Timothy O. McCalep

Work with experienced criminal defense attorney to sort out probation issues in criminal defense

In our last post, we looked briefly at a House bill currently under consideration which would make it easier for offenders participating in probation to have their supervision terminated after several years. It remains to be seen how much support the bills will generate, but it could be a way for the state to reduce the burden on its probation officers.

It is always important, of course, for defendants to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the best way to resolve their case and to protect their rights. When a period of probation is involved in the resolution of a case, whether because the defendant has the opportunity to avoid criminal charges because of probation or because probation is necessary to ensure continuing supervision after satisfaction of criminal penalties, there are certain things to keep in mind.

First of all, there is the issue of determining whether to accept a resolution to a criminal case knowing that probation will be imposed. There are multiple factors to consider in these cases, including whether it is preferable to take the case to trial based on the facts and law in the case, whether the offender will be able to avoid adding to his or her criminal record, and whether probation will be financially feasible for the defendant.

Second of all, offenders are supervised according to the level of recidivism risk they present, and it is important that the risk level of an offender is correctly assessed. Risk of recidivism is determined using a classification tool which is based on the assessment of certain factors. In some cases, offenders have a high level of probationary supervision, while other offenders require a lower level of supervision. Special rules and regulation apply for supervision of those convicted of sex crimes, and they are under a high level of supervision. Special supervision is also given to those with a history of mental illness to ensure they comply with their mental health treatment plan.

Thirdly, there is also the need to effectively address the legal consequences of probation violations. This is particularly important when additional penalties are being sought for probation violation when doing so would be inappropriate for the offender.

Regardless of the circumstances of the case, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help ensure that a criminal defendant has the best possible representation in his or her case, from beginning to end.

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