There are at least two reasons why a probation violation (or “surrender hearing”) should be taken even more seriously than the original case.  First, you no longer have a right to a trial.  Second, the burden of proof is much lower at the surrender hearing.  Basically, the judge only needs to believe that there is a 51% chance that you are in violation of your probation conditions.

The Notice

If you receive a Notice of Probation Violation and Hearing, you should immediately call us at 781-773-8868 to schedule a consultation.  The probation surrender process can seem much more informal and less serious than your case originally seemed.  This is because you do not have the same constitutional protections as before.  By agreeing to a term of probation, you were also waiving many of your constitutional rights.

Probation Conditions

The sentencing judge is the only person who may impose probation conditions.  Your probation officer may not add or change your conditions.  This means that a probation violation must be based on a violation of a condition set by the judge.  This is true even if you signed a “probation contract” agreeing to different/additional conditions.

First Appearance for Violation

The first time you appear in court after receiving your violation notice will be for the preliminary surrender hearing.  You will usually receive a notice to appear for this hearing.  Receiving a violation notice is a serious event.  If you are in this situation, you should contact us immediately.  Our firm has been successful in handling many probation violation issues at or prior to the preliminary surrender hearing.  Getting ahead of this situation is not only cost effective, but it can also greatly reduce the risk of jail time.

There are many great probation officers out there, but their job is very difficult.  Nearly all of them are handling far more cases than they can deal with in a normal work day.  This is why you may see a different probation officer at your preliminary surrender hearing.  This can be a confusing process that can move very quickly.

Final Surrender Hearing

The final surrender hearing could alter your life in many ways.  At this hearing, the judge will hear from your probation officer.  Then it is your chance to challenge the evidence of your violation.  If you have pick up a new criminal case while on probation

The violation may even be based on a small technicality. Unfortunately, unless you have an advocate who can take control and persuade people to listen, your case may not even get a second look until your final surrender hearing.  We know how the process works, and we can help you avoid becoming another statistic of people who failed to complete probation.