Maryland Probation Violation Lawyer
A criminal conviction in Maryland does not mean an automatic jail term. In many cases, judges have the discretion to sentence a defendant to a term of probation. This means that in exchange for obeying certain conditions specified by the court, the defendant does not have to go to prison.
But probation is not a “get out of jail free” card. If the defendant fails to strictly obey all of the probation condition, the State’s Attorney can ask the court to revoke probation and impose a prison term instead. Even seemingly minor or technical probation violations can land a person in serious trouble.
At Henault & Sysko Chartered, our experienced Maryland probation violation lawyers can help. If you are facing the prospect of jail time due to an alleged violation of the terms of your probation, you need to take the matter seriously. While not every violation will lead to a judge revoking probation, you still need to be proactive in asserting your legal rights and defending your actions to the court.
What Types of Acts Can Lead to a Probation Violation?
There are literally dozens of ways a person can violate their probation, sometimes without even realizing it. Here at Henault & Sysko Chartered, these are some of the more common alleged probation violations that land our clients in trouble:
- missing a required appointment with a probation officer;
- changing your address or place of employment without notifying your probation officer;
- leaving the State of Maryland without permission;
- committing a new criminal offense;
- not paying any court-ordered restitution to the victim of the original crime;
- failing to complete any classes or counseling required by the court as a condition of probation, such as drug and alcohol treatment;
- not registering as a sex offender when convicted of certain sex crimes;
- violating a no-contact or stay away order.
For minor, technical violations–e.g., missing an appointment with a probation officer or failing to take a mandatory drug test–Maryland law allows judges to send a defendant to jail for up to 15 days for a first offense, 30 days for a second offense, and 45 days for a third offense.
For more serious violations, the judge may revoke the defendant’s probation altogether, impose an alternative sentence, or even extend the term of probation for a longer period of time. Also keep in mind that if you are already on probation and arrested and charged for a new crime, you will likely be held without bail on that charge pending trial. And even if you are simply arrested for a violation of your existing probation, you could be held for several weeks in jail while awaiting a hearing.
Contact Henault & Sysko Chartered If You Are Accused of Violating Your Probation
As with every other stage of the criminal justice process, you have the constitutional right to the assistance of counsel when facing probation violation charges. You do not have to defend yourself in court. Contact Henault & Sysko Chartered today if you need immediate assistance from Maryland probation violation attorneys who understand the system and will fight for your rights.