly wasnt willful, and a lawyer can help explain that to a court, then that violation of probation may be dismissed. Also, a probation attorney might be able to not only work a plea resolution or get the violation of probation dismissed, but actually terminate your probation. Finally, it is very important if you havent been convicted, or adjudicated guilty on the underlying charge, you will want to see if an attorney can get the probation violation resolved without a judge turning around and adjudicating you guilty. </li><li> 14. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 15 This is important, because if youre convicted, often times you face: a drivers license suspension your occupation license gets suspended losing your right to vote losing the right carry a weapon or purchase a firearm social security and health care benefits being extinguished The first thing you want to do if you face a probation violation is to get out of jail if you can. Get a lawyer to try to do a bond hearing to see if you can either get a bond, or resolve that case to get you out. If you do get out on bond, the next step is to have a probation hearing. At that hearing, its usually very easy for the government to prove that you violated probation. Its not six or twelve people that have to decide your fate like in a criminal trial. Its one person; its the judge. In a criminal case, the government cant use hearsay to convict you. In a probation case, they sure can. The prosecutor can use documents and other hearsay evidence to establish that you violated probation as long as some other evidence that you did </li><li> 15. The Complete Probation Guide Its More Than Just Paper! William D. Umansky 16 violate the conditions exists. The rules of evidence are very relaxed and stacked against you, the defendant. Hearing or Plea? At a probation hearing, youre going to have two very clear decisions to make before that actual case goes to hearing. Do you have a hearing, or do you try to resolve the case? Many times, prosecutors arent reasonable and they wont offer something...</li></ol>