This is the next post in my series on defending against the revocation of probation in Phoenix, Arizona. My last post provided an overview of topics I will be discussing in this series and discussed the need to speak with a lawyer if you or a loved one is accused of having violated probation. Speaking with counsel is crucial as many have misperceptions about the revocation process. In this post I will look at why a defendant may have been found to have violated probation.
Phoenix, Arizona defendants will face revocation proceedings if their probation officer believes supervision was violated
The Court will hold a revocation hearing if the defendant’s probation officer feels that supervision was violated. The probation officer can find a violation for any number of factors. These can include the defendant’s failing to check in, the failure to pay fees, not passing a drug test, failing to hold employment, being arrested for a new offense, or any other violation of supervision terms. It is important to understand that recommending (aka petitioning for) revocation is within the officer’s discretion and this can lead to arbitrary results; one officer may suggest revocation while a different officer may have been in favor of reinstating the defendant. This can make it seem as if the revocation process is at the whim of a probation officer.
It is important to understand that one has fewer rights when on probation and that this can lead to revocation proceedings. For example, a supervising officer may search a probationer’s home, at any time, without a warrant. Other rights to privacy are surrendered when on probation; one must, for example, answer all questions asked by their supervising officer, or police for that matter, and generally does not have the right to refuse questioning by law enforcement. This can increase the feeling revocation is entirely up to the supervisor.
A Judge ultimately decides whether a Phoenix probationer violated supervision
The final decision as to whether one’s probation will be violated is ultimately up to the Judge. The supervisor can initiate the revocation process, and make a recommendation to the Court, but they do not have the power to send a defendant to prison. The Judge often times will find a violation, but instead of sending someone to prison or jail (revoking their probation) the Court will reinstate a Defendant on probation. Having an attorney, who knows how to represent you before the Court, is crucial.
Contact my office today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer who handles Phoenix probation revocation hearings. I also represent Maricopa County defendants in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert and Pima County residents in Tucson.