Probation Guide

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The District Attorney's Office works closely with the State Probation Office and Sentinel Offender Services to make ensure that probationer's in this circuit are properly supervised. When a probationer violates the terms of his release, the DA's Office brings that person before the court for a revocation hearing.

Basic Information

This circuit requires us to hear probation revocations within forty-five (45) days of the probationer’s arrest. We must give the probationer and his attorney a rule petition at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the hearing. Rule petitions set out all the charges against the probationer, similar to an indictment. The probation officer must provide a Delinquency Report (DR) within fifteen (15) days of the probationer’s arrest. This DR is used as a guide to what charges we will bring against the probationer. If we do not receive a DR within fifteen (15) days of arrest, then the probationer will be released after being locked up for 30 days. The burden of proof is preponderance of the evidence.

Probation Hearings

A probationer may stipulate (stip) that he violated his probation or her may contest the allegations. If he contests the charges then we have a full hearing. This hearing is the same as a bench trial with a lower burden of proof. A probationer may “stip” and agree with the sentence recommendation or he may “stip” but argue sentencing. Prior to a scheduled hearing, the probationer may sign a “waiver” which is an order stating he violated his probation, waives his hearing, and agrees to a sentence worked out between the probation officer and the defense.

Negotiating Sentences

The probation officer puts his sentencing recommendation on the DR. The ADA must take this into account when negotiating sentences. The ADA should also try to keep the probation officer apprised of negotiations. A useful tool in sentencing is to do a "cap and floor". With this, the ADA agree to cap their recommendation at a certain maximum sentence while the defense agrees to argue a certain minimum sentence. Whenever possible, if a probationer is facing revocation for felony charges pending in this circuit, the ADA will attempt to resolve both cases at the same time.

 

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