How a Columbus, Ohio Probation Violation Lawyer Could Help You

Technically called “community control” in Ohio, probation is becoming more common as an alternative to putting or keeping criminal offenders in jail. Some crimes still carry mandatory imprisonment as a statutory penalty, but judges and prosecutors may accept probation with monitored release or home confinement for many criminal violations in Ohio.

Terms vary from person to person, and what is specified in a probation agreement depends heavily on the offense for which the individual pled guilty to or was convicted. Typical probation rules can include:

  • Wearing an ankle monitor for a specified number of days;
  • Surrendering or storing away firearms and refraining from purchasing weapons and ammunition;
  • Submitting to scheduled and random tests for drug and alcohol use;
  • Remaining at one’s home except when working, going to school, keeping doctor’s appointments, and appearing in court;
  • Driving only to work, school, and appointments;
  • Avoiding certain businesses, locations, and individuals; and
  • Reporting regularly to a probation officer.

Staying out of jail requires the person who is placed under community control to comply with all the terms of their probation. This is true whether the individual was recently released from jail or directly sentenced to a term of community control. It is also written into state law.

Section 2951.08 of the Ohio Revised Code states that “during a period of community control, any field officer or probation officer may arrest the person under a community control sanction without a warrant and bring the person before the judge or magistrate before whom the cause was pending.” In practical terms, this means that a failed drug test or missed check-in can immediately land a person back in court and/or in jail.

O.R.C. 2951.08 also authorizes police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and state troopers to arrest individuals for probation violations. What this means is that a traffic stop or a case unrelated to a person’s original conviction can put them in violation of their probation terms.

A judge who determines that a person has violated one or more of the terms of their probation has the option to reimpose penalties that were suspended by the court. For instance, a person released from jail can be sent back to serve the remainder of their original sentence. In another a case, a probation violation could convert a sentence of probation or monitored home confinement to an actual jail sentence.

When the Columbus Probation Violation Lawyer Helps

First, a probation violation attorney can play an essential role in securing a termination of probation without jail or an extension of your community control agreement without jail. A defendant who hires a criminal defense lawyer gains the advice and representation of a professional who knows the law, knows the court system, and has no other duties or concerns than achieving the best outcome for their client.

A Columbus probation violation attorney will explore all options for a plea deal that results in community control if that is what you seek. Should their client currently be incarcerated, the attorney will look for grounds to have the incarceration shortened through judicial release and/or a period of probation.

It is important to partner with an experienced Columbus probation violation attorney when a probation officer or some other law enforcement official makes an arrest. The time from being accused of violating probation to ending up in a jail cell can be very short.  Occasionally, it is a matter of mere minutes. An individual in this situation should take their first opportunity to call a lawyer who can contest the allegations of probation violations on their behalf.

An attorney will go to work immediately to have their client released pending a full investigation of the alleged probation violation, a complete review of the evidence such as blood or urine samples, and a hearing before a judge. A probation violation attorney will also take steps to ensure all their client’s rights to due process and privacy are protected throughout the process.

Colin Maher of the Columbus-based Maher Law Firm is a full-service criminal defense attorney who represents clients throughout Franklin County, Ohio. He offers free consultations, and he charges a flat fee for handling many types of cases. If you or a family member has been arrested for allegedly violating probation, contact Colin to see how he may be able to help. You can reach out online or call (614) 205-2208.

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