Probation is one of several options at a judge’s discretion to sanction an individual who has been convicted of a crime. Indiana courts grant probation as a less punitive option than other penalties, as it allows the individual to live in the community with certain conditions and under court supervision rather than requiring that they serve their sentence behind bars.
The terms of probation usually include:
- Regular reporting with a probation officer, who may also visit the probationer at their home.
- Supervision fees.
- Random drug screenings.
- Remain within the jurisdiction of the court.
- Regular employment.
Unfortunately, if the individual does not get along with their probation officer or if they find the terms of probation restrictive, there is always a temptation to violate probation. The probation officer knows this and will often look for a reason to issue a warning of a probation violation.
For West and North Central Indiana residents, facing a parole violation hearing alone can be scary. It can help to have committed legal advocacy to help you defend your rights and minimize the negative consequences of the accusations.
What happens at the hearing?
At the parole violation hearing, the individual will most likely face the same judge who imposed the probation sentence, and will have a chance to either admit or deny the accusation.
If they did violate probation, coming clean and explaining the reason for the violation may result in a lighter sentence. But the probation officer may weigh in with a recommendation as well, so the individual should be prepared should the judge decide to revoke probation.
A denial of the accusation will result in an adjudication, during which the prosecuting attorney need only show enough evidence to convince the judge that there was a violation of probation. The judge will also look at evidence countering the accusation and any past probation violations, as well as any other evidence that might support either side before making a decision.
What are the possible outcomes of the hearing?
Under Indiana laws, there are several possible sanctions for a probation violation:
- To continue probation as before.
- To extend probation for up to one year beyond the original probationary period.
- To execute any part of the sentence that had been suspended at initial sentencing.
Winning the case will not end the probation but will allow the individual to complete the terms of the sentence without paying additional fines or serving extended probation.