Probation Violations in New Jersey
Defense Attorney for Charges Under N.J.S. 2C:45-1
When an individual convicted of a crime is placed on probation, he or she is allowed to return to his or her community but must be under the supervision of a probation officer for the period of time designated by the court. With probation, the court usually mandates a set of requirements and restrictions that the person must follow. Probation is often included in a sentence as a replacement for or a way to reduce jail or prison time. New Jersey law states that these conditions are ordered by the court in order to ensure that the individual lives a law-abiding life, or at least to assist the individual in doing so.
While an individual is under probation, that person might be required to maintain a steady job, continue his or her education, perform community service or enter a rehabilitative program, along with many other possible requirements. Individuals under probation are generally under close watch by the court and his or her probation officer. The failure of the individual to meet just one of the many requirements can result in various negative consequences, including the revocation of his or her probation. This could lead to the individual being sent to jail or prison and further damage to his or her criminal record.
Anyone who is accused of violating probation should contact a skilled Morris County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A professional who is experienced in handling these types of cases will know how to defend a client against such accusations.
Possible Probation Requirements
When an individual is placed on probation, there are many possible requirements he or she could be ordered to follow. Breaking any one of these requirements when they are ordered by the court—even if done unintentionally—can lead to serious consequences. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice §2C:45-1 (2012) lists various requirements that could be included in a probation order. Those include:
- Supporting one's dependents and meeting family obligations
- Finding and continuing to have gainful employment
- Obtaining medical and psychiatric treatment; entering and remaining in a specified institution, when required
- Pursuing a secular course of study or vocational training, as directed by the court
- Attending or living in an instructional, recreational or residential facility established for individuals on probation
- Refraining from being in unlawful or disreputable places or from associating with disreputable individuals
- Refraining from having any firearm or other dangerous weapon in one's possession, unless granted written permission
- Remaining within the court's jurisdiction and notifying the court or probation officer of any address or employment changes
- Reporting to the court or to the probation officer, as directed; allowing the probation officer to visit one's home; answering all reasonable inquiries made by the probation officer
- Paying a fine
- Satisfying other conditions that are reasonably related to one's rehabilitation
- Performing community-related service
- Being subject to certain Internet access conditions
For sex offenses, a court might also restrict a defendant from contacting the victim or entering that individuals' school or place of employment, along with setting other possible restrictions.
Consequences of a Probation Violation
Those who are accused of violating their probation terms will have to attend a court hearing where it will need to be shown that the violation took place. If this is done successfully, the defendant could become subject to negative consequences, such as a jail sentence, fines or extended probation as punishment for the violation. The individual could also have his or her probation revoked, which could lead to jail time, prison time or other sentencing for the original crime that led to the probation.
In probation violation hearings, the prosecution does not have the same level of responsibility in proving "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the incident occurred. Instead, the prosecutor only needs to show that it was more likely than not to have occurred. For that reason, a defendant who is accused of violating probation will need a strong attorney who can bring a convincing argument on his or her behalf, or who can negotiate with the prosecution for a more favorable outcome.
What to Do After Being Accused of Violating Probation
As soon as you are accused of violating your probation, you should contact an attorney. You will need an aggressive lawyer who can push for favorable results on your behalf. Too much is at stake when you are facing possible jail or prison time. At The Law Offices of Christopher G. Porreca, P.C., I am dedicated to providing high-quality legal representation to my clients who are accused of criminal offenses. I serve clients in Morris County and other areas of New Jersey. Contact my firm today or take a few moments to fill out a
free case evaluation.