What Happens If Someone Is Accused Of Another Crime While On Probation?

Because there’s a different burden of proof for a probation violation and an underlying offense, that person can have their probation revoked even for just being accused of another crime. As most people know, the standard of proof in a criminal matter for a new charge is that the person must be convicted and a jury be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of their guilt but in a probation violation setting, it’s only that the judge that must be reasonably satisfied that they’ve probably committed this new crime and so that’s a much lower burden. Hearsay evidence can be admitted before the judge; now it can’t be solely based on hearsay but the judge can hear hearsay evidence from a detective or from a third party that there’s a likelihood that this person committed the crime.

Then if that judge thinks that it’s more likely than not that the person committed the crime, then he or she can revoke their probation. So, simply being accused of a crime can allow for your probation to be revoked. That’s another reason to have an attorney that really understands the case on both the underlying charge that you’re on probation for and the new charge so that they can present the evidence in a light most favorable to you as to why the probation shouldn’t be revoked or why the person should be allowed to be continued on probation until the new charge is proven to be either guilty or not guilty.

What Are The Key Factors That Differentiate Probation and Parole and Other Programs?

Probation is for a suspended time of imprisonment. The judge has just sentenced you to a term in jail or prison but he or she has agreed to suspend that sentence and place you on probation for a certain period of time. Parole happens after you have served a term of imprisonment in the Department of Corrections. So, you’ve served a 10-year sentence and you’re released and then placed on parole so that you don’t mess up anymore once you’ve been released from the Department of Corrections but you’ve already served your jail sentence when you’re on parole. Nowadays, there’s so many deferred prosecution agreements and bond condition agreements that some people in the public talk about probation when it’s really not probation.

Somebody has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to report to a court referral officer or to go to alcohol treatment or drug treatment or some other condition prior to there being a disposition in their case. So they’re not on probation, they don’t have a duty to the court necessarily to complete all of these requirements. It’s more of an agreement between the prosecutor and themselves or their attorneys to complete some things in agreement for a dismissal of their case but they’re just doing some things to try to get their case dismissed before it ever goes to court.

Does Probation Always Require Drug Testing or Alcohol Testing?

No, it does not. But that varies on a county by county basis and largely with the nature of the charge. Usually if you’ve been charged with a drug or alcohol related offense, the court will require you to do some sort of drug or alcohol testing as a condition of your probation. If you want to do drug court or something like that if you’ve been charged with a felony drug offense or even a misdemeanor drug offense and you want the drug court as a form of deferred prosecution, they’re going to be required to do drug testing on that. Most deferred prosecution programs now require drug and alcohol testing for a DUI diversion or a DUI deferred prosecution or any alcohol or drug related charge.

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