When a probation agent believes that a probation violation occurs, sometimes an arrest warrant is issued by the Judge to address the situation. On other occasions, the probationer receives notice in the mail to appear on a particular date to address the probation violation. It is also not uncommon for the probationer to be brought before the Judge when the probationer appears for their regular report date. How the situation is addressed depends on the Court and the nature of the alleged violation (for example, a Judge may feel more of an urgency to immediately address the situation of a DUI probationer who allegedly continues to consume alcohol because the Judge may believe the public is at risk). The Judge has the ability to set a bond, and bond conditions, when the probationer is arraigned on the probation violation. At the arraignment on the probation violation the probationer is advised in writing of the violation(s) that are pending. The probationer has the ability to retain counsel to address the probation violation, or request court appointed counsel if indigent (and if there is a chance that the probationer can be incarcerated).
It is in the probationer’s best interest to retain counsel for a probation violation for the following reasons:
- The probationer often is not afforded counsel for arraignment purposes. Having a retained lawyer increases the opportunity for the probationer to obtain a reasonable bond;