The consequences of violating probation in Cape May are serious. Not only could your probation be extended in length or expanded with new conditions – it could even be revoked altogether, which means you will be sent back to jail or prison. When your freedom is at risk, you need a knowledgeable and aggressive team of probation violation attorneys on your side.
The Cape May criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych have over 45 years of combined experience fighting probation violation charges. We are proud to represent clients throughout Cape May County and surrounding towns in Southern New Jersey. To schedule a free and private legal consultation with our Cape May probation violation attorneys, call us today at (609) 616-4956.
How You Can Violate Probation in Cape May, New Jersey
In order to fight the Cape May probation violation allegations against you, it’s important to have a good understanding of New Jersey’s rules and standards of probation. Some common ways of violating probation include:
- Tampering with the results of a urine test
- Refusing to submit to drug testing
- Failing a drug test
- Getting arrested while on probation/committing another crime while on probation
- Using alcohol, under certain circumstances
- Possessing a controlled substance, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine
- Leaving the state without getting permission from your probation officer first
- Failing to check in with your probation officer when required to do so (this includes updating your probation officer with any change of work or residential address)
- Failing to maintain steady employment or search for a job while unemployed
- Going to places involving the illegal distribution or sale of controlled substances
- Failing to pay court-ordered fines, fees, and/or victim restitution
- Refusing to let your probation officer into your home. Probation officers have a right to visit your residence at any time
If you are arrested for a crime during probation in Cape May, you must notify your probation officer within 72 hours of the arrest. Failure to do so will only make the situation worse. It doesn’t matter how “minor” the crime is. Even a disorderly persons offense (DP offense) can have serious consequences for probationers.
What Happens if I Violate My Probation in Cape May?
Your probation officer might not immediately report you for a minor, first-time violation. However, that doesn’t mean you should push the rules. You can be certain that your PO will keep a careful record of every violation you commit, no matter how trivial – and the more violations you have, the more difficult it will be to challenge the accusations against you. Don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a false sense of security simply because you have a cordial relationship with your PO. At the end of the day, he or she is not your friend and will report you if you break or ignore the rules.
If you fail to comply, your PO will file a formal complaint with the court handling your case. This is called a Violation of Probation or VOP complaint. The complaint will (1) describe when and how you allegedly broke the rules, and (2) require you to appear in court for a VOP hearing.
In most cases, the judge who presides over the VOP hearing will be the same judge who originally sentenced you to probation. You should bring your defense attorney to represent you and challenge the PO’s evidence during the VOP hearing.
At the hearing for your Cape May probation violation charges, both you and your PO will have the opportunity to present each side of the story. The judge will consider, but is not obligated to accept, the PO’s recommendations as to how you should be punished if you are found guilty. When evaluating the charges, the judge will consider factors like your criminal history, the number and seriousness of the violation(s), and the nature and severity of the original rime for which you were sentenced to probation.
Penalties for Probation Violation in Cape May, New Jersey
If you violate the terms of your probation in Cape May, there are three outcomes that may occur.
- The judge finds that you have not violated your probation. Of course, some violations are more clear-cut than others, such as being placed under arrest.
- The judge agrees that you committed a violation, but the violation isn’t serious enough to merit revoking probation. Instead, the judge imposes tougher conditions, and/or extends the length of your probation, and/or revokes certain privileges.
- The judge finds you committed a major violation and decides to revoke your probation completely. If this happens, you will be sent back to jail or prison to serve your original sentence.
Contact Our Cape May, NJ Probation Violation Defense Attorneys Today
A probation violation can undo months or years of your hard work to stay out of jail. When you’re at risk of being incarcerated again, you can’t afford to fight the charges on your own. If you were accused of violating probation, get help from our respected legal team of Cape May probation violation attorneys with more than four decades of experience. To set up a free, confidential case evaluation with our Cape May and Atlantic City criminal defense lawyer, call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych right away at (609) 616-4956.