This is the next post in my series on the question of “what happens when probation is revoked in Arkansas?” My last article discussed the possible outcome of a revocation hearing. It is important to understand that the Judge may outright revoke the supervision and impose the original sentence. The Court may also modify the terms of the probation and place the individual back under supervision. Finally, the Court may simply reinstate the original supervision altogether. It is important that you retain an experienced attorney to assist you as experienced counsel can help you in making a compelling case to the Court. In this article I will address the common defenses one can assert in a revocation proceeding. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock criminal defense lawyer.
It is possible to defend against revocation by arguing to the Court that the public interest would be better served by allowing the accused individual to complete their supervision as opposed sending them to prison. The less severe the alleged violation, then the more likely the Court is to be receptive to such an argument. Suppose, for example, that a defendant was required to serve two years of probation. Eighteen months into their supervision, they fail a drug test. They have otherwise met all the terms of their supervision and have not been charged with any additional crimes. Their supervisor has decided to recommend prison time in spite of the probationer’s strong history. In such an instance, the Court may agree that the individual has a strong chance of completing supervision and that there would be a lower risk of recidivism if they are kept out of prison. The Court, therefore, may be willing to modify the supervision or outright place the individual back on probation. It is important to remember that how the Court will rule, in any given situation, is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case.
A second possible defense to revocation is to argue that the alleged violation, in fact, did not occur. This would typically happen in instances where an individual has been charged with additional crimes while on probation. It is important to remember that, under the United States Constitution, an individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This is why many judges do not see a new charge, in and of itself, as a reason to revoke one’s supervision. Typically, if there have been no other violations of supervision, then a Judge may wait until the new case is resolved to determine whether probation should be revoked. If the new charges are dismissed, or the individual is acquitted, then the Court will often reinstate the probation. If the individual receives a conviction on the new charge then they will often be revoked. Any time they spend in custody, waiting for a disposition of their new case, may or may not count as time towards the original sentence for which they were on probation.
If you or a family member are facing probation revocation then it is important that you immediately seek legal representation. I am a Little Rock criminal defense lawyer who handles probation revocation cases. I am familiar with how the Court approaches such matters and I will apply this experience in providing a vigorous defense. My office prides itself on providing quality assistance and we are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the remainder of Arkansas.