Some offenders are sentenced to probation in lieu of jail. Their probation requires that certain conditions be met by deadlines and that they refrain from committing new criminal acts. If the probationer fails to do so, their probation will be violated. Unlike the vast constitutional rights they enjoyed in their original case, they will quickly realize why a violation of probation is also known as “prosecutor’s revenge.”
The violation of probation (VOP) case commences when the probation officer files an affidavit for VOP. They will also have a VOP warrant issued for the probationer’s arrest. The police will execute the warrant at their residence or place of business and the offender is taken to jail. The offender will not be entitled to a bond on a VOP. They will remain in jail until the resolution of their case.
There is no constitutional right to a jury in a VOP hearing. Furthermore, the State is not required to prove the VOP beyond a reasonable doubt. They need only show a willful and substantial violation by a greater weight of the evidence. Additionally, hearsay is admissible at a VOP hearing.
It is clear from the above that a VOP is not a pleasant situation. A VOP is relatively simple for the State to prove in most cases. Plus, the offender is exposed to the maximum penalty in the original case. It is important to act quickly in these situations to ensure the offender does not spend any more time in jail than necessary.