If you’ve been charged with violating probation in Atlantic City or elsewhere in Atlantic County, you face serious consequences. Depending on the severity of the alleged violation, you could even be sent back to jail or prison to serve the remainder of your original sentence. When your hard-earned freedom is on the line, you can’t afford to face the prosecution on your own. You need dedicated legal support from a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer, like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych.
Our legal team brings more than 45 years of experience to each and every case we handle. We will draw on our thorough knowledge and understanding of New Jersey’s criminal justice system to counsel and guide you through each and every step of the legal process, protect your Constitutional rights and liberties, and challenge the evidence presented by your probation officer. We take an aggressive yet strategic approach to defending our clients’ freedoms, and will fight tirelessly in pursuit of a favorable outcome for you.
To schedule a free, completely confidential legal consultation, call our probation violation lawyers at (800) 508-9786 any time of day or night, including weekends. You will not be charged any fees, and we will always keep your information private. Se habla español.
How Do You Violate Probation?
Probation is a privilege, not a right. In exchange for avoiding prison or jail time, probationers are expected to comply with a long list of rigid rules and requirements. Some common ways probation can be violated include the following:
- Failing to check in with your probation officer.
- Failing to follow curfews and other court orders.
- Failing a drug test, refusing to submit to a drug test, and/or tampering with the results of a urine test.
- Failing to abstain from drinking alcohol.
- Being arrested for a new crime while on probation, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor (disorderly persons/petty disorderly persons) or felony (indictable) offense.
- Failing to pay all fees, fines, and restitution as ordered by the court.
- Failing to perform any mandatory community service.
- Failing to earn your G.E.D. and/or seek/maintain steady employment.
- Lying to your probation officer.
- Failing to report a change of address (residential or place of work) to your probation officer.
- Failing to support your dependents (e.g. making child support payments).
- Failing to avoid associations with other known criminal offenders.
- Possessing contraband or illegal items such as narcotics, firearms, or other dangerous weapons. You must surrender any gun permits to your probation officer, while any weapons you might own must be surrendered to law enforcement. This could also lead to drug charges or weapons charges.
- Failing to provide a DNA sample. (Note the DNA requirement applies only to persons convicted of felonies, or indictable crimes, such as sexual assault. You are exempt from the DNA requirement if you were convicted of a DP offense or petty DP offense.)
- Driving with a suspended license. This applies to all offenders whose licenses are suspended, not just people who were arrested for DWI in New Jersey.
What Happens if You’re Charged with a Probation Violation in New Jersey?
If a probationer allegedly violates one of the many requirements enforced by the New Jersey Probation Division, there can be harsh legal consequences. Your probation may be extended or even revoked altogether, meaning you will have to return to jail or prison to serve additional time.
The process begins when your probation officer reports a suspected violation, typically involving one of the issues on the list supplied above (e.g. failure to check in or report a change of address). Once a violation has been reported, the court will schedule a violation of probation hearing or “VOP hearing” to review the allegations. Our criminal defense attorneys will represent you at your hearing and protect your legal rights from being violated.
At the VOP hearing, the judge will listen to testimony from your probation officer. You will also have the opportunity to present your own testimony and dispute the officer’s allegations. In many cases, the probation officer will recommend what he or she feels is an appropriate punishment to the judge. The judge will consider the probation officer’s recommendations, but will also weigh other factors such as the severity of the alleged violation, your history or prior offenses, and the nature of the underlying conviction which led to your probation.
Our probation violation attorneys will stand beside you and fight to have your alleged violation downgraded or dismissed completely. If your violation is minor, you can potentially avoid having your probation revoked in exchange for the imposition of stricter supervisory requirements. We know that probation officers can be unfairly biased or make errors of judgment, and we will scrutinize the accusations against you to uncover the truth.
Our Attorneys May Be Able to Help
Probation revocation is a serious risk that demands immediate attention from a skilled and experienced defense lawyer. If you’ve been charged with breaking the rules of your probation in Atlantic City, let the attorneys at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych help you through this difficult time. To set up your free and private consultation, call us right away at (800) 508-9786.