Accused Of Violating Your Probation?
We can help you if you have been accused of violating your probation in Jefferson County, Missouri.
Probation violation hearings in this state are governed by Section 559 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. They are quasi-criminal in nature, which means that there are elements of civil law and elements of criminal law present that are simultaneously at play throughout the probation violation process.
A skilled probation revocation attorney will be able to use elements of civil law and elements of criminal law to bring about the best outcome in a particular proceeding. At Wegge Law Firm, our attorneys have handled thousands of probation violations over the years.
Definitions And Defenses For Violations Of Probation
The usual mechanism for violating a criminal defendant’s probation in Missouri is as follows: A defendant is sentenced to a term of probation, either under an SIS (suspended imposition of sentence) or SES (suspended execution of sentence). Once the individual is placed on probation, a violation report is generally filed by the agency tasked with supervising the individual’s probation. For instance – on a felony probation, Missouri Probation and Parole will typically file a violation report, which in turn prompts a probation revocation hearing.
Misdemeanor probation, on the other hand, is often (though not always) supervised by the court or by a private probation agency in the county in which the sentence was imposed.
The burden of proof in a probation revocation proceeding is different than it would have been in the underlying criminal case.
The government does not need to prove that an individual violated their probation “beyond a reasonable doubt” – rather the government must simply put on enough evidence such that the hearing judge is “reasonably satisfied” that the probation was violated. There is also no right to a jury trial in a probation violation proceeding.
Beware Harsh Penalties
The stakes in a probation revocation proceeding are high. If the underlying sentence was an SIS, then the court has the full range of punishment for the underlying offense at its disposal. If the underlying sentence was an SES, then the court may revoke probation and execute the previously imposed sentence –whatever that was.
Because of the gravity of these proceedings, it is crucial to hire an experienced lawyer who understands the intricacies of the probation revocation process.
Turn Your Probation Violation Charges Around
We have experienced lawyers on staff, including a former assistant prosecuting attorney and the former 12-year elected prosecuting attorney of Jefferson County. We handle probation violation and revocation proceedings in this county and throughout eastern Missouri.