Violation of Probation (VOP)

New York law defines probation as a sentence or disposition imposed by a criminal court, where individuals are released into the community without serving a jail or prison sentence and are required to follow certain requirements to the release.

In New York, instead of imprisonment, the court may sentence someone to probation, or may sentence that person to a conditional or unconditional discharge.  This is at the court’s discretion when the person has been found guilty or entered a guilty plea to the top charge in a Criminal Court Complaint or in an Indictment.

Under a new law that took effect in January 2014, you could be facing three to five years on probation for a felony charge, or two to three years on probation for a Class A misdemeanor charge, so adhering to the guidelines of your probation could be a long-term concern with serious consequences.

The court views probation violations as very serious, and can revoke or modify the terms of probation if any requirement is not followed. Probation violations can occur for a number of reasons, and hiring a criminal defense lawyer to represent you may help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation.

Although probation violations are serious, it does not mean you have to go back to jail. Occasionally, the terms of your probation may remain the same after a violation, depending on the reasons or circumstances of the violation.

Queens Probation Violation Attorney

Contact the Law Office if you have been charged with violating your probation in Queens or New York City. Rochelle S. Berliner is dedicated to fighting the charges against you, and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious repercussions and consequences.

Call for a free consultation about your probation violation in New York City.

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Technical vs. New Offense Violation of Probation

A violation of probation is defined in New York as a failure to comply with the conditions of conditional release supervision imposed by the local conditional release commission.

Violations of probation can happen very easily, and can occur if your probation officer has any reasonable grounds to believe you violated any of the terms of your probation. There are two types of probation violations according to New York’s Correction Law, technical violations and new offense violations.

  • A technical violation is a failure to comply with any of the terms of probation.
  • A new offense violation is a violation by committing a new offense.

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Possible Probation Requirements in Queens

If an individual has been sentenced to probation, they will be required to follow certain terms of probation, which will be itemized in the court order. A violation of any of these conditions can lead to serious repercussions. The following are common examples of probation requirements in New York, as found in Penal Law § 65.10:

  • Avoid bad or injurious habits;
  • Avoid going to unlawful or disreputable places or spending time with disreputable persons;
  • Work at a suitable place of employment, pursue a course of study or vocational training that will equip the individual for suitable employment;
  • Undergo medical or psychiatric treatment and remain in a specified institution, if required;
  • Participate in an alcohol or substance abuse program;
  • Participate in a motor vehicle accident prevention course;
  • Support dependants and meet other family responsibilities;
  • Make restitution or reparations;
  • Perform community service;
  • Install an ignition interlock device; and/or
  • Post a bond.

Additional conditions relating to supervision during probation can include, but are not limited to:

  • Mandatory reporting to a probation officer;
  • Remain within the jurisdiction of the court unless granted permission to leave;
  • Wear an electronic monitoring device;
  • Notify the probation officer of any changes of address, and/or
  • Avoid committing any other offenses while on probation

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New York Probation Hearings for Violations

If, at any time an individual’s probation officer has reasonable cause to believe the offender violated their probation through a technical violation or new offense violation, the officer can issue a warrant for the individual’s arrest or the court will notify the person that he/she must appear before either the judge who sentenced him/her to probation or a judge who presides over probation violations.

When the offender appears in court, the Department of Probation will provide him/her and the court with one or more “Specifications” which describe the basis for the probation violation.  At that time, the judge generally, but not certainly, will offer one of the following options:

  1. a plea of guilty to one or more of the specifications followed by a jail or prison sentence which would terminate probation;
  2. a second chance to stay on probation under court supervision, which puts the probation sentence on hold until the judge decides to restore the offender to probation;
  3. entry into a residential or outpatient drug or alcohol program while remaining under court supervision with the probation sentence on hold until the judge decides to restore the offender to probation; or
  4. a hearing to determine whether there was, in fact, a violation of probation. At the hearing, the alleged violator is permitted to make a statement, present any evidence in their defense, present witnesses, and have an attorney present.

If the offender opts for a hearing, the judge will make a finding as to whether there has been a violation of the terms of probation. The Department of Probation’s burden of proof is whether the offender violated the terms of his/her probation by a preponderance of the evidence, which means that it was “more likely than not” that the individual violated probation.

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Penalties for Probation Violations in Queens

Possible penalties for technical and new offense violations of probation can include any of the following, but are not limited to:

  • Time spent on probation will not apply towards imprisonment;
  • A shortened probation period may be extended to the maximum sentence;
  • Additional penalties and sentences added for new offense violations;
  • Possible sentencing of the maximum punishment for the original offense.

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Law Office | New York Probation Violation Lawyer

If you have been charged with a violation of your probation in a criminal court of any of the boroughs of New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan, contact Law Office as soon as possible. Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner is dedicated to helping you find the best possible outcome for your particular situation.

Call or submit an online form today for a consultation about your alleged probation violation in New York.