What is probation and is it different from community control?
Probation and community control are interchangeable terms used to describe a period of supervision imposed by a court in lieu of a jail or prison term. In Ohio, the term “probation” is usually used for misdemeanors while “community control” is used for felonies. The maximum supervision time for both is 5 years, which can be tolled for violations or absconders.
Probation is often the desired result – as it means that a prison/jail sentence was not imposed. However, probation is often accompanied by a number of requirements that can prove burdensome to everyday life. Terms of probation often seem to be set up to ensure the failure of the probationer.
How does the probation violation process work?
The probation/community control violation process is different than the normal criminal case and generally follows the following process:
- Probation officer informs the court that a probationer has violated one or more probation requirements (probation officers may arrest probationers without a warrant in certain situations);
- The court will schedule a probation hearing or authorize an arrest warrant;
- If arrested, there will be an arrest hearing and a bond may be set;
- You are entitled to a Statement of Violations in which you are informed of what terms of probation you are alleged to have violated;
- You are entitled to a probable cause hearing to determine if there is a reasonable basis for the violation; and
- You are entitled to an evidentiary hearing in which the State must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a violation occurred.
What happens if I violate probation?
At the time of your initial sentencing, the court suspended a jail or prison sentence on the condition that you successfully complete probation. If you admit to violating a term of your probation, the court has the ability to impose the suspended jail or prison term. The court can also lengthen the term and add additional probation requirements. It is also possible to be held in jail, without bond, until a decision is made by the court.
It is important to remember that a probation officer’s belief that you are in violation is not the final word. Even if you have violated your probation or failed to report, there are often actions that can be taken to minimize penalties and avoid incarceration. Like most situations in criminal law, it is best to address the situation before being arrested.
What can Akamine Law do for me?
At Akamine Law, we act quickly and aggressively on behalf of our clients. Even before your case is scheduled for court, we will work with probation to address probation issues. This often greatly accelerates the probation violation process. Our goal is to get you before a judge and out of jail as soon as possible. If you are out of jail, we will explore all options to keep you out.
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