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Probation Violations

Probation Violations in Maryland Can Be Handled by Our Skilled Probation Lawyers

A violation of probation is an allegation against someone on probation that they have done something which conflicts with the instructions given to them by the Judge who put them on probation. Probation itself is essentially a contract between a Judge and a Defendant, if the Defendant does what they are supposed to do, there are no more bad consequences for the Defendant. However, if the Defendant does something they are not supposed to, there are consequences.

A violation of probation hearing is not a criminal trial, it is a civil administrative hearing. The Court holds a hearing to decide if a Defendant violated his/her probation, and if so, what should the consequences be. The rules of evidence are not strictly applied at these hearings, and often the only witness for the State is the Defendant’s probation officer or another representative from the Department of Parole and Probation.

At the violation of probation hearing, the Defendant has the right to cross-examine the State’s witnesses and to present evidence of their own. Often, violations of probation are based on a Defendant not having paid fees, costs, or restitution money. At that point, a Defendant can try to prove they paid all they could and that they do not have the present ability to pay more.

Violations of probation are different in the District and Circuit Court. The Circuit Court has a much broader range of authority to violate someone’s probation, even for things that happen before the Defendant starts the probation or for things the Court learns of after the probation is over.

A violation of probation can have serious consequences, or can be an opportunity to readdress problems in someone’s life that have reemerged since being placed on probation.