The Santa Barbara Probation Department currently supervises about 3,500 adults and thousands more juveniles who are on probation in the community. Probation is an alternative sentence to jail or prison for misdemeanors and felonies. Probationers must abide by various terms and conditions while being supervised by the courts or a probation officer within the community. If the terms and conditions aren't met, a probationer may face severe penalties that may include incarceration.
If you are believed to be in violation of your probation in Santa Barbara, the Aron Law Firm may be able to help. Our effective team of criminal defense attorneys have represented countless defendants accused of probation violations throughout the state of California and have helped many clients avoid incarceration. Contact us today for knowledgeable legal advice regarding your case.
What Is a Probation Violation in Santa Barbara?
One of the top concerns of individuals in California arrested for criminal charges is whether they may be incarcerated. In many instances, a judge may sentence an offender to probation instead of time in jail. However, probationers must follow strict terms and conditions, the extent of which depends on whether you are on summary probation or felony probation and on the unique circumstances of your case.
Violating those terms or being arrested for a subsequent crime while on probation may lead to severe consequences under California Penal Code 1203.3. If you are considered to be in violation of your probation, you may be arrested and taken before a judge for a probation violation hearing.
What Are Common Terms & Conditions of Probation in Santa Barbara?
Terms of probation in Santa Barbara vary for each case. Some standard probation terms and conditions that individuals may be accused of violating in Santa Barbara include:
- Failing a drug screening
- Interfering with the results of a urine drug test
- Failing to appear in court
- Possessing contraband, like drugs or illegal weapons
- Violating a restraining order
- Neglecting to complete court-ordered community service
- Neglecting to meet court-ordered therapy or counseling requirements
- Failing to secure employment, education, or training
- Failing to pay restitution to victims despite having the money to pay
- Neglecting to report a change of employment, address, or other personal information
- Failing to report to a probation officer, if on felony probation
What May I Expect at My Violation of Probation Hearing in Santa Barbara?
After an arrest for violating probation in Santa Barbara, you may be scheduled to attend a violation of probation (VOP) hearing. At this time, it is your right to have a Santa Barbara probation attorney by your side, advocating for your benefit.
The judge decides whether you have breached the terms of your probation. If the judge finds you in violation, your probation may be modified or revoked per California Penal Code 1203.3. The judge may enforce the original jail term for your convicted offense or order several penalties based on factors such as:
- Your previous criminal record
- The seriousness of the probation violation
- How long you were otherwise compliant with your probation
- Your probation officer's recommendation for felony probation
During this hearing, it is essential to have representation from an experienced Santa Barbara probation attorney. In contrast to a criminal hearing where the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a VOP hearing requires a standard of proof called a “preponderance of the evidence.” In other words, the prosecution must only demonstrate that it is more likely than not that you committed that alleged infringement.
What Are Potential Consequences of Violating Probation?
Possible consequences of violating probation in Santa Barbara include:
- Extended probationary period, which may last anywhere from one to five years
- Compulsory participation in community service
- Obligatory counseling for anger abuse, substance abuse, or other issues relating to the case
- Modified probation terms that are stricter and require more frequent reporting
- Overall revocation of probation, which means you serve the rest of your sentence incarcerated
If the judge decides to extend your probation period, the length of time depends on whether you are on summary probation or felony probation. Summary probation is typically one to three years, while felony probation is usually three to five years.
Retain an Experienced Santa Barbara Probation Violation Lawyer
Complying with the terms of probation after a conviction may be challenging. However, prosecutors and the courts in Santa Barbara have a strict attitude regarding breaches of probation requirements, leading to significant penalties. If you're facing a probation violation in Santa Barbara, we strongly encourage you to retain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.
At the Aron Law Firm, we understand that everyone makes mistakes. It is essential that you do not make your situation worse by defending yourself without skilled legal representation. The Santa Barbara probation violation lawyers at the Aron Law Firm are committed to providing zealous advocacy to help our clients through this process and protecting their freedoms. To speak with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer about your situation, schedule a free, confidential case review today by completing a contact form or calling 805-618-1768.