After your first arrest, the judge may go easy on you and give you probation instead of jail time. As part of the terms of probation, you have to follow certain rules, including avoiding another criminal conviction. However, it is easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get picked up while you are already on probation.
If you are on probation and have been arrested for drunk driving a second time, you will not only have to face the new charges but you could also face additional penalties for violating probation. With multiple charges in a short period of time, the judge may be less willing to go easy on you.
Do what you can to protect yourself and your family after an arrest on probation. Act quickly and contact an experienced California East Bay criminal defense attorney to find out about how to avoid another conviction and stay out of jail. Find out more from Gorelick Law Office in California.
Probation Violation for a New Charge
The terms of probation will depend on several factors, including the specific criminal charge, criminal history, misdemeanor or felony, and whether drugs or alcohol were involved. Common terms of probation can include:
- Submit to drug or alcohol testing
- Pay restitution, supervision fees, and court fines
- Community service
- Wear an electronic monitoring device
- Stay employed or in school
- Attend DUI school
- Attend substance abuse treatment
- Consent to a vehicle search
- Obey all municipal, county, state, and federal laws
If you are arrested while on probation and charged with a new criminal offense, you may be considered to be in violation of probation. You may have your probation revoked and have to serve jail time for your initial criminal offense before you are even convicted of the new charge.
Violation of Probation Hearings in Oakland
Any probation violation will likely be followed by a probation violation hearing. What happens in the probation violation hearing will depend on several factors, including the underlying offense, the type of violation, and other relevant facts. Missing a single probation meeting may be a minor violation but committing a new crime would be considered a serious probation violation.
Contact your criminal defense attorney who can represent you during the probation violation hearing. The prosecutor may want the judge to revoke probation and impose a jail sentence for the initial offense. Your California criminal defense attorney can present a case in your defense, to show why you should still be eligible for probation, including:
- Showing progress made
- Completing substance abuse programs
- Paying off court fines and fees
- Maintaining employment
- Significantly in compliance with the terms of probation
- Remorse for your actions
After the probation hearing, the judge could reinstate your probation, modify the terms of probation, or revoke probation and sentence you to jail.
No Probation Violation Defense
Your California defense attorney can also present a case to show that there was no probation violation, even if you were arrested. An arrest does not mean that someone has to be convicted of a crime. The police can make an arrest even if the individual didn't do anything wrong. Your attorney can present a case to show there was no probation violation in the first place because you stayed out of trouble but were wrongly arrested.
For example, if you can show evidence that you were in another place away from where the alleged unlawful activity took place at the time, that should support your claim that you were not in violation of probation but were wrongly arrested based on false information, misidentification, or a procedural error.
The probation violation hearing is not where your additional criminal charges will be determined but your lawyer could present evidence and a case to convince the judge to reinstate your probation until your pending new charges are heard.
Returned to Probation With Pending Charges
If you are returned to probation or given additional restrictions, you will still have to deal with the new criminal charges. If you avoid a conviction, you can serve out the remaining term of probation and be released from supervision. To give you the best chance to avoid a conviction, contact a criminal defense attorney who can build a strong defense.
Your East Bay California criminal defense attorney can review your arrest records, the police investigation, and any other evidence to identify defense strategies.
Defending a Second Criminal Offense
You may not be too worried about another arrest because the first arrest only resulted in probation or deferred prosecution. However, some jail alternatives are not available for a second criminal charge. After a second arrest, you may not be able to take advantage of the first-time offender benefits. That means there could be more at stake, with fewer jail alternatives, harsher penalties, and fewer mitigating circumstances. This is why a strong legal defense can be more important for a second offense than the first criminal charge.
If you are convicted of the new offense, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, it will likely result in immediate revocation of your current probation if you are sentenced to jail for the new offense. You may even be subject to additional jail time based on revoked probation. If you are later released on probation, you may have more restrictive terms of probation than your original probation.
Contact an Experienced Oakland Criminal Defense Attorney
East Bay attorney Lynn Gorelick has more than 39 years of DUI, domestic violence, and criminal defense experience and understands the challenges involved in California criminal cases. Contact a local criminal defense lawyer who understands defense strategies and plea bargain negotiations for judges in Oakland and Alameda County.