If you are faced with a violation of probation, you could be looking at substantial time in prison. When you are placed on probation you are sentenced to time in prison, which is suspended as long as you comply with all of the conditions of probation. These conditions may include reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis, making payments on supervision fees and court costs or restitution, maintaining a regular job and a stable home address, public service employment, and passing drug tests. If these conditions are not met, or if you are re-arrested on new charges, the probation department will attempt to revoke your probation and send you to prison.
The probation officer will serve you with a warrant prior to the hearing. You will be arrested but can usually post bond to secure your release until the hearing. At the revocation hearing, you can either deny or admit the violation. If you deny the violation, you are entitled to a full hearing where you can call witnesses in your defense and your attorney can cross-examine the probation officer's witnesses. If you admit the violation, you are then entitled to present circumstances in mitigation, to attempt to persuade the judge not to send you to prison. In either case, the judge has wide discretion, and may continue you on probation without sending you to prison, revoke part of your sentence but then continue you on probation, revoke part of your sentence and then terminate your probation, revoke your sentence in full, or terminate your probation with no prison time under some circumstances.
If you are given notice of an administrative hearing in your probation case, you are entitled to have counsel present at this hearing as well. An administrative hearing is always beneficial because sometimes it is possible to resolve the violation through the hearing officer, but if the outcome is not in your favor, you will still have the opportunity for a full revocation hearing in General Sessions Court.
Whether you intend to deny the allegations or admit them and then present mitigation, you will need an effective advocate with you to present your case to the Court. If you have been served with a warrant for violation of probation, or if you are about to be served with a violation warrant, call our Myrtle Beach office at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to find out what your options are and how we can help.