When you are facing a Violation of Probation (VOP) in New Jersey, you need to hire a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced NJ defense attorney can play a critical role when you are facing a VOP. I am a board-certified criminal trial by the New Jersey Supreme Court. I handle countless criminal charges throughout the State of New Jersey on a daily basis, including violation of probation hearings. I offer a free 30-minute strategy session to any potential client who is facing VOP charges or questions for a family member or loved one’s VOP in New Jersey.
What Happens if I Violate My Probation?
The good news about “getting probation” is that you avoid a state prison sentence. However, the court may impose both standard and special requirements as conditions of your probation. If you do not comply with these conditions, your probation officer can file a violation, and you will have to appear in front of the judge that sentenced you for a VOP.
What are the Conditions of Probation?
All probationers are required to comply with the terms and conditions of probation. Standard conditions include remaining arrest free, reporting to your probation officer, permitting your officer to search your house or car, submit to drug or alcohol testing, seek/maintain employment, pay all fines, and you cannot possess any firearm or weapon.
Special conditions can include driver’s license suspension, community service, drug and alcohol treatment programs, parenting classes, anger management and even county jail.
When Happens at a Violation of Probation Hearing?
If you are violated on probation, you must appear in court for the VOP hearing or the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. VOP hearings are usually only heard once a month. If you are arrested on a warrant, you will remain in jail until your case is added to the next month’s VOP calendar.
At the hearing, you will be given a specification of charges that lists the conditions you are alleged to have violated. The specifications will report your performance on probation, steps taken to get you to comply, and most important, your probation officer’s recommendation. Your officer can recommend that you be continued on probation, continued with additional conditions, continued with strict compliance, or terminated and sentenced to state prison.
The Defense Attorney’s Role at a VOP
Your attorney must obtain a copy of the violation specifications prior to the hearing. This way, you can attempt to correct the violations prior to the VOP hearing. A return to compliance prior to the hearing may go a long way at your hearing. Your attorney can also negotiate with the assistant prosecutor and probation officer prior to the hearing. Your attorney can present mitigating information on your behalf as well. If successful, your attorney will ensure that you are continued on probation instead of sentenced to state prison. Your attorney can also attempt to negotiate alternative sentences and programs on your behalf. It is critical to retain an experienced NJ Criminal Defense attorney because any violation of probation can subject you to a state prison sentence of 3-5 years in jail.
Contact My Office Immediately
If you are facing Violation of Probation charges in New Jersey, you need to consult with an experienced criminal lawyer. I am board certified as a certified criminal trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court. I have handled VOP hearings throughout my career in New Jersey. I understand how the courts conduct VOP hearings, how to fight specifications of violations, and how to skillfully craft arguments so that you are continued on probation instead of sentenced to state prison. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.