Attorney Speaking to Defendant and JudgeThis is the next post in my series on defending against the revocation of probation in Phoenix, Arizona. My last post discussed how a defendant is likely to go about defending against allegations of having violated probation. It is important for a defendant to understand the process of fighting revocation as the process is widely misunderstood. In this post I will discuss another way to avoid revocation – the possibility of negotiating a resolution with prosecutors.

A way in which defendants are often reinstated to probation is when one’s defense lawyer negotiates a reinstatement with the prosecuting attorney. This involves the two sides agreeing to terms, presenting the terms to the Judge, and asking the Judge to accept those terms. Such a resolution will typically involve the defendant having to complete additional requirements in addition to the original terms of probation. These additional terms may include more community service, fines, entry into a drug treatment program, or other possible requirements. Such an arrangement will typically be worked out beforehand between your defense attorney and the prosecutor.

It is important to understand that the prosecutor will not likely agree to a proposed reinstatement if the probation officer opposes the idea. The reason for this is simple – the probation officer will have to continue to supervise the defendant and if the officer feels that the accused is unlikely to succeed under the new terms then it can be expected that the proposed condition modifications will be opposed. This means that the likelihood of one’s attorney being able to reach an agreement with the prosecutor will, in large part, be based on the relationship between the accused and the probation officer. If the relationship has largely been a good one, and the accused has not been a problem for the officer, then the chances of reaching an arrangement are improved.

It is also important to remember that the Judge must approve the modified terms of probation and agree to reinstate the defendant. If the Judge feels that the accused is a danger to society or that the defendant will violate the modified terms then it is unlikely that the Court will accept the agreement. For this reason, it is important that your counsel be able to argue your “strong points.” These include your ability to maintain employment, your ability to stay out of trouble, the fact that you have access to needed services (such as counseling) outside of the prison system, etc. Hiring the right attorney is, therefore, crucial.

I assist Phoenix defendants facing the revocation of their probation. If you are facing such a hearing then contact my office to speak with a lawyer. I also represent Maricopa County defendants in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert and Pima County residents in Tucson.