Need Help With New Jersey Probation or Parole Problems?
Many criminal matters are resolved through negotiated sentences of probation following a guilty plea. Too often, the defendant forgets that a sentence of probation is a serious matter that presents its own risks. A violation could send you to jail or prison. If you need advice about any problem that comes up during probation, contact a knowledgeable lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall.
Rule No. 1: Don’t mess with your probation officer
Any alleged probation violation puts you at risk of serving whatever sentence was imposed and suspended in your criminal case. Dealing with an alleged probation violation is therefore similar to defense of a new criminal charge, insofar as the goal is to keep you out of jail, but there are many important differences.
Unlike new criminal charges, probation violations do not need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. There is no right to a jury. Basically, it’s your word against the probation officer’s as to whether the violation took place, and in most cases, the judge will follow the probation officer’s advice as to what to do with you. After all, the judge knows the probation officer and knows you, if at all, only through your previous criminal case.
Our attorneys know how to deal with probation officers
Our main job in a probation violation case is to prevent the probation officer from recommending that you go to jail or prison. We know the probation officers, too, and we know how to explain technical violations—missed appointments, dirty urine tests, failure to report a new address—in terms that will help them realize that you take your own situation seriously. We give the probation officers reasons to continue to support you.
We also work with you to make sure you understand that there is a limit to your second chance. We provide sound advice and skilled representation to help ensure that you get the most out of the opportunity that probation represents.
We also represent clients on parole from New Jersey prisons
Parole differs from probation mainly in terms of whom you’re dealing with in the event of a problem or violation. While a probation officer is generally attached to the local court system, parole officers work for the State Department of Corrections Bureau of Parole. While parole revocation proceedings are somewhat similar to probation violation hearings, the process is more formal and less dependent on personal relationships. Because the main issue is whether you will return to prison, there’s also more riding on the outcome.
Our lawyers focus on protecting your freedom by contesting the facts alleged by the parole board or by showing that the alleged violation of your parole terms is neither a threat to public safety nor an indication that you are likely to repeat the mistake.
To learn more about our ability to protect your interests in any parole or probation situation, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall in Shrewsbury, Cranford or any of our other New Jersey locations.